2015 Cadillac ATS-V Testing with BMW M3

We've already spotted the 2015 Cadillac ATS-V out testing before, but now we know for a fact that Cadillac is aiming its new performance sedan directly at the venerable BMW M3. How do we know this? Because one of our spy shooters caught a camouflaged ATS-V running with an M3 sedan.

The biggest giveaways that this car is the 2015 ATS-V are the massive quad exhaust tips, which we have a better look at this time around. Those tips will help the ATS-V's powerplant – which our shooter says will probably be the same 410-hp twin-turbocharged V-6 making its way into the 2014 XTS -- breathe. We have to wonder if Caddy will uprated the forced-induction six even further for the V-spec model, given that the outgoing BMW M3 extracts 414 hp from its naturally aspirated 4.0-liter V-8, and we wouldn’t expect BMW to deliver less power with the next-generation M3. We can't tell if one of GM's high-powered V-8s would fit in the engine bay of the ATS-V, but the 6.2-liter LT1 V-8 from the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray could help beat the M3 and 451-hp Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG with its 455-hp output.

These latest shots also give us a slightly better look at the revised front fascia for the ATS-V. Thanks to the tightly wrapped camo, we can make out a set of larger intakes under the headlights and a bigger grille. Although we can't tell for sure because of the cladding, it looks like there may, in fact, be a bit of a bulge in the hood to make room for something larger and more potent than the current range-topping 3.6-liter V-6. We can also see high-performance rubber wrapped around wheels that are hiding larger brake calipers and rotors than the standard ATS.

Expect to see the 2015 Cadillac ATS-V make its official appearance next January at the 2014 Detroit auto show.

The 3.6L twin-turbo V6 will have 420 HP and 430 ft-lbs of torque, and it seems like they won't use the LT1 V8 if they want it to compete directly with the new M3, and I doubt the new M3 will have more than 420 horses.
Dwight Looi
I am pretty sure the powerplant choice is a done deal at this stage of development -- we just don't know if they had selected the LT1 V8 or the LF3 Bi-turbo V6. There is no official statement to this regard and no reliable indication either way.Despite the preconceptions of many, the 6.2 liter LT1 Small Block V8 is the slightly LIGHTER and MORE COMPACT engine compared to the TT V6*. It has about 10% greater output compared to the 3.6 Bi-turbo in it's CTS tune. It has zero turbo lag. It has comparable fuel economy to the 3.6 Bi-turbo -- the LT1 will be better than 16 mpg (city) / 25 mpg (Hwy) in a 3800 lbs ATS-V, which is very hard for the 3.6 TT to beat. And, it is CHEAPER to build. There is also no market positioning overlap with the CTS-V despite some commentary to this regard by misinformed jouranlists since the LT1 is a normally aspirated small block V8 which is about 100 bhp less powerful than the current LSA engine used int he CTS-V.  In all technical aspects except perhaps the subjective notion of it's acoustic note, it is the better engine.
The LF3 on the other hand plays to the widely held -- if misguided -- pre-conception that a DOHC bi-turbo engine is somehow more advanced, more fuel efficient and/or more desirable by the sort of buyer demographics Cadillac is trying to attract. It will also sound very different and can be potentially faster reving (60 degree V6es do not rely on heavy crank counterweights as 90 deg V8s and are generally faster revving due to their lower displacement specific reciprocating and rotating inertials. At the cost of more pronounced turbo lag and reduced fuel efficiency (from a requisite reduction in compression ratio) the LF3 can also easily be bumped to 450~460 hp to equal the LT1. The cost of this power plant will be higher because of the addition of two turbos, an intercooler circuit and the more complex valve train. From an aftermarket standpoint, a Bi-turbo V6 will have more cheaply accessible additional power to be unlocked by 3rd party tuners simply from cranking up the boost -- although GM probably frowns upon this aspect of the engine rather than view it as a positive selection criteria.
* The LT1 is 211kg fully dressed vs 168 kg for the naturally aspirated 3.6 LFX V6. Each of those turbos are going to weigh around 12kg. The intercooler assembly and its pipings are easily 20~25 kg whether or not you use a big front mount air-to-air or a remote air-to-water design. Separate air boxes and intakes to feed the two turbos will add a minimum of about 2~3 kg. This gets you to about 214~220 kg. This is not counting any bottom end strengthening of the 3.6 block, crank and rods for turbocharged duty.
Van K
I thought it was a done deal that the3.6 turbo from the CTS V-sport was going in the ATS-V? I'd think the small block would be a better performance fit, but I doubt it's going to happen.
I don't know if it'll end up in there, but the ATS chassis most certainly can accommodate the fifth-generation smallblock. Remember, that chassis will be the foundation for the next Camaro, which will offer a V8 for sure. The smallblock is compact enough.

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