We have opined recently on Cadillac and its current, zombie-like state of resurrection. Like the current zombie craze, the American luxury brand is being praised for being edgy, new and different while still retaining parts of its former self. We can attest that the heart of the old Cadillac has sloughed away, leaving nothing but a desire to succeed in cannibalizing the competition.
Cadillac’s return to luxury dominance has been a long, hard fight; its parent company General Motors experienced bankruptcy, while the brand’s styling and performance languished when laid next to its foreign competitors.
Today, the automaker has set its own design language, further distancing itself from the badge-engineering days of yesteryear, and is now creating a slew of handsome luxury offerings that, even though Cadillac may still feel it, don’t look old. Think of it like Donald Trump if he dressed like Lil Wayne.
In order for the company to get its new self out there, it has to go on a world tour, courting new and old fans alike. To do this, Cadillac is taking its game to where it matters most in the automotive world—the racetrack.
Here bows the new Cadillac ATS-V.R Coupe—a 600-horsepowered, twin-turbocharged, 3.6-liter V-6 car born and bred in the depths of hell itself. The car will be homologated to FIA GT3 specifications, which will allow the ATS-V.R to run in almost 30 different GT series around the world, pitting it against luxury competitors like BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi, as well as Aston Martin, Bentley, Ferrari, Lamborghini, McLaren and Porsche.
If the V.R can put a few of these manufactures to shame, it will gain some considerable and much needed respect.
The engine is all new and aptly named the LF4.R. It includes larger twin BorgWarner turbochargers, an increased intercooler capacity, direct side-exit exhaust and competition engine management. The block and heads are of lightweight aluminum construction, which is counterbalanced by the rear transaxle, giving the car a 49-to-51 front-to-rear weight distribution.
Over the standard car you and I can buy at the dealership lot, the ATS-V.R is wide by, excuse the pun, a wide margin, the aerodynamic kit, carbon fiber front splitter, corner-mounted dive planes, full under tray and rear diffusers help keep the car planted to the ground.
GM and Cadillac have been far from coy on their desire to dethrone BMW, the luxury-car leader, testing its cars directly against those from the Bavarian company. Cadillac is so envious of BMW it even reshuffled its lineup to better compete with the brand, recently introducing the ATS sedan to go against the 3-Series and scaling up the CTS to go against the 5-Series.
Now, you are probably wondering why it matters if Cadillac is racing in a series us Americans are unlikely to ever see? That is valid, but we are not really a market the automaker needs to conquer. These 30 or so different racing series will get the brand, and hopefully winning marque, out to the world. To some, the "Win on Sunday, Sell on Monday” mentality holds true.
Do you think the ATS-V.R will give Cadillac the victory needs?