Which Engine for the ATS-V? - 2013 Cadillac ATS Long-Term Road Test

2013 Cadillac ATS Long-Term Road Test

2013 Cadillac ATS: Which Engine for the ATS-V?

August 28, 2013

2013 Cadillac ATS

It's no secret that a hotter version of the Cadillac ATS is headed our way soon. We've seen prototypes lurking around Detroit for some time now and with the standard sedan firmly established in the marketplace it's getting time to generate a little new interest.

The big question now is which engine it will get. We've been told that the engine bay in the ATS can accommodate one of GM's latest V8s, but now that there's a twin-turbo V6 in GM's parts bin, which form of motivation would you prefer?

If it were my call, I would go with the twin-turbo V6 introduced in the XTS and CTS Vsport models. With well over 400 horsepower coming from its compact package, it would fit the mold of the ATS better than a larger, heavier V8.

One of the aspects of our ATS that I find particularly pleasing is its lightweight feel. It makes it feel more like a 3 Series than any other aspect of the car. A big V8 crammed in the front end would feel great in a straight line, but would likely dull some of its handling sharpness.

Ed Hellwig, Executive Editor @ 13,371 miles


  • zcalvert zcalvert Posts:

    you sure the TT V6 weighs less? you might want to back that up with some numbers.

  • jlh3 jlh3 Posts:

    As much as I would like to see a nice naturally aspirated V8 in the car, I think the boosted six is probably the better way to go. Which ever powertrain degrades the handling and balance the least is probably the best decision.

  • genereb genereb Posts:

    Why not both? Follow the Mercedes AMG model (or what they're doing with the new CTS) and release a Vsport with a TT V6 and a V with the V8.

  • bankerdanny bankerdanny Posts:

    Ed, you seem to be thinking this is still 1983 when GM V8's were made of iron and not 2013 when they are made of aluminum. The 5.3L LS based V8 in your GMC probably weighs less than the twin turbo, DOHC V6 you are thinking of. Personally a smaller displacement version of the new Corvette engine in the 340-350hp range should be just fine.

  • yellowbal yellowbal Posts:

    The torque of the twin turbo is nice, but the soundtrack and reliability of the V8 would be better for me.

  • fordson1 fordson1 Posts:

    The V6. The SBC is a great engine that they've done some great things with, but I think the future inroads into the sports/luxury space that BMW, Mercedes, etc. occupy demands a little more refinement. The TT version of the same V6 they're putting in now fills that bill, plus...it's just a version of the same engine they already have in there.

  • boff_ boff_ Posts:

    Destroked version of the LT-1 making around 400 hp would be my pick. I'd buy that car. Seriously.

  • evodad evodad Posts:

    I'd like the sound of the v-8 better, but the potential tunability of something already boosted is also quite enticing? Is anyone tuning the 2.0T ats to big numbers yet? I haven't yet searched.

  • stovt001_ stovt001_ Posts:

    Considering BMW and Audi ditched V8s in their hot small/midsize sedans for turbo 6s, I'd be shocked if Caddy didn't do the same.

  • They need the highest rated version of the twin turbo V-6 with a 6 speed manual transmission and the 8-speed auto option from day one. This is an all new car, and as such it needs to be at the tip of the spear to show what GM can do with new technologies, performance standards, and reliability. Not every performance car from GM has to start with a LS or LT V-8.

  • bassrockerx bassrockerx Posts:

    if its not the turbo 6 from the cts then i hope it is the v8 from the camaro. i know it is wishfull thinking but the LS engine in the original cts V is what put cadillac back on track to luxury performance.

  • bankerdanny bankerdanny Posts:

    @itbeatswalkin, but the very fact that BMW and Audi are shifting to turbocharged/supercharged 6's is a reason GM should stick to the good "old fashioned" pushrod V8. It distinguishes them from their competition. Despite the occasional pot shot t

  • insideliner insideliner Posts:

    A TT-V6 make sense, especially in light of the competition. Now, LS7 would make for a face punching hardcore, "black series-like" edition of the ATS-V.

  • guapodcole guapodcole Posts:

    My hope is that the TTV6 is for Cadillac's newly added Vsport line. Rate it at 400-425 HP, leaving plenty of room for the ATS V at around 470-480 HP from the LS7. That's what I'd like, but the most likely situation is that the TTV6 will be the V making 450 HP or so...

  • duck87 duck87 Posts:

    I don't know why GM would follow the competitor's lead by going to the twin-turbo 6. The ATS is sold in the US, where we aren't taxed by displacement. The V8 is simpler, offers OK real world fuel economy, it's likely more refined, it offers a broad torque curve and power, and most importantly it's a great distinguishing feature (Luxury done "American"). The Americans are about one generation behind on their turbo-tech so I wouldn't bet on them being better than the Germans in this regard, so why not go with something they are exceptional at?

  • @ bankerdanny I think you have kinda made my point. I have NO issue with the "old fashioned" pushrod V-8's at all. Every other desireable high performance GM car (Camaro, Corvette, and CTS-V) have already proven the capabilities of the pushrod V

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