Rumor Has It: Cadillac Working on LS7-powered ATS-V+
The new Cadillac ATS-V coupe and sedan appear to be the cat’s onesie. Their obsessively-refined chassis tuning and rambunctious 464 horsepower 3.6L twin-turbo V6 make them more than capable of taking the fight to the very best that BMW M, Mercedes-AMG and Audi quattro GmbH have to offer. And yet, there are some folks who are disappointed Cadillac engineers took the small forced-induction engine route rather than the big, because-‘Murica V8 path. Personally, we’re not bothered by it one way or the other, but apparently GM is taking this vocal minority’s grievances to heart, and they’re giving an old favorite a stay of execution to do so.
Motor Trend’s soothsayer-in-chief Mike Connor reports that Cadillac’s V-team is developing an extreme version of the ATS-V (tentatively titled the ATS-V+ or ATS-V Plus) powered by the mighty LS7, the 7.0L V8 that powered the C6 version of the Chevrolet Corvette Z06 and currently powers the Chevrolet Camaro Z/28. Word is GM would like to keep that handbuilt-brawler of an engine in production even after the current Z/28 rides off into the sunset, and we’re guessing it made more sense to keep putting it in a production car than merely relying on crate motor sales through the Chevrolet Performance catalog to pay the bills. Even if output is unchanged from what it is in the track-daddy Camaro (505 horsepower and 481 lb.-ft of torque), it would still represent a big jump over the standard version, and put it well within striking distance of the Mercedes-AMG C63 S’s 503 horsepower, 516 lb.-ft 4.0L twin-turbo V8. And for what it’s worth, the LS7 actually weighs a bit less than the regular ATS-V’s LF4, so the ATS-V+ should be even more balanced.
Like the regular-strength ATS-V, Connor surmises the upgraded version will utilize GM’s new HydraMatic 8-speed automatic transmission; however, he expects it to ditch the base car’s 6-speed manual for a 7-speed stick borrowed from the Corvette (and put in a different case, obviously). Furthermore, he says to look for the ATS-V+ to eventually get the company’s first production dual-clutch transmission once it’s ready to go. If you listen closely, you can hear the panicked, repeated shouts of “Scheiße!” emanating from the Fatherland…