The next generation of Cadillac's V-Series elite, high-performance cars began today with the introduction of an all-new race car, the Cadillac ATS-V.R. Set to begin competition in 2015, Cadillac debuted the new race car at the Circuit of the Americas, one of country's pre-eminent racing venues.
The ATS-V.R is the racing extension of the upcoming 2016 Cadillac ATS-V Coupe, which channels more than a decade of V-Series engineering experience into the brand's first compact performance model. The ATS-V Coupe debuts next week, along with the ATS-V sedan, at the Los Angeles Auto Show and arrives track-capable from the factory next spring.
The new, up-to-600-horsepower ATS-V.R meets international FIA GT3 specifications, a highly coveted pedigree that allows it to potentially run in more than 30 different GT series around the world. Other marques in this ultra-competitive racing class include Aston Martin, Audi, Bentley, BMW, Ferrari, Lamborghini, McLaren and Porsche. The FIA is the governing body for worldwide motorsport, with the GT3 class representing a specific set of specifications for racing cars based on production models.
"The V-Series is the highest expression of Cadillac's rising product substance," said Johan de Nysschen, Cadillac president. "Elevating and expanding the V-Series is the next logical step in Cadillac's growth, including this new race car developed in GT3-specification, enabling us to pursue racing on a more global scale."
The heart of the ATS-V.R is the LF4.R, the racing version of the Twin Turbo 3.6L V-6 in the award-winning Cadillac CTS Vsport. Specific technical upgrades for the GT3-spec race car include larger, twin BorgWarner turbochargers; increased capacity intercoolers; competition engine management and a direct, side-exiting exhaust. The lightweight aluminum block and heads are counterbalanced by a rear transaxle unique to the race car, giving the ATS-V.R a weight distribution of 49 percent front, 51 percent rear.
"This car sounds wicked and screams like it's ripping holes in the air. I love it," said Andy Pilgrim, Cadillac Racing driver. "We have paddle gear shifters for the first time, and I'm enjoying the new tools. The engine torque is remarkable, as always, pulling strongly out of the corners."
Among the many modifications performed to meet FIA GT3 specifications, the fenders of the ATS-V.R were redesigned to contain FIA-mandated tire sizes. Other modifications include an aero kit that gives the ATS-V.R a strong stance, and a carbon fiber front splitter – complemented by corner-mounted dive planes – that provides frontal aerodynamics. A full under tray directs air beneath the car to the rear diffuser, which helps create a downforce-producing effect and plants the 18-inch racing tires to the track.
Since its inception in 2004, Cadillac Racing has amassed 26 wins, 91 podium finishes (including wins) and 22 pole positions with the CTS-V sedan and CTS-V Coupe race cars. Cadillac is a five-time winner of the Pirelli World Challenge Manufacturer Championship, including the series' past three seasons, as well as 2005 and 2007. Team Cadillac drivers won the Pirelli World Challenge Driver's Championship in 2005 with Pilgrim and in 2014, 2013 and 2012 with driver Johnny O'Connell.
"The Cadillac ATS-V.R is a 170-mph billboard for the next generation of Cadillac's V-Series," said O'Connell. "On top of its power, its aerodynamic package should pay off in the fast corners and I'm looking forward to unleashing it."