Can the Cadillac ATS-V put a dent in the M3?

BMW M3 | April 25th, 2015 by 9
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The Cadillac ATS-V will be fast, maybe even faster than the M3. There’s no doubt it will be a good performance car, but will it be better than the BMW M3?

In light of recent claims by Cadillac Boss, Johan De Nysschen, it seems as though many fans of German cars are upset with his comments. Understandably so, as De Nysschen called out the fans specifically, using the term “Germanmobile Fanboys”, which has a bit of an insulting ring to it. Now, personally, I don’t mind a bit of competitive bragging. That’s what makes competition fun. Would it be fun if every football player gave the opponent a pat on the back after being tackled? Probably not, you want to see them jaw at each other through their helmets.

However, I think De Nysschen might be regretting these statements if the ATS-V won’t deliver on its promises. The ATS-V will be fast, maybe even faster than the M3. There’s no doubt it will be a good performance car. But even if it is faster to 60 mph and can lap the Nurburgring one second faster, will it be nicer to drive? I have a feeling that answer will be no. Yet we won’t know for sure until we drive the car.

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I understand many people are excited about the ATS-V and with good reason. It’s a rear-wheel drive, has 464 hp and is available with a manual. That’s all good stuff. But just like the standard ATS, the final product could be a bit underwhelming. This may sound like typical BMW, err I’m sorry, Germanmobile Fanboyism, but the ATS isn’t all that great. Sure, every journalistic magazine will say that the ATS is a far superior product to the 3 Series, but I must objectively disagree.

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Before I started writing for BMWBLOG, I reviewed an ATS and was very excited to drive it beforehand. I couldn’t wait to drive the car that so many journalists deemed better than the iconic 3 Series. “If it can beat the 3, it must be awesome!” I thought. Well, the actual product left me wanting…a lot. I stepped out of the car feeling so disappointed, because the ATS felt decent at best. And I drove the 2.0t version with the performance pack, so this was no slouch version either. But even with its turbocharged engine, magnetic suspension and bigger brakes, the whole package was ‘meh’. It failed to excite in any way. It also felt very cheap and chintzy on the inside, with all of its shiny black plastics and glittery door trim.

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This is what has me thinking that the ATS-V might not be able to deliver on the De Nysschen’s promises. The product in which its based, while competent, failed to excite someone who was initially excited to drive it. I also had the chance to take a look at it in the flesh and take a seat in it at the NYIAS. I must admit, I yawned. On the exterior, it’s just all scoops and fins and diffusers. It’s a mess of a design. It looks like someone took the standard ATS, admittedly a good looking car, and stuck a bunch of Pep Boys aftermarket aero bits on it. The interior was equally as bland, being all black leather and alcantara. It still felt cheap as well, with no materials feeling premium enough to be fitted to a $60,000 car.

Now, obviously I do not know how the ATS-V will drive, how fast it will be or how well it will perform. Only time will tell, and I’m excited to see what the final product can do and how it will compete with the M3.

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