Cadillac Denies The LS7-Powered ATS-V+
It’s amazing how in a few hours a rumor can go from all but confirmed to completely denied. Well, this is exactly what happened with the LS7 V-8-powered ATS-V+, as it began as a report from an insider, but just hours later, Cadillac completely denied the model will ever exist.
The latest report is courtesy of Motor Authority, who spoke with Cadillac communication manager, David Caldwell, regarding this hotter version of the ATS-V. In the conversation, Caldwell made it very clear that there are no plans to put a larger, more powerful engine under the hood of the ATS-V.
He said, “The ATS-V we have today is supremely capable—so much so that it’s unlikely to receive a larger or different engine in the foreseeable future.” When asked specifically about the V-8 engine, he said, “Yes, we have another car coming that will take care of this beautifully, that being the CTS-V.”
Cadillac’s reasoning for this, according to Caldwell, is that the brand doesn’t want the ATS-V to just be a smaller version of the CTS-V. It wants them to have distinct differences, and the turbo V-6 in the ATS-V and supercharged V-8 in the CTS-V are large parts of these differences. Additionally, he said that the twin-turbo V-6 makes the smaller sibling more approachable than the CTS-V, opening the door for less-performance-driven owners.
So, while the ATS-V+ was a fun rumor while it lasted, we now have a pretty clear-cut answer on whether this model is real or just vaporware. From the sounds of it, it is a lot more of the latter.
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Why it matters
From the start, I was pretty skeptical of this report. Though the ATS-V+ with an LS7 sounded like an awesome rig, I felt that it may have encroached on the CTS-V’s territory. Sure, the power difference was there, but the performance of an ATS-V+ with an LS7 V-8 could surpass or get too close to the CTS-V, giving buyers too much to think about. One secret to selling cars is: fewer options means faster decisions, and offering two V-8-powered V-Series sedans without a large-enough performance gap I could result in buyers overthinking their purchase.
As a car lover, I want to see the ATS-V+, but I do understand that this is still a business.
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