Cadillac To Build ATS-Based GT3 Race Car
The Pirelli World Challenge (PWC) has become increasingly difficult for Cadillac and its CTS-V.R race car, which now faces competition from lighter and more powerful GT3-spec machines. Mercedes AMG, McLaren, Lamborghini and Porsche have all joined the PWC series in 2014, preventing the CTS Coupe-based racer from winning more than three events in 2014. Cadillac is in dire need of brand-new vehicle and word has it the manufacturer is already testing a brand-new chassis for 2015.
According to Racer, the next-generation Pirelli World Challenge car was seen lapping the Gingerman road course in Michigan in late-August 2014. While there’s no actual footage or photos of the vehicle, the source claims the new chassis will drop the CTS-V Coupe body in favor of an ATS-V Coupe-based shell. A new body could also mean a new engine, as Cadillac is expected to drop a twin-turbo V-6 in the yet unconfirmed ATS-V.R. The current race car is motivated by a naturally aspirated, 6.2-liter V-8.
As with its predecessor, the ATS-V-based track car is also developed by longtime Cadillac Racing partner Pratt & Miller engineering.
Click past the jump to read about the Cadillac ATS Coupe
Cadillac CTS-V in Racing
GM has developed a racing version of the CTS-V ever since the first-generation model was introduced in 2004. At first, Cadillac fielded track-prepped sedans in the SCCA World Challenge series, winning the manufacturer’s championship in 2005 and 2007. Unlike its forerunner, the second-generation CTS-V competed as a coupe. And it was equally successful, as the CTS-V.R won back-to-back Pirelli World Challenge titles in 2012 and 2013. Both wins were achieved with Johnny O’Connell behind the steering wheel.
Cadillac remained competitive in the first half of the 2014 season. However, updated race cars from Audi, Ferrari and Porsche, as well as new-comers Bentley prevented the Americans from winning more than three races in 14 events. Although O’Connell still leads the drivers’ championship with two more race to go, it’s unlikely he scores his third consecutive title. As for the manufacturers’ championship, Audi is already ahead and it looks like Cadillac will have to settle for second place.
Why It Matters
A new-generation race car couldn’t come at a better time. It’s somewhat amazing that the CTS-V.R can still hold its own against the Audi R8 Ultra, the Ferrari 458 GT3 and the Porsche 911 GT3 R, but next year’s championship is already lost if Cadillac doesn’t come up with an updated machine. Fortunately, Pratt & Miller are already working on it, and the fact that it will sport an ATS Coupe body means it will be even lighter. We have yet to see the ATS-V Coupe in production guise as of August 2014, but we’re just dying to see a two-door with beefed-up fenders and huge wing at the rear.
Created to go against the BMW 4 Series, the ATS Coupe is Cadillac’s smallest vehicle yet. The coupe borrowed most of its design features from the sedan version. At the same time it shares the exact same platform and engine lineup with the four-door, except for the entry-level, naturally aspirated, 2.5-liter, four-cylinder unit. Outside of the entry-level model, power is provided by a turbo, 2.0-liter four-banger rated at 272 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque, and a 3.6-liter V-6 with 321 ponies and 275 pound-feet on tap.
The coupe benefits from a nearly perfect 50/50 weight balance and low center of gravity, an updated steering system, optional driver-adjustable FE3 sports suspension, Magnetic Ride Control, and all-wheel-drive. Pricing starts from $38,990 including delivery.