Making Of: The Cadillac ATS-V.R

Project CARS Vehicle Lead Casey Ringley gets to grips with the Cadillac ATS-V.R.

The ATS-V.R replaced the Corvette-sounding V8 with a twin-turbo V6 as Cadillac responded to the arrival of GT3-spec’ cars in the Pirelli World Challenge. In 2014, the V8 Cadillac won the PWC championship, and this—a GT3 ready car—was the Cadillac they used to try and defend their title.

The ATS-V.R. is best described as a ‘neat’ race car. Official spec has the GM LF4.R engine—that includes racing upgrades like larger twin BorgWarner turbochargers, increased capacity intercoolers, competition engine management, and direct side-exiting exhaust engine—producing 600hp @ 7,400RPM with 520lb-ft @ 5,500RPM. This, however, makes a very vague statement as neither restrictor size nor boost pressure are specified.

So what we did was, we began by looking at the non-turbocharged road car plus 18psi boost (max for the ATS-V road car) and then added only light tuning to make it hit those targets. It was just a case of holding that max 18psi boost up to 7,000RPM rather than dropping boost as RPM rises in order to get a flat torque curve, as it appears they’ve done in the road car. A number of aftermarket tuners are doing ECU flashes with this same trick, and those instantly add 100-plus-hp. Pretty cool, though you hate to see the standard car held back so much.

Next we applied the boost pressure curve they must run in the Pirelli World Challenge Series and 2x40mm air restrictors to match. With that data, the ATS V.R fell nicely to 500hp with 445lb-ft torque and a super wide power-band from 5,700RPM right up to the limiter at 7,600RPM. This perfectly matched other cars in the class.

“It sounds wicked and screams like it’s ripping holes in the air. I love it,” Andy Pilgrim told Road & Track when the car was first unveiled. “We have paddle 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.”

Aero package is fairly typical of a GT3 car. Decent efficiency with mostly an increasing rear bias as you dial on more downforce. Top speeds come in around 170mph at Road America, which is right on target for the race there last year.

You can sorta-kinda think of it like a GT-R GT3 with better natural chassis balance since it was RWD from the outset. 1,315kg with weight distribution of 51 percent rear works really well for a car like this.

Good balance, and all the right elements around that.

Motion Ratios: 0.72 / 0.78

Damper Transition, front: 60mm/s

Damper Transition, rear: 60mm/s

Unsprung mass: 50 / 55kg

​​​Screenshots by Greg “kelnor34” Barbier

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