The Cadillac ATS-V is powered by the Cadillac Twin Turbo V-6 rated at an SAE-certified 464 horsepower (346 kW) and 445 lb-ft of torque (601 Nm). The combination of engine output and lightweight yet strong structure enables 0-60 performance in 3.8 seconds and a segment-best top speed of 189 mph.
The features for the Cadillac ATS-V version of the Cadillac Twin Turbo, which is the twin sibling to the racing power plant in the Cadillac ATS-V.R Coupe race car, are designed to create power faster and sustain it longer. Highlights include:
- Turbochargers with low-inertia titanium-aluminide turbines and vacuum-actuated wastegates for more responsive torque production
- Compressors matched for peak efficiency at peak power levels, for optimal track performance
- Patent-pending low-volume charge-cooling system that optimizes packaging efficiency and maximizes boost pressure
- Lightweight titanium connecting rods that reduce inertia of the rotating assembly, complementing the quick-spooling turbochargers
- A high-performance lubrication system designed to maintain optimal oil pressure and ventilation during high-lateral driving maneuvers typically encountered on a track.
The twin, low-inertia turbochargers’ featherweight titanium-aluminide turbines are used with vacuum-actuated wastegate control for precise, responsive torque production. In fact, the titanium-aluminide turbines reduce rotating inertial load by 51 percent, compared to conventional Inconel turbine wheels. That means less exhaust energy – which spins the turbines – is wasted in stored inertial loads.
In practical terms, that means the relatively small size of the turbochargers and their lightweight turbines foster more immediate “spooling,” which virtually eliminates lag, for an immediate feeling of power delivery. They produce up to 18 pounds of boost (125 kPa).
Unique vacuum-actuated wastegates – one per turbocharger – are used with the Cadillac Twin Turbo for better management of the engine’s boost pressure and subsequent torque response for smoother, more consistent performance. They are independently controlled on each engine bank to balance the compressors’ output to achieve more precise boost pressure response.
The Cadillac Twin Turbo’s patent-pending, manifold-integrated water-to-air charge cooling system also contributes to more immediate torque response, because the compressors blow through very short pipes up to the intercooler. With no circuitous heat-exchanger tubing, there is essentially no lag with the response of the turbochargers. In fact, airflow routing volume is reduced by 60 percent (less air to move) when compared with a conventional design that features a remotely mounted heat exchanger.
Additionally, unique cylinder heads feature a high-tumble intake port design that enhances the motion of the air charge for a more efficient burn when it is mixed with the direct-injected fuel and ignited in the combustion chamber. The topology of the pistons, which feature centrally located dishes to direct the fuel spray from the injectors, is an integral design element of the chamber design, as the piston heads become part of the combustion chamber with direct injection.
Large, 38.3-mm intake valves and 30.6-mm sodium-filled exhaust valves enable the engine to process tremendous airflow. In some conditions, the continuously variable valve timing system enables overlap conditions – when the intake and exhaust valves in a combustion chamber are briefly open at the same time – to promote airflow scavenging that helps spool the turbochargers quicker for faster boost production.
Hardened AR20 valve seat material on the exhaust side is used for its temperature robustness, while the heads are sealed to the block with multilayer-steel gaskets designed for the pressure of the turbocharging system.
The heads also feature integral exhaust manifolds with upper and lower water jackets that provide uniform temperature distribution and optimal heat rejection.
The engine is backed by a choice of six-speed manual – with Active Rev Match, no-lift shifting and Launch Control – or a paddle-shift eight-speed automatic transmission featuring Launch Control and Performance Algorithm Shifting.
The standard TREMEC TR6060 six-speed manual transmission has a strong track record proven in previous generations of the supercharged CTS-V series. It is updated for ATS-V with selectable technologies that enhance driver control to help produce optimized shifts that can lead to faster lap times:
- Active Rev Match – anticipates the next gear selection and electronically “blips” the throttle to match engine speed for a seamless gear change
- No-lift shifting – Part of the Performance Traction Management system, it allows gear changes without the need for the driver to take his or her foot off the gas pedal, keeping the engine at full boost and maximum power
- Launch control – Also part of the Performance Traction Management system, it enables maximum off-the-line acceleration
The six-speed manual transmission is used with a dual-mass flywheel and dual-disc clutch, which deliver greater shift quality and feel through lower inertia.
The paddle-shift eight-speed automatic, which offers full manual control via steering wheel paddles, is tuned for world-class shift-response times. Smaller steps between gears keep the engine within the sweet spot of the rpm band, making the most of the output of the twin-turbocharged engine for exhilarating performance and greater efficiency.
Performance Algorithm Shifting delivers shift performance that rivals the dual-clutch/semi-automatic transmissions found in many luxury performance sedans but with the smoothness and refinement that come with a conventional automatic fitted with a torque converter. During spirited driving, it also ensures that the proper gear is held in turns to improve speed through and out of the turn.