Following a flurry of sensible cars, normal service has finally resumed in this section with the arrival of the new Cadillac ATS-V. Yes, it’s the 457 horsepower, BMW M3-rivalling sports ‘sedan’ from ‘Murica and it’s ours for the next few weeks.
And yes, before you ask, it is really rather quick. Floor the loud pedal and the wheels will chrip at every set of lights, however, unlike other powerful Yank machines it doesn’t fish tail hysterically every time you do so. Heck it feels even more composed in a straight line than the BMW M3. Although I haven’t driven it enough yet to reach a conclusive verdict on its dynamics, the steering feels well weighted and the car is generally taut around corner, so a provisional well done Cadillac.
The cabin is decently trimmed and the sports seats are comfortable and supportive. However, the haptic touch system is hit and miss, but I need to spend more time with the car to see if it indeed just a matter of acclimatisation.
Starting at Dh265,000 it is currently your cheapest ticket into the sports saloon segment, with rivals BMW M3, Mercedes-AMG C 63 and the upcoming Alfa Romeo Giulia, respectively commanding Dh410,000, Dh325,000 and Dh300,000 approximately. However, it is more powerful than the 431bhp M3 but lags behind the 503bhp S version of the C 63 and the similarly powered Giulia.
However, the difference in quality of materials is noticeable compared to the Germans, though perhaps slightly better than the Italian.
Other first impressions? Fuel economy is actually reasonable at an average of 15 litres per 100km, with the best figure yet attained being 10 litres per 100km. There is plenty of room in the back, although the boot is tight at 295 litres; the M3 offers a relatively humungous 480 litres. The opening is quite narrow too, meaning getting large pieces of luggage is an impossibility. Ride quality is a bit on the jittery side, and both the M3 and the C 63 are much smoother in comparison.
Overall though, it is a pretty competent car, especially given the price tag. But is it really a true M3 beater? Performance wise it seems close, however the true genuis of Bavaria’s finest is its ability to do the every day grind with the same ease it decimates corners with.Can the ATS-V keep both sides of the sports saloon promise, too? That is something we hope to find out over the next few weeks.