After driving it around for the first week, Amit handed the key of our long-terming Cadillac ATS-V over to me. I had an event to attend in Abu Dhabi, so I reckoned it was a good opportunity for me to stretch the Caddy’s legs a bit. I had gone barely a few kilometres down Shaikh Zayed Road when I saw a heavily camouflaged car some way ahead. Thanks to all the 457 horses at my disposal, it was just a matter of a few seconds before I caught up with the prototype. And to my pleasant surprise, it turned out to be the new Alfa Romeo Giulia, and I must say that even with all the disguise, the Italian beauty looks much better than in pictures. I would’ve taken a photo, if I weren’t driving.

It’s obviously here undergoing hot weather testing, which means the car is closer to being launched here than we think. As I drove past the Giulia, the driver and the passenger waved at me and seemed to appreciate the ATS-V’s good looks. I know it’s not just the looks, as although it’s probably being benchmarked against the Mercedes-AMG C 63 and the BMW M3, the ATS-V is also going to be a direct competitor to the Italian sports saloon when it hits regional showrooms.

Okay, I digress, but you know how Italian cars are my weakness. But coming back to the American beauty that currently graces our long-term garage, it’s one heck of a fun car. However, later in the week, the fun was somewhat disrupted by a faulty air conditioner, which suddenly refused to turn on. As you can imagine, a car without climate control, isn’t ideal in our current weather conditions. But then I can’t hold that against the car as a negative, as this is a pre-production version, and I’m sure such incidents will not happen in a production version. Anyway, the guys from Cadillac have taken the car away to get the AC fixed, so that we can continue bringing you more reports on the ATS-V in the coming weeks.

The progress

Week 1 The Cadillac ATS-V impresses with its outright performance and dynamics. Of particular note is the well-weighted steering, and the taut handling. But it isn’t the most practical of saloons what with one of the smallest boots in class.

Highs Certainly not lacking in power.

Lows Boot isn’t the biggest.