Cadillac Ditches CTS-V.R for Next Season in Favor of All-New ATS-V.R

By Bradley Iger

November 29, 2014

Rumors had been circulating that Cadillac might have been putting the current CTS-V.R race car out to pasture after this season, and it turns out that the speculation had merit. In its place will be the ATS-V.R, and if you think that the change is only skin deep, we’ve got some news for you.
The ATS-V.R will be powered by a race version of the 3.6-liter twin turbocharged V6 found in the road-going ATS-V, dubbed the LF4 R. With bigger turbochargers, larger capacity intercoolers, and a comprehensive engine management software overhaul, the new motor is said to output 600 horsepower and 520 pound-feet in an unrestricted configuration. To route that power to the rear wheels, Cadillac’s drivers will be using paddle shifters for the first time and sending those inputs to a rear-mounted Xtrac six-speed sequential gearbox.

Dry weight of the ATS-V.R is pegged at 2900 pounds, or about 700 pounds lighter than the street car.

Much like the CTS-V.R it replaces, the ATS-V.R will feature extensive aerodynamic aids, including a prominent rear wing and large carbon fiber front splitter, while flared wheel arches add to the visual menace and accommodate the BBS wheels and race rubber.
Johnny O'Connell, Team Cadillac driver and winner of the Pirelli World Challenge Driver's Championship in 2014, 2013 and 2012 said of the ATS-V.R:
"The Cadillac ATS-V.R is a 170-mph billboard for the next generation of Cadillac's V-Series. On top of its power, its aerodynamic package should pay off in the fast corners and I'm looking forward to unleashing it."
While the ATS-V.R is confirmed to be running in the Pirelli World Challenge next season, plans for other series remain unclear. We do know that the ATS-V.R meets the FIA’s GT3 specifications, so it would not be a surprise to find the new car running several of the 30 or so different GT series its eligible for worldwide.
Check out the press release below for more details and specifications for the new car, and catch a few brief glimpses of the ATS-V.R in motion in the video below.

Cadillac Introduces All-New ATS-V.R Race Car

Up-to-600-horsepower race car meets international FIA GT3 specifications

AUSTIN, Texas – The next generation of Cadillac's V-Series elite, high-performance cars began today with the introduction of an all-new race car, the Cadillac ATS-V.R. Set to begin competition in 2015, Cadillac debuted the new race car at the Circuit of the Americas, one of country's pre-eminent racing venues.

The ATS-V.R is the racing extension of the upcoming 2016 Cadillac ATS-V Coupe, which channels more than a decade of V-Series engineering experience into the brand's first compact performance model. The ATS-V Coupe debuts next week, along with the ATS-V sedan, at the Los Angeles Auto Show and arrives track-capable from the factory next spring.

The new, up-to-600-horsepower ATS-V.R meets international FIA GT3 specifications, a highly coveted pedigree that allows it to potentially run in more than 30 different GT series around the world. Other marques in this ultra-competitive racing class include Aston Martin, Audi, Bentley, BMW, Ferrari, Lamborghini, McLaren and Porsche. The FIA is the governing body for worldwide motorsport, with the GT3 class representing a specific set of specifications for racing cars based on production models.

"The V-Series is the highest expression of Cadillac's rising product substance," said Johan de Nysschen, Cadillac president. "Elevating and expanding the V-Series is the next logical step in Cadillac's growth, including this new race car developed in GT3-specification, enabling us to pursue racing on a more global scale."

The heart of the ATS-V.R is the LF4.R, the racing version of the Twin Turbo 3.6L V-6 in the award-winning Cadillac CTS Vsport. Specific technical upgrades for the GT3-spec race car include larger, twin BorgWarner turbochargers; increased capacity intercoolers; competition engine management and a direct, side-exiting exhaust. The lightweight aluminum block and heads are counterbalanced by a rear transaxle unique to the race car, giving the ATS-V.R a weight distribution of 49 percent front, 51 percent rear.

"This car sounds wicked and screams like it's ripping holes in the air. I love it," said Andy Pilgrim, Cadillac Racing driver. "We have paddle gear 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."

Among the many modifications performed to meet FIA GT3 specifications, the fenders of the ATS-V.R were redesigned to contain FIA-mandated tire sizes. Other modifications include an aero kit that gives the ATS-V.R a strong stance, and a carbon fiber front splitter – complemented by corner-mounted dive planes – that provides frontal aerodynamics. A full under tray directs air beneath the car to the rear diffuser, which helps create a downforce-producing effect and plants the 18-inch racing tires to the track.

Since its inception in 2004, Cadillac Racing has amassed 26 wins, 91 podium finishes (including wins) and 22 pole positions with the CTS-V sedan and CTS-V Coupe race cars. Cadillac is a five-time winner of the Pirelli World Challenge Manufacturer Championship, including the series' past three seasons, as well as 2005 and 2007. Team Cadillac drivers won the Pirelli World Challenge Driver's Championship in 2005 with Pilgrim and in 2014, 2013 and 2012 with driver Johnny O'Connell.

"The Cadillac ATS-V.R is a 170-mph billboard for the next generation of Cadillac's V-Series," said O'Connell. "On top of its power, its aerodynamic package should pay off in the fast corners and I'm looking forward to unleashing it."

Cadillac has been a leading luxury auto brand since 1902. Today, Cadillac is growing globally, driven by an expanding product portfolio featuring dramatic design and technology. More information on Cadillac appears at Cadillac's media website with information, images and video can be found at
Cadillac ATS-V.R Specifications
Cadillac ATS-V.R
Reinforced eight-point welded roll cage; carbon fiber hood, deck-lid, front fenders, doors, rear fenders
LF4.R 3.6L, Twin-Turbo V-6 with production aluminum block and heads, up to 600 HP@7400 RPM torque 520 ft-lb (unrestricted), developed and built by GM Powertrain
Fuel supply
120 liter (31.7 gallons) fuel cell
Engine management
Bosch MS5.1, programmable
BorgWarner EFR Series twin-turbochargers, boost set to FIA specifications
Carbon fiber with integral high-capacity water-to-air-intercoolers
Side exit direct exhaust from turbos, no mufflers
Xtrac sequential six-speed rear-mounted transaxle; steering wheel-mounted paddle shift; no lift shift; limited slip differential with 3.13 final drive
Traction control
Electronic, driver adjustable
Brembo, six-pot front with 380mm rotor, four pot rear with 355mm rotor; Bosch ABS M4 controls with driver-adjustable modes
Three-way Penske adjustable shocks, front and rear independent SLA suspension
Reinforced production unibody with race-designed safety cage
Close-ratio foot pedal box, accelerator, brake, clutch pedals
ZF hydraulic power-assisted rack and pinion steering
BBS 12" x 18" aluminum front and 13" x 18" rears
Racing tires, front 315/680 x 18, rear 325/705 x 18, series spec
Aero kit
Carbon fiber five-piece aero kit including side skirts, front splitter, fascia and dive planes, rear diffuser and rear bumper cover
Dry weight (lb/kg)
2,900 /1,315
Other features
Motorola two-way radio; Pratt & Miller-developed side-impact-reducing crush box, carbon fiber custom-molded cool seat and competition driver air conditioning system; Willans six-point racing driver seat belts; dash display rearview cameras