THE CADILLAC ATS-V has arrived in Australia – but it’s not what you think.
This lightly camouflaged left-drive prototype was spied on Melbourne’s Toorak Road last weekend and with its bonnet bulging and menacing quad tailpipes looked oh-so-right on Aussie soil.
This particular car could be even faster than the current American-spec ATS-V, too, given it’s undergoing development work and could be boasting who-knows-what under the skin. The current-spec ATS-V does 0-97km/h in 3.8sec with launch control and costs AUD$80K in the USA.
But sadly it’s not confirmation the 3.6-litre twin-turbo V6, rear-drive rocket is on its way Down Under, a Holden spokesperson telling MOTOR “there is no plan” to bring the Cadillac brand to Oz.
Instead this rogue 346kW super sedan was sent across the Pacific to have its powertrain calibration honed by none other than Holden’s own engineers.
It’s these kind of cars from far-flung corners of the GM world that will keep Aussie engineers busy when the Australian-made Commodore is discontinued towards the end of next year, Holden spokesperson Sean Poppitt told MOTOR.
“It’s here for ongoing global powertrain calibration work”, he said. “We’re going to be retaining that powertrain calibration engineering department and that’s the exactly the work we’re going to be doing – ongoing global work.”
Poppitt said “dozens” of engineering mules are getting around Oz at any given moment, most likely to be spotted down near Holden’s Lang Lang Proving Ground.
Although it’s bad news for punters hoping to get their hands on the high horsepower muscle car when the job is done, engineering mules like this one are sadly destined for the crusher by law. But expect to see prototypes like this this running around Oz for many years to come.
The Cadillac ATS-V will kiss a 304km/h top speed and in the States comes with a six-speed manual as standard, or an eight-speed auto with magnesium paddle shifters.
It has an electronically-controlled limited slip diff, head-up display and magnetic ride control. There’s next to no chance of the ATS-V coming to Australia as sadly this generation was not engineered in right-hand drive. Here’s hoping the next one will be.