2016 Cadillac ATS-V Sedan

The super sedan battle looks to be heating up immensely. We already have the BMW M3/M4 and the Mercedes-AMG C 63 squaring up for a fight, and now the Americans have joined in on the action with the Cadillac ATS-V, a fire-breathing version of its new compact executive competitor.

Available in both sedan and coupé forms, the ATS-V looks brasher, more in-your-face than its Teutonic rivals, all pulled wheel arches, enormous scoops, vented carbon fibre bonnet and chrome mesh grilles

A Carbon Fibre package adds a more aggressive front splitter, composite side sill extensions and a taller rear spoiler. Also available is a Track package that includes all the items of the former pack but adds a Performance Data Recorder, a lightweight battery as well as the deletion of floor mats and the tyre repair kit.

The interior, on the other hand, is mostly unchanged from the regular ATS, save for optional heavily-bolstered 16-way power-adjustable Recaro front buckets, upholstered in Mulan leather with sueded microfibre on the inserts and seat backs, as well as new V-Series graphics on the 5.7-inch instrument cluster display.

Instead, it’s under the bonnet where you’ll find the biggest change. Strangely for an American high-performance car, there’s no V8 – taking its place is a 3.6 litre twin-turbocharged and direct-injected V6 developing 455 hp and a whopping 603 Nm of torque.

As such, the ATS-V sprints to 100 km/h in just 3.9 seconds, hitting a top speed of over 297 km/h. Putting the power to the 18-inch forged aluminium wheels – wrapped in bespoke Michelin Pilot Super Sport rubber – is a choice of either a six-speed manual – with Active Rev Match and no-lift shifting – or an eight-speed automatic with paddle shifters. Whichever you pick, launch control is standard.

2016 Cadillac ATS-V Coupe

Under the skin, additional bracing has resulted in a 25% stiffer body structure compared to the stock ATS. There’s also a wider track, stiffer springs, bushings and anti-roll bars, revised variable-ratio steering, larger propshafts, six-piston Brembo brakes, third-generation Magnetic Ride Control and a standard electronic limited-slip differential.

Production of the Cadillac ATS-V will begin in the spring, with sales set to begin soon after. So, choose a side for this battle – Bavarian brawn, Stuttgart sinew or Detroit muscle?