Preparing for World War 3

Shelby GT350

A few months ago we brought you a feature on the ways to get your BMW M5 fix without spending over $100,000.  It even had a cool, multilingual title, Sprechen Sie Hellcat.  We finally covered the Hellcat phenomenon, we couldn’t ignore 707 any longer.  Our goal at RFD isn’t to just let you know something cool is coming out, there are dozens of reputable sites (and hundreds of non-reputable ones) that can tell you that.  No, we try to tell you why you should care.  And care you should because there are new crop of wunderkinds coming out from the good ole US of A!

2016 Cadillac ATS-V Coupe
First up is the 2016 Cadillac ATS-V.  Every year some manufacturer says they are gunning for the M3.  Well now it’s technically gunning for the M3 and M4 since BMW added yet another model to der lineup.  But this, this may be a thing.  The ATS-V comes in 2 and 4 door, like it’s bigger brother the CTS-V which has already proven itself as viable super sedan/coupe.  How does 455 horsepower, a 0-60 time of 3.9 seconds, and a top speed of 185 MPH sound?  Sounds pretty badass to me.  Must be a V8 right?  Nope, it’s a twin-turbo V6 and that’s not the whole story.

2016 Cadillac ATS-V Sedan
No the story continues on the other bits you can’t see.  Not surprisingly, GM’s third generation Magnetic Ride Control system can be found keeping things on track.  It was created by Delphi and first saw duty the mean streets of Florida on the Cadillac Seville STS a dozen years ago.  Since then it’s been on 3 generations of Corvettes, pretty much every Cadillac, some Holdens, Audis and Acuras.  Oh and Ferraris, like some of the best recent Ferraris.  So it’s pretty solid.  It’s even on the Ford below, so you know it’s good.  There’s no way they would use GM tech unless it was damn good.

But back to the ATS-V, it sports a new “Performance Traction Management” system, 14.5″ disc brakes up front and 13.3″ in the back, Brembo calipers of course, and 18″-19″ wheels with Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires.  Badass indeed, these groceries aren’t going to get themselves.  Much like the pony car war we have seen in the states between the Camaro, Mustang, and Challenger, this will only improve the breed.  M3 and M4, you are on notice. Shots fired.

Shelby GT350
And speaking of pony cars, ever since Motortrend did a little comparison between the 2011 Mustang GT and the 2011 M3, people realized the Mustang was no joke.  Live axle and all, the $27,000 cheaper Ford with a base price exactly half that of the M3 matched or beat the BMW in just about every performance test.  I went out and bought one four years ago and it was marvelous.  So it’s probably time that we bow to popular demand and cover the latest uber Mustang, the Shelby GT350.

Shelby GT350

Powered by a unique, high-revving flat-plane crankshaft 5.2-liter V8 engine that will “produce more than 500 horsepower” according to Ford, but this is not the successor to the mighty GT500.  Think of this as Boss 302 version 2.0.  This is a track weapon in the same vein as the Camaro Z/28.  This may sound like deja-vu, since you just read some of these specs above, albeit the Caddy’s aren’t quite as good.  Ford calls the brakes on the GT350 the “most track-credible brake system ever offered on a Ford.” 15.5″ up front, 15″ in the back, Brembos all around, that sound about right.  19″ aluminum wheels, 10.5″ wide in the front, 11″ in the back wrapped in Michelin Pilot Super Sports.   Just like the Caddy.  Carroll would be proud.  Oh yeah, and like our long-term ST, it has Recaros.  All fast Fords have them.

Shelby GT350 interior
Pricing is not available on either car, but we would venture to bet $60K on the ATS-V and maybe $50K on the Mustang.  Screaming deals considering the tech and athletic abilities of both cars.  And obviously 350 < 500 so expect a GT500 from Ford with about 1100 HP.  Well, maybe not, but I would imagine there is a skunk works inside of Dearborn cooking up something special with around 800 horses.

So much like zie Hellcats that are making their way into dealerships as I type this the Big 3 have the Germans in their sights and are loading up some premium fuel to go after them.  It’s a great time to be an enthusiast, let us know in the comments if either of these new Americans do it for you, or if you’re still firmly in the //M camp.

/Follow on Twitter: @WilliamByrdUSA

Photos courtesy Cadillac and Ford


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