While the spectators at the Los Angeles Auto Show was crowding around the just-announced ATS-V Sedan and ATS-V Coupe last month, another interesting Cadillac was off to the side, garnering little attention in comparison: the ATS-V.R GT3 Coupe, which will make its track debut in Pirelli World Challenge competition in 2015.
Built by Pratt & Miller, the ATS-V.R’s main difference from previous-generation CTS-V.R racers is that the latter were built to World Challenge specs, while the new race car was built to conform to FIA GT3 regs.
“There’s a lot of work that goes into it,” Cadillac spokesman David Caldwell told Sportscar365. “It’s a rigorous process that the FIA has you go through. There’s a pretty well-defined performance criteria for the car, which actually helps you in a lot of ways if you know what your targets are. We’ve been doing our homework on that for quite a while.
Another notable difference from the CTS-V.R is the powerplant, as the ATS-V.R uses a LF4.R 3.6L twin-turbo V6 instead of a naturally aspirated V8.
“The turbo is definitely different but we were able to carry a lot of learning from the production side of it. It provided a good foundation. A lot of stuff had to be reconfigured but because we had such a good foundation engine to work with, it wasn’t too big of a challenge,” Caldwell added. “If we had to do a ground-up design without having the production engines and the learning the production teams had on those engines, then I think it would have been a much bigger challenge to the race team.”
Another interesting aspect of the ATS-V.R is that it shares the same engine as the street-going model. “The CTS-V street car and the CTS-V race car were primarily different,” Caldwell said. “One was supercharged and one wasn’t. We didn’t want to have that in the new car. That’s why we kicked off the twin-turbo program.”
The GT3 class demands more durability, unlike previous World Challenge racing efforts. Says Caldwell, “We have a major focus on being prepared for endurance races. That’s part of the GT3 spec. Obviously we want it to be a good sprint racer but it has to be a good endurance racer as well. A lot of the focus is on getting that durability that we need.”
At this point, the racer is currently awaiting FIA homologation, which is expected to come in February.