The 2016 ATS-V model of Cadillac is the first in the V-series to have the Twin Turbo engine, giving it an expanded performance range and better support in terms of track capability. This is the most powerful version of the twin turbo 3.6-Liter V-6 engine that gives a SAE-certified 464 horsepower with a torque of 445 lb-ft. The engine is backed by the usual 6-speed manual transmission with the Active Rev Match coupled with the no-lift shifting and launch control.
Cadillac however gives the option of the paddle-shift and 8-speed automatic transmission which enables the ATS-V to reach a maximum speed of 189 mph and to go from 0 to 60 mph in 3.8 seconds. What makes the engine more unique is that the twin turbochargers are composed of low-inertia, lightweight titanium-aluminide turbines, connecting rods made up of lightweight titanium, and Cadillac’s patented low-volume and charge-air cooler.
All these combined contribute an optimal boost in the production of power and its immediate delivery. Around 90% of the engine’s maximum torque is available from a range of 2,400 to 6,000 rpm. This broad torque curve ensures that the engine is not only responsive but is able to sustain power at all the rpm levels.
In addition, the lubrication system of the ATS-V is designed to make sure that when high-lateral maneuvers are done, especially on the track, the oil pressure and ventilation is kept at optimum levels. The turbochargers are designed for better track performance as well, with the compressors reaching peak efficiency when the engine’s power levels peak. What this means is that there is less heat rejection enabling the ATS-V to have higher sustained power specifically when driving on the track.
Cadillac says that the main objective of putting the twin turbo in the ATS-V is for improved track capability. This not only increases the performance range of the ATS-V but advances the brand’s legacy of giving customers technology that can inspire passion. Going back to the turbochargers, due to the use of the featherweight turbines partnered with the vacuum-actuated wastegate control, the ATS-V has both responsive and precise torque production.
The turbines can in fact reduce by 51% the rotating inertial load compared to the usual turbine wheels. Thus, it reduces the exhaust energy that is wasted in stored inertial loads. In other words, the small size of the turbochargers combined with the lightweight turbines results in faster “spooling,” eliminating lag and giving the ATS-V almost instantaneous power delivery. The combination can make as much as 125 kPa of boost.
The engine also has a single and centrally located throttle body on top which controls the air charge coming from the two turbochargers especially after the temperature is lowered in the intercooler. This very efficient design reduces the complexity by removing the need for two throttle bodies contributing to faster torque response. Each turbocharger has vacuum-actuated wastegates to better manage the boost pressure from the engine and ensuing torque response to have better consistency in terms of performance.
All the wastegates are controlled independently from the engine bank in order to balance the output of the compressor achieving a rather more precise response on the pressure boost. The wastegates also work in tandem with what is called vacuum-actuated recirculation valves in order to remove co-surge from the turbochargers. If not eliminated, the co-surge can result in a dynamic flow reversal, like when the throttle closes. Due to the overall system integration, the ATS-V has an engine that is smoother and performs better.