2016 Cadillac ATS-V is first V-series model to have Twin Turbo engine

Article by Christian Andrei, on March 24, 2015

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.

Press Release

2016 Cadillac ATS-V Performs Under Pressure

The 2016 ATS-V features the first application of the Cadillac Twin Turbo engine in the V-Series, with unique features that expand its performance range and support track capability.

The more powerful iteration of the Twin Turbo 3.6L V-6 delivers an SAE-certified 464 horsepower (346 kW) and 445 lb-ft of torque (603 Nm), and is backed by a standard six-speed manual transmission – with Active Rev Match, no-lift shifting and launch control – or an available paddle-shift eight-speed automatic transmission.

With the eight-speed automatic, the ATS-V reaches 60 mph from a standstill in only 3.8 seconds and achieves a top speed of 189 mph (304 kph).

“The Cadillac Twin Turbo brings a new dimension of technologically advanced performance to the V-Series,” said Richard Bartlett, assistant chief engineer. “Delivering great power with world-class sophistication, it marks another large step forward in the product-driven expansion of Cadillac in the compact luxury segment.”

Unique to the ATS-V’s Twin Turbo are turbochargers with lightweight, low-inertia titanium-aluminide turbines, lightweight titanium connecting rods and an efficient, patented low-volume charge-air cooler, which contribute to optimal boost production and more immediate power delivery. With approximately 90 percent of the Twin Turbo’s peak torque available from 2,400 rpm to 6,000 rpm, the engine has broad torque curve that is conveyed in a feeling of responsive, sustained power at all rpm levels.

Additionally, a high-performance lubrication system is designed to maintain optimal oil pressure and ventilation during high-lateral driving maneuvers typically encountered on a track. Even the turbochargers are designed for track performance, with the compressors matched for peak efficiency at the engine’s peak power levels, which means they demand less heat rejection (intercooling) for higher sustained power during track driving.

“Track capability was one of the primary objectives for the Cadillac Twin Turbo in the ATS-V,” said Bartlett. “It expands the performance envelope of the ATS range, while advancing Cadillac’s legacy of delivering purposeful technology that inspires passion.”

  • Low-inertia turbochargers and vacuum-actuated wastegates
  • The twin, low-inertia turbochargers’ featherweight titanium-aluminide turbines are used with vacuum-actuated wastegate control for precise, responsive torque production. In fact, the titanium-aluminide turbines reduce rotating inertial load by 51 percent, compared to conventional Inconel turbine wheels. That means less exhaust energy – which spins the turbines – is wasted in stored inertial loads.

In practical terms, that means the relatively small size of the turbochargers and their lightweight turbines foster more immediate “spooling,” which virtually eliminates lag, for an immediate feeling of power delivery. They produce up to 18 pounds of boost (125 kPa).

A single, centrally located throttle body atop the engine controls the air charge from both turbochargers after the temperature is reduced in the intercooler. This efficient design also contributes to more immediate torque response, while reducing complexity by eliminating the need for a pair of throttle bodies.

Unique vacuum-actuated wastegates – one per turbocharger – are used with the Twin Turbo for better management of the engine’s boost pressure and subsequent torque response for smoother, more consistent performance. They are independently controlled on each engine bank to balance the compressors’ output to achieve more precise boost pressure response.

The wastegates also work in concert with vacuum-actuated recirculation valves to eliminate co-surge from the turbos – a condition that can result in dynamic flow reversal, such as the moment immediately after the throttle closes. This overall system integration contributes to the engine’s smoother, more consistent feeling of performance.

Patented low-volume charge-air cooling
The Cadillac Twin Turbo’s patented, manifold-integrated water-to-air charge cooling system also contributes to more immediate torque response, because the compressors blow through very short pipes up to the intercooler.

With no circuitous heat-exchanger tubing, there is essentially no lag with the response of the turbochargers. In fact, airflow routing volume is reduced by 60 percent when compared with a conventional design that features a remotely mounted heat exchanger.

“It is a very short path from the turbos to the throttle body,” said Bartlett. “The compressors draw their air directly from the inlet box and send their pressurized air through the intercooler basically immediately, for a tremendous feeling of power on demand.”

The charge-cooling heat exchangers lower the air charge temperature by more than 130 degrees F (74 C), packing the combustion chambers with cooler, denser air for greater power. Also, the air cooler system achieves more than 80 percent cooling efficiency with only about 1 psi (7 kPa) flow restriction at peak power, which contributes to fast torque production.

Strong foundation
Because the Cadillac Twin Turbo is based on the same architecture as the existing naturally aspirated 3.6L V-6, it benefits from many proven technologies including dual-overhead camshafts, variable valve timing and direct injection.

It also has unique features that strengthen the foundation to support the greater cylinder pressure that comes with turbocharging:

  • Cylinder block and cylinder head castings that are specific to Cadillac Twin Turbo variants
  • Lightweight, low-inertia titanium connecting rods are unique to the ATS-V’s engine and contribute to faster engine speed acceleration to match the quick spool time of the turbochargers, along with lowering the reciprocating loads on the rod and main bearings
  • Machined, domed aluminum pistons with top steel ring carrier for greater strength
  • An oil pan optimized for track performance
  • 10.2:1 compression ratio
  • Optimized direct injection fuel system for improved combustion efficiency and lower emissions
  • Tuned air inlet and outlet resonators, aluminum cam covers and other features that contribute to exceptional quietness and smoothness.
  • The cylinder block casting has cast-in provisions for turbocharger coolant and oil connections, as well as positive crankcase ventilation passages. It uses nodular iron main bearing caps for greater strength to manage the higher cylinder pressures that come with turbocharging. It also features re-targeted piston oil squirters for improved temperature control.

The unique cylinder heads feature a high-tumble intake port design that enhances the motion of the air charge for a more-efficient burn when it is mixed with the direct-injected fuel and ignited in the combustion chamber. The topology of the pistons, which feature centrally located dishes to direct the fuel spray from the injectors, is an integral design element of the chamber design, as the piston heads become part of the combustion chamber with direct injection.

“The high-tumble heads were developed with advanced modeling programs that helped us determine the optimal design in less time and with less trial and error,” said Bartlett. “Literally hundreds of simulations were performed to optimize the port flow, injector spray angle and pattern, and piston topology to produce a highly efficient yet powerful combustion chamber.”

Large, 38.3-mm intake valves and 30.6-mm sodium-filled exhaust valves enable the engine to process tremendous airflow. In some conditions, the continuously variable valve timing system enables overlap conditions – when the intake and exhaust valves in a combustion chamber are briefly open at the same time – to promote airflow scavenging that helps spool the turbochargers quicker for faster boost production.

Hardened AR20 valve seat material on the exhaust side is used for its temperature robustness, while the heads are sealed to the block with multilayer-steel gaskets designed for the pressure of the turbocharging system.

The heads also feature integral exhaust manifolds with upper and lower water jackets that provide uniform temperature distribution and optimal heat rejection.

Six-speed manual transmission with Active Rev Match
The standard TREMEC TR6060 six-speed manual transmission has a strong track record proven in the supercharged CTS-V series. It is updated for ATS-V with selectable technologies that enhance driver control to help produce optimized shifts that can lead to faster lap times:

  • Active Rev Match – anticipates the next gear selection and electronically ‘blips’ the throttle to match engine speed for a seamless gear change
  • No-lift shifting – Part of the Performance Traction Management system, it allows gear changes without the need for the driver to take his or her foot off the gas pedal, keeping the engine at full boost and maximum power
  • Launch control – Also part of the Performance Traction Management system, it enables maximum off-the-line acceleration.
  • The TR6060 transmission is used with a dual-mass flywheel and dual-disc clutch, which deliver greater shift quality and feel through lower inertia.

Paddle-shift eight-speed automatic transmission
The new Hydra-Matic 8L90 eight-speed paddle-shift automatic transmission is available in the ATS-V. Designed and built by GM, it delivers world-class shift times that rival the best dual-clutch designs.

For performance driving, the transmission offers full manual control via steering wheel paddles. A new transmission-control system and unique algorithms deliver shift performance that rivals the dual-clutch/semi-automatic transmissions found in many supercars – but with the smoothness and refinement that comes with a conventional automatic fitted with a torque converter.

The transmission controller analyzes and executes commands 160 times per second. Wide-open throttle upshifts are executed up to eight-hundredths of a second quicker than those of the dual-clutch transmission offered in the Porsche 911.

Smaller steps between gears, compared to GM’s six-speed automatic, keep the engine within the sweet spot of the rpm band, making the most of ATS-V’s turbocharged horsepower and torque to optimize performance on and off the track.

Additional performance-enhancing features include Performance Algorithm Shift and launch control via the Performance Traction Management system.

If you liked the article, share on:


Login or Create new account to add a comment!


Tesla is making sure that all models under production will receive the necessary advanced hardware that will allow them to be autonomously driven. The fitment of these advanced hardware to...
by - October 27, 2016
Wondering how fast the 2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 in actual driving? To provide customers a good idea on how fast the 2017 Camaro ZL1 could really get, Chevrolet recently had...
by - October 27, 2016
So, it is official! The new Honda Clarity FCV has the longest verified range of any zero-emissions vehicle currently on the road in the United States. One of the main...
by - October 27, 2016
Many have been anticipating Mercedes-Benz Vans’ newest luxury pickup truck, the X-Class. While Mercedes-Benz has yet to reveal the official production version of the X-Class, it was kind enough to...
by - October 27, 2016
We’ve seen quite a lot of intriguing stories in the age of Internet (where the most interesting part was revealed before the story unfolds). Some are from movies and novels...
by - October 26, 2016