We got to drive most of the lineup in a variety of tests and courses. I do wish there was more seat time, but it was a great way to spend two and a half hours! Also, they really aren’t kidding when they say Cadillacs can handle now!
My favorite bit had to be the auto-x course they had set up. We got to test the ATS coupe + sedan, as well as the CTS.
The first half of the course was your normal back and forth, slalom style turns. The second half had speed bumps, rubber “pot holes” and thick ropes on the ground in order to test the suspension. To be honest I was more concerned with the first half. I must say, the turn in on the ATS is superb! I whole heartedly did not expect a Cadillac to be so balanced, composed and easy to flick around. It immediately put a smile on my face. What I would have given to test it out up in the mountains only a few miles away!
We also go to test the acceleration and braking of an ATS-V. In this test you were accompanied by a racing driver, who instructed you to accelerate as hard as you could to a set of cones, and then do the inverse with the brakes. I didn’t get a chance to look at the spedo, but I know I got into third gear. Off the line it definitely doesn’t rip your face off. However, once you get a bit of momentum and the turbos spooled up, it pulls and pulls AND pulls... I’m sure you would have next to zero problems passing about anything on a two lane road. I wish they would have let us take the ATS-V on the auto-x, as I definitely prefer the handling of a car compared to raw power.
Other parts of the event included in-car safety demonstrations, a fairly impressive night vision demo, and public street test drives. Plus free snacks, yay!
I had done a similar event to with Motor Trend, testing mid-size sedans, in the past. If you ever have the opportunity to do any sort of invitiation/sign-up only event put on by a car company, I highly recommend you go for it! Of course it will never be what the auto journos get to do, but getting to drive the latest and greatest always makes for a great day.