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This is the ATS-V, the hottest version of Cadillac’s smallest car. Unleashed at the LA motor show, it’s intent on dishing out an all-American stomping to BMW’s M3 and M4.

Courtesy of a bi-turbo 3.6-litre V6 - the first twin turbo in Caddy’s V-Series history, indeed - the rear-driver generates 455bhp and 445lb ft of torque. That’s a chunk north of the M3/M4’s 431bhp and 406lb ft, and good for a claimed 0-60mph time of 3.9 seconds, with a top speed ‘of more than 185mph’. No sissy 155mph limiter here.

Better still, it comes with the option of a six-speed manual gearbox - with rev-matching, launch control and something promisingly described as ‘no-lift shifting’, no less. For those lazy of left foot, there’s an eight-speed auto offered, but you don’t want that.

As you’ll have spotted, there’s plenty of angular new bodywork on show: a carbon fibre bonnet with a vent that helps reduce lift, a front splitter to improve downforce, and fat new arches wrapped around those broad 18-inch alloys.

Available in saloon and coupe flavours, the ATS-V gets GM’s ‘Magnetic Ride Control’ adaptive damping, a Brembo brake set-up that Caddy says will stand up to your track-day abuse, and bespoke Michelin Pilot Super Sport tyres. Sorry, ‘tires’.

The ATS’s not-so-shabby shell has been reinforced for the V-Series, with extra bracing throughout the structure. Cadillac says this provides 25 per cent greater structural stiffness than the non-V version. “The ATS-V feels like it was machined from billet steel,” says chief engineer Tony Roma, a man we want in our ‘punchy soundbites’ department. “The car is ready for the track right off the showroom floor.”

To whit, there’s a Performance Data Recorder that’ll log high-def video - with data overlays - of your most heroic laps/Armco interactions. You can even spec your ATS-V with a ‘Track Pack’, which adds a bunch of aerodynamic carbon fibre bodywork, deletes floor mats and tyre inflator kit in the name of weight saving, and replaces the standard battery with a lighter version.

All sounds rather juicy to us. Is this the super-saloon/coupe to follow in its Corvette cousin’s footsteps, and deliver a kicking to the Euro-crowd?

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