Cadillac ATS-V, Mercedes-AMG C63S
The performance coupe/sedan battle between BMW, Cadillac, and Mercedes-Benz is closer than ever before. The ATS-V and C63S lapped within one second of each other, and both times were within one second of the BMW M4’s lap time in the 2014 contest.
Whereas the M3 has historically held the lap time advantage in this crowd, it’s clear from this result and others around the automotive world that the M3’s outright performance advantage is no more.
Cadillac ATS-V: 1:39.65
BMW M4: 1:39.69
Mercedes-Benz C63S AMG: 1:40.5
If we didn't know that all of the respective performance divisions would really like to bludgeon one another, we'd suggest collusion. No doubt the common Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires have something to do with it.
We hope that the parity drives each of the manufacturers to fight tooth and nail for a clear advantage in the years to come. Only more exceptional performance products will result from that.
The GT3’s little brother (sister?) packs a punch. As many other journalists have noted, Pobst found that the Cayman GT4 is held back by its exceptionally tall gearing. An intentional disadvantage assigned by Stuttgart? We’ll never know, but with optimal gearing it may very well be that the GT4 edges too close for comfort to the higher priced performance options from Porsche.
Nevertheless, the time of 1:37.43 is excellent. For reference, the GT4 is over two seconds quicker than the 997.1 Porsche GT3.
Merc’s hardened successor to the SLS AMG is clearly as capable on the track as it is grand touring, if not more so. The lap time of 1:35.57 puts it in pretty rarefied territory along with the likes of the Ferrari 458 Italia (1:36.22), Nissan GT-R Black Edition (1:36.2), and Lamborghini Aventador (1:35.4). It's just some tenths off the old SLS AMG Black Series (1:35.03), and is more than a second out ahead of track focused options like the 997.2 Porsche GT3RS (1:36.77) and Nissan GT-R Track Edition (1:36.63). To top it off, Pobst suggested that the AMG GT S may be the best handling car he's every driven. High praise indeed.
Thanks for crashing the supercar party, Merc. Might as well say congrats on the forthcoming Formula One driver’s and constructor’s championships too. Supercars, performance sedans, Formula One; not to mention, the best vehicle interiors in the industry. Merc is on a roll right now.
Fastest sedan ever tested in the Best Driver’s Car contest, and an undeniable engineering marvel. The worst we can say about the CTS-V is that it doesn’t particularly look at home on the track, but the lap time (1:38.52) doesn’t lie. If only the CTS-V could have passed some of that magic to the Z06…
After such a strong showing at the 2015 Car and Driver Lightning Lap, it’s disheartening to see the Corvette Z06 once again under delivering on its potential due to mechanical gremlins. The Pobst experience mirrors what more than a few Z06 owners have experienced at the track. We witnessed the Z06 loss of power issue firsthand on a hot day at Sebring.
Here’s to GM getting this issue and others figured once and for all. If it’s happening on a vehicle primed and prepped for the Best Driver’s Car, then that speaks to serious underlying mechanical liabilities. No doubt some of the Z06 owners will feel vindicated having this issue brought into clear focus on an objective and public scale.
Also falling into the “worst” category is the GT3-R. The big Bentley proved once again that you can only put so much lipstick on a pig.
The time of 1:43.51 is well off the pace of other big boned participants like the CTS-V. The garish decals and rear spoiler falsely portray a level of road course performance that clearly just isn’t there. The missing rear seat, stiffer springs, and other track-focused alterations means it lacks typical Bentley grand touring competence too. And for $341,025... We know that they had to do something like it for their GT3 racing purposes, but what a mixed up mess of a car. Performance SUV haters have a new punching bag.
Nothing much to see here, but we were hoping the RC F might pull a rabbit out of the hat and put down a good time. Its 1:43.2 is well off the pace of peers though.
The lap time demonstrates once again that the RC F possesses very little, if any performance advantage over the old gen one IS F. Hard to figure what Lexus has done with the RC F, but at least it beat the Bentley...