Showdown: Chevrolet Camaro SS vs Cadillac ATS-V

Will Sabel Courtney and Sean Evans face off over which 2016 Alpha platform sports car reigns supreme.

Camaro vs ATS V
Will Sabel Courtney/TheDrive.com

Recently, two staffers at The Drive—Will Sabel Courtney and Sean Evans—found themselves driving the 2016 Chevrolet Camaro SS and the 2016 Cadillac ATS-V on the same weekend. Both cars are based on General Motors' excellent Alpha platform. Both make roughly the same amount of power. Both came with six-speed manual gearboxes. And, oddly enough, both wore the same shade of blue paint.

So they met up. They drove both cars back-to-back on the same stretch of roads. They each came away with their own stubborn, pig-headed opinions. And they each brought those options back to the office, where they vented them at one another via the online messaging platform Slack.

The following is a transcript of that debate.

WSC: Okay, so.

WSC: You had the Camaro SS last weekend, and I had the ATS-V.

SE: New Slack. Who dis?

WSC: Bite me.

WSC: Anyhoo.

SE: Yes, I had the superior car.

SE: What about it?

WSC: Two seconds in and you've already started lying.

WSC: As my car was clearly better.

Will Sabel Courtney/TheDrive.com

WSC: The ATS-V is faster, first of all, as we clearly proved.

SE: The only thing we proved was that you had launch control and I did not.

[Ed. note: The 2016 Camaro SS does, in fact, have launch control.]

WSC: Well, that, and you don't know how to launch a car off the line.

SE: What's the 0-60 time Caddy reports for the ATS-V?

SE: /gif eyes narrow

WSC: Googling. Please hold.

WSC: Cadillac quotes 3.8 seconds.

SE: Ah. Okay, so your car is quicker, but only JUST. The 'Maro shuffles to 60 in 4.

SE: But you have two turbos.

SE: I had zero turbos.

WSC: But you have mad displacement.

WSC: 6.2 liters versus 3.6.

WSC: And like your mom said last night, there is no replacement for displacement.

SE: /gif dorothy mantooth

SE: Right. So you have a smaller, more powerful engine, and it's a slightly SLIGHTLY faster car

SE: but the Camaro is undoubtedly louder and scares the children and therefore is more fun.

WSC: It also handles better, because of that smaller engine.

SE: Disagree. I like how slippy the Camaro was.

WSC: Oh, the Camaro is definitely more fun to hoon around.

SE: Besides, that's the same LT from the Corvette.

SE: #heritage

WSC: /gif muricah

SE: Precisely.

SE: so you can keep your tiny engine, your alleged better handling and your marginally faster car

SE: particularly because it costs, what $30K more?

WSC: Ummm...

SE: Mine was $46K

SE: how expensive was yours?

WSC: I plead the Fifth on that one.

WSC: /gif i plead the fifth

WSC: Mine was $75K.

SE: Right.

SE: and what do you get for all that?

SE: two more pistons on your Brembo brakes?

WSC: BUT that was with a bunch of unnecessary accoutrements like the Carbon Fiber Package.

WSC: It starts at a hair over $60,000.

WSC: And that's with all the tasty performance treats.

SE: Still 14K over the Camaro

SE: and far quieter

WSC: The Caddy's interior alone is worth at least half of that $14K.

SE: I don't need alcantara

SE: I don't need any of that nonsense.

SE: I need power and noise.

SE: /gif roar

SE: dammit Gif.

WSC: /gif haha

WSC: The Camaro is a fun goofy car to play around in. But the Cadillac manages to be a better sports car AND a better car in general.

SE: It absolutely does not manage to be a better sports car.

SE: no one stares at it.

WSC: STARES DO NOT A SPORTS CAR MAKE

WSC: SPORTINESS IS WHAT MAKES A SPORTS CAR

SE: that's a hallmark of a sports car.

WSC: You're a hallmark of a sports car.

SE: /gif you're a towel

WSC: that is accurate.

SE: But getting back to the basics. We went to Bear Mountain, right?

SE: with all it's wonderful, twisty roads

SE: You led in the Caddy

SE: and couldn't pull away at all.

SE: The Camaro was right on your tail the whole time.

WSC: They're more or less evenly matched in terms of speed

WSC: But the ATS-V is better balanced.

Will Sabel Courtney/TheDrive.com

WSC: Your rear end was dancing all over the road as you went through those turns.

SE: Okay, which car do I want to track? The Caddy.

SE: Which car would I daily? The Camaro.

SE: I liked that the back end steps out a bit.

SE: that's why you buy a Camaro.

WSC: Okay, yeah, that is fun.

SE: that's why you want a muscle car.

SE: you want the loud and the horror show (and tire smoke)

WSC: But my biggest real beef with the Camaro?

WSC: You can't see out of the bastard.

WSC: I felt like I was driving a Civil War pillbox.

SE: /gif accurate

SE: They need to address that.

WSC: Those front corners could hide a black bear.

SE: Sure.

SE: and you could also have one chasing you and never know it because of the tiny rear window

WSC: "The 2016 Chevrolet Camaro: Not Great Against Bears"

SE: "The 2016 Cadillac ATS-V: Not That Much Better Than a Camaro"

SE: They're step brothers.

SE: on the Alpha platform.

WSC: /gif step brothers

SE: Okay so which is which, smart guy? On three...

SE: The Camaro is the Dragon

WSC: Dragon is the Camaro

WSC: Whoa. Great minds.

SE: I feel like the Camaro is the older brother who is proficient with a noogie and may give you a swirlie and burps a lot after guzzling soda.

SE: but he's strong, and funny and you always want him around.

WSC: And the ATS-V is the younger brother who had a lot to prove, so he cleaned up his act, hit the gym, and got a really good job.

SE: /gif nerd

WSC: I refuse to address any Supernatural gifs.

SE: That you know where that's from is even sadder

SE: So what's the conclusion

SE: I'm right? You're wrong? The Camaro is better?

WSC: Bottom line—they're both really, really good cars. The ATS-V is a bit better. But $15,000 better? Not sure.

SE: But it's not $15K. It's more than that. If you're saying base is around $62, base for me is still $41 and it's got all the goodies that you have to spend another $10K to add. Like heated and cooled seats, leather, etc.

WSC: Point still stands. The ATS-V is the superior car, in my mind. But the price difference is high enough that it's hard to compare them apples-to-apples.

SE: I will get a bag of apples, get in the Camaro, drift around your ATS-V and throw said apples at you.

WSC: But you won't be able to hit me, because you won't be able to see me.

WSC: Because of the aforementioned shitty sight lines.

SE: /gif i see you

WSC: And on that note...

SE: /gif bye felicia

SE: /gif camaro

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2016 Chevrolet Camaro 2SS
Price (as tested): 
$41,300 ($46,095)
Powertrain: 6.2 liter, 455 horsepower V-8; six-speed manual transmission; RWD
0-60 MPH: 4.0 seconds (automatic transmission)
MPG: 16 city, 25 highway

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2016 Cadillac ATS-V Sedan
Price (as tested):
 $60,465 ($75,900)
Powertrain: Twin-turbocharged 3.6 liter, 464 horsepower V-6; six-speed manual transmission; RWD
0-60 MPH: 3.8 seconds (automatic transmission)
MPG: 16 city, 25 highway