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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
WSC: /gif muricah
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?
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: 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.
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: 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
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
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
- RELATEDAsk The Drive: Why is America Obsessed With the 1969 Camaro?The answer involves the FTC, Hot Wheels, and the future of car culture in this country.READ NOW
- RELATEDCamaro Beats Mustang: Here’s WhyThe Drive’s chief auto critic explains his controversial stance in the muscle-car wars.READ NOW
- RELATEDCadillac ATS-V: Checkmate for BMW’s ‘Bahn-burning M3?This Cadillac has 464 horsepower. It’s balanced and fun, and it looks pretty slick, too. Oh, did we mention it comes with a manual gearbox? Yeah. The ATS-V is here, and it’s about business.READ NOW
- RELATEDDrive Wire: Cadillac Has Announced New Engine for ATS and CTSREAD NOW
- RELATEDCamaro, Mustang and the New Golden Age of American Muscle CarsPerpetrators of unspeakable Malaise Era crimes come home to roost… and do burnouts.READ NOW