"Titanium connecting rods," stated the press release. That, like an errant satchel strap catching on a door handle, caught my attention. "Low-inertia titanium-aluminide turbines for the turbochargers," it continued. "Heads also feature integral exhaust manifolds".
I was pouring over the documents by this point. Direct injection, short intake tracts, a manifold-integrated water-to-air charge cooling system and twin independently controlled vacuum-actuated wastegates. The specifications read like an engineer's dream.
This wasn't some exotic supercar, though. No, I was in a press conference, looking at the new Cadillac ATS-V Coupé. The engineering highlights kept on coming. Zero-compliance cross-axis ball joints for the front MacPherson front suspension. Heavy-duty Brembo brakes. Electronically controlled Magnetorheological dampers.
Wherever you looked, or wherever Chief Engineer Tony Roma later enthusiastically pointed, the depth of engineering was impressive. Putting even more people into a tailspin was the fact that this 189mph super-coupé was not your stereotypical V8-engined brute. No, the powerhouse under the Cadillac's bonnet was, in fact, a 3.6-litre twin-turbocharged V6. This was different.
It was a compact engine. Sleek. Perfectly laid out. Clearly, an awful lot of work and effort had been poured into it. Bill Lear popped into my head: "If it looks good, it will fly good." The figures certainly seemed to back that up. With the turbochargers pressurising the intake to 18psi, the V6 would crank out 464bhp and 445lb ft.
In conjunction with an eight-speed automatic and the standard-fit electronically controlled limited slip diff, the 1768kg rear-drive ATS-V could put enough of that power down to grant it a 0-62mph time of 3.9sec. That's 0.2sec faster than a BMW M4.
Out on the road, however, was where the M4-sized ATS-V really began to make its point. It was unquestionably fast. It sounded great. Its engine was lively and responsive. It even handled in a delightfully keen fashion, with precise, hefty steering, masses of front-end grip, a rigid structure and great body control.
Everything, in short, you wouldn't necessarily expect from a V6 Cadillac. Everything, in fact, you might expect from far more mature, established European performance offerings. For a change, what was lauded in the press kit was translating into real-world prowess.
The numb brakes and slightly hesitant transmission blunted the experience a little but, regardless of how you drove it - or what speed you drove it at - the ATS-V rewarded. Be it inquisitive, admiring glances from passers-by, a pair of thick black lines laid out of junctions, a twitch from the tail as you fed in more power; there was always something going on to involve, interest or excite.
Unlike an M4, it was also approachable and theatrical. It wanted to play, yet it would do so at a sensible and accessible pace, without feeling like it might stab you in the back at some point. A car you can just enjoy driving, at any speed, always gets my vote.
Sure, there were some classic foibles. Regardless of how open a mind you went got into the car with, the interior left a lot to be desired compared with its European rivals. It was comfortable, quiet and well equipped, as always, but detailed, styled and trimmed in a way that didn't befit the £60k asking price. Then there's the fact that we don't get the manual version here, nor, until the next generation, a right-hand drive version.
That was all promptly shunted to the back of my mind, however, as we rolled onto another stretch of unrestricted autobahn. It was clear ahead. Foot down. Sixty, eighty, ninety, one hundred. The V6's exhaust note sharpened and deepened. A van driver gave us a big thumbs-up as we flashed past. The needle of the tachometer continued to ascend. The issues suddenly seemed moot; this was undoubtedly a very competent car, which was a riot to drive.
For those achievements alone, Cadillac should be applauded. Those, as well as the looks, noise, charisma and engineering of the ATS-V make it an even more notable car, and my personal favourite of 2015. Here's to the next generation.