The future range-topping performance version of the BMW 3-series-size ATS is set to be revealed at the Detroit motor show next January.
The ATS-V was spotted last week in back-to-back tests with an M3 on the roads near General Motors’ Detroit headquarters.
GM has long spoken of making the ATS a match for Europe’s best. Making the ATS-V the dynamic peer of an M3 would certainly give credibility to these claims.
Doing so could also boost the business case for equipping the standard ATS with a four-cylinder engine and right-hand drive, which would be needed for success in Europe and the UK. There are plans to do this, officials have previously said, but no dates have been revealed.
The ATS-V is likely to use an uprated version of the twin-turbo 3.6-litre V6 that produces 414bhp in the larger CTS. Other features of the ATS-V include quad exhausts, a muscular bodykit, uprated brakes, stiffer suspension and a limited-slip differential.