Another year has passed, and as time goes on things in the auto industry are starting to get a little shaken up. Yes, we did have a pretty great 2015, with some amazing cars leaving a lasting impression. But as we look forward to the upcoming year, we can expect auto manufacturers to yet again step up and produce some cars that can get us really excited. These cars have been on our radar for quite some time as they’ve been teased and previewed, but now it’s time to buy.
While many auto journalists will tell you they’re just trying to scratch a living out of whatever they can, it’s an undisputed fact that the job has some definite perks. Although we can’t live the life of the rich and famous every day, we do occasionally get invited to drive the cars we cover. For a couple of beautiful days in October, Monticello Motor Club—one of the most exclusive and impressive automotive country clubs in America—opens its doors for the International Motor Press Association‘s (IMPA) Test Days, where schlubs like us get asked to drive some of the best new cars in the world on both a technical race track and the back roads of the Catskill Mountains.
We had just finished considering whether or not our current car would be held in such high regard if it came packaged with a different badge on the steering wheel. Would it elicit stares and draw myriad cell phones, all pointed in our direction, as it does now? Surely, plush carpeting and massaging seats are common enough nowadays to be found in a Kia K900 or a Hyundai Equus, let alone one of the more and more ubiquitous luxury brands. Was our car really so special?
Then we saw it. Driven by what very well may have been a chauffeur, a brand spanking new Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG pulled alongside us and, sure enough, compelled my co-driver to utter the following:
To the list of things that make me happy, I’d like to add:The sound of the new Mustang Shelby GT350 The Cadillac ATS-V
Yes, this is the first time a Cadillac has ever made it onto this exclusive list. Usually the mere mention of the word “Cadillac” causes me to shrug and think of all the ways I’d like to customize my Audi.
The ATS-V, though, has managed to awaken something in my soul and has become a car I simply must experience.