[Update: Our earlier spy shots turned out to be Photoshopped fakes. We've now updated our gallery with genuine ATS-V images. Please accept our apologies for the mix up.]
After months of rumors, our spy photographers have just sent us the first hard evidence that Cadillac is working on a hardcore ATS-V performance sedan to take on BMW's next-generation M3.
Spotted undergoing shakedown winter testing, this prototype has all the telltale signs of a Cadillac V-series product. Up front's you'll notice a more aggressive front fascia with larger air intakes and a deeper chin spoiler. The ATS-V also looks to be in line for a unique headlight treatment with LED accents.
The wheels on this prototype aren't the final design, but it is clear that the ATS-V will sport much wider tires than the standard ATS.
Out back the ATS-V sports quad-exhaust outlets, making a departure from the twin-outlets used on the CTS-V.
It remains unknown just what exhaust note will bellow out of those pipes as we haven't been able to get a peek under the ATS-V's hood. There is still an outside chance that the ATS-V will get V8 power, but the most likely scenario is a twin-turbocharged V6, displacing either 3.0L or 3.6L. Look for the ATS-V to boast between 350-400 horsepower.
The Cadillac ATS-V is expected to debut in late 2013 or early 2014 as a 2015 model.