New Cadillac ATS-V.R race car revealed (VIDEO)

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Cadillac has taken the wraps off its new FIA GT3-spec challenger, the new ATS-V.R, this Friday at Circuit of the Americas in Austin.

This opens the car’s eligibility from a worldwide platform, as the replacement for the successful but legacy brand CTS-V.R that romped to three straight driver and manufacturer championships in the Pirelli World Challenge.

The ATS-V.R is the racing extension of the upcoming 2016 Cadillac ATS-V Coupe, which channels more than a decade of V-Series engineering experience into the brand’s first compact performance model. The ATS-V Coupe debuts next week, along with the ATS-V sedan, at the Los Angeles Auto Show and arrives track-capable from the factory next spring.

The new, up to 600 hp race car also features the LF4.R, the racing version of the Twin Turbo 3.6L V-6 in the award-winning Cadillac CTSVsport. Specific technical upgrades for the GT3-spec race car include larger, twin BorgWarner turbochargers; increased capacity intercoolers; competition engine management and a direct, side-exiting exhaust. The lightweight aluminum block and heads are counterbalanced by a rear transaxle unique to the race car, giving the ATS-V.R a weight distribution of 49 percent front, 51 percent rear.

“The V-Series is the highest expression of Cadillac’s rising product substance,” Johan de Nysschen, Cadillac president, said in a release. “Elevating and expanding the V-Series is the next logical step in Cadillac’s growth, including this new race car developed in GT3-specification, enabling us to pursue racing on a more global scale.”

Johnny O’Connell and Andy Pilgrim are set to return to Cadillac Racing’s World Challenge program in 2015.

Below is a build video of how the new ATS-V.R came to be.