Stage 1 ($850) is one of the easiest and biggest bang per buck upgrades you can do on (2016) Cadillac ATS 2.0t. (I also cover Stage 2 and “Beyond Stage 2” .)
You’ll also need a HPTuners OBD II Interface and a laptop which is required for the ZZP Remote Tune afterwards. ZZP will send you one for $275, refundable when they get it back from you.
My son thankfully did all the work and already happened to own the tuner interface he’s used on other projects.
ZZP claims Stage 1 may add up to 60HP (93 Octane). I dont know how many HP it added to mine but it certainly added some boost and felt much faster. We did the remote Tune through ZZP afterwards and simply guessing my gains are maybe anywhere from 30 to 60 HP, its impossible to say without a dyno.
While this is an “easy bolt on” it really helps to have a lift otherwise it’ll be a bit tight getting at the downpipe flanges, especially since the new O2 sensor connection butts against the floor pan.
Bottom line: ZZP definitely designs the highest quality parts you can get for the “LTG” Cadillac. You may need to clearance your floor pan from underneath (dent it with a socket extension or air hammer to make room) for the O2 sensor. I dont have a picture of it, unfortunately.
Views of the new cold air intake installed.
Old and New Downpipe comparisons.
Fairly easy engine to work on
Adds some decent power on 93 octane
Gives a factory-like appearance under the hood
Can hear fun Turbo Flutter and Blow Off Valve noises through the intake filter when the car shifts.
Post-cat O2 sensor sticks almost straight up and will hit the floor pan unless you take an air-hammer or long extension and dent a small section of the floor pan. We recommend ZZP move it over maybe 20 degrees to fix the issue in the future. (There’s room between the pipe and engine to accommodate moving it.)
A bit tricky to plug in the MAF under the steel CAI cover (cord was pretty short from the factory, not much room to get my hands in there.) The MAF cover was pinching the wrist attempting to plug it in. Maybe it’s just me, but a MAF extension would definitely make this less tricky, especially if you’re removing the air filter for regular cleanings. The ZZP logo is a nice touch, just hard to get in there.
Cold starts: there’s a loud air gushing sound for maybe 20 secs~ sounds like a giant vacuum leak where the air filter is at. I imagine it’s normal and just noise generated by the turbo that is hidden by the factory airbox.
There’s a seemingly large communication problem between customer service and tuning dept. I’ve had this issue before where people aren’t reading the full emails written and answering ALL my questions. Mind you I never typically ask more than 3 questions per email, but since these are mods, it’s best to be as informed as possible by the experts that designed the kits.
On one occasion I had to give them a soft push (email) after a week for not receiving any replies to features they originally said they’d implement (disabling auto-start) and was berated by the Tuner for being impatient. He then said he can’t implement it. The tuner certainly liked to reply quickly when being combative, which was sort of a let down. Their products are top notch, but just need to tighten up their support.