’16 Cadillac CTS-V Takes Square Aim at German Rivals

The Cadillac CTS-V, which will arrive at U.S. dealers in late summer, makes a prodigious 640 hp and 630 lb.-ft. (855 Nm) of torque. It has a top speed of 200 mph.

James M. Amend, Senior Editor

December 22, 2014

4 Min Read
rsquo16 Cadillac CTSV most powerful product in brandrsquos 112 years
’16 Cadillac CTS-V most powerful product in brand’s 112 years.

DETROIT – General Motors releases ahead of next month’s 2015 North American International Auto Show details on the ’16 Cadillac CTS-V, a fourth variant for the recently redesigned sedan and the most powerful product in the brand’s 112 years.

“(The) V-Series represents the very best of the Cadillac brand, the pinnacle of our design and technical capabilities,” Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen says in a statement. “The new CTS-V is the most compelling example of Cadillac’s product substance and brand trajectory. The new CTS-V soars into the stratosphere of the most exhilarating luxury cars.”

The CTS-V has been expected since the third generation of the midsize sedan hit the market last year, and chief engineer Tony Roma says, “I don’t think anyone is going to be disappointed.”

Leveraging the same 6.2L LT4 supercharged small-block V-8 of the ’15 Chevrolet Corvette Z06, the CTS-V makes a prodigious 640 hp and 630 lb.-ft. (855 Nm) of torque.

“Incredible throttle response,” Roma says. “I love turbocharging, but there is nothing like a supercharger. This one is a benchmark.”

The car has a top speed of 200 mph (322 km/h) and a 0-60 mph (97 km/h) time of 3.7 seconds. The engine mates to an 8-speed automatic transmission with steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters. Launch control and GM’s Performance Algorithm Shifting technology ensures drivers can achieve the 0-60 numbers.

For the time being, the CTS-V can boast higher output figures than the Mercedes-Benz 5.5L biturbo V-8 and the BMW M-Series 4.4L TwinPower V-8, two brands Cadillac has been gunning for since it doubled down on its product renaissance several years ago.

The growing V-Series line of Cadillac cars, which will see production of the ATS-V compact sports sedan and coupe in a few months, is central to the brand’s comeback. It appeals to Cadillac’s most discerning and influential customers, who importantly share their enthusiasm with friends and neighbors.

“V-Series buyers are some of our most important customers,” Roma says during a sneak peek of the CTS-V here last week.

Also in its third generation, the latest CTS-V marks the most balanced of the variants since they were introduced in 2004.

“The CTS-V is two cars in one,” Roma says. “It is capable and confident to drive to work but, for the people so inclined, all you would expect in a modern performance car.”

That means it includes hardware such as Michelin Pilot Super Sport summer tires wrapping 19-in. wheels, a Brembo brake package, a standard electronic limited-slip rear differential and GM’s high-speed automatic suspension damping system that reads the roadway 1,000 times every second so the car performs as athletically as possible.

At 4,145 lbs. (1,880 kg), the CTS-V weighs nearly 200 lbs. (91 kg) more than the CTS-Vsport with its twin-turbo V-6, but is lighter than its V-8 competitors. In fact, each unit of horsepower must push just 6.5 lbs. (3 kg).

In addition to MRC, the Alpha-platform chassis receives a number of additional braces to withstand the car’s combination of engine power and tire grip. Structural stiffness improves 25% over the regular CTS. Driver selectable modes electronically calibrate the suspension for normal, sport and track conditions.

And for those buyers who will put the CTS-V on the track, the car includes a Performance Data Recorder for high-definition video with data overlays so they can share laps, or a favorite piece of roadway driving, over social media.

The exterior design of the CTS-V was on the table from the outset of development for the third-generation CTS, says Cadillac Design Manager Brian Smith.

“Every piece we have changed to make the CTS a V-Series is functional,” he says. “There is nothing decorative.”

But that doesn’t mean designers overlooked aesthetic items such as making sure the checkerboard pattern of the carbon-fiber front splitter and rear spoiler match up perfectly where pieces are joined. Greater flare to the fenders, roughly 0.9 in. (22 mm), improves aerodynamics but also punches up the car’s aggressive stance.

Inside, the CTS-V receives performance seating, including optional Recaro racing seats, carbon fiber trim pieces and sueded microfiber wraps on driver touch points such as the steering wheel and shift knob for improved grip. The semi-aniline leather seats also receive sueded microfiber inserts to keep the driver and passenger in place under performance conditions. The Recaro seats are trimmed in Mulan leather with sueded microfiber inserts.

“It all adds up to an absolutely thrilling driving experience,” Smith says.

Pricing and fuel economy ratings will be released closer to the launch of production.

The CTS-V will be shown to the public for the first time on Jan. 13 at the NAIAS in Detroit.

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