Article by Rick Jensen. Images courtesy of GM News.
Since its 2004 birth, the Cadillac CTS-V has gone from a frustratingly incomplete car to one of the best performance vehicles in the world. And with the all-new 2016 model sporting the Corvette Z06’s stellar LT4 engine, Cadillac’s message to the world’s super sedans is clear: we’re coming for you.
The addition of Z06’s supercharged LT4 is thrilling, but not unexpected; GM’s excellent Powertrain Division is known for screwing together powerful mills, then spreading the love across multiple car lines. In CTS-V trim (the V is in italics, so you know it’s good), the LT4 makes 640 hp and 630 lb-ft of torque—only 10 horses and 20 feet-pounds less than the Z06.
Of course, there’s more mass compared to that Vette—600 pounds more to be exact. But despite a portly 4,150-pound curb weight, the V should run to 60 in 3.7 seconds, and through the quarter in mid-11s, thanks to hop-resistant halfshafts, launch control and Performance Algorithm Shifting in the eight-speed auto trans. For perspective, that's quicker than many times posted by twin-turbo V-8 cars with M and AMG in their names, and probably for tens of thousands of dollars less.
But face-melting acceleration alone does not a performance sedan make. The Cadillac team wanted a track-capable sports car and a commute-worthy luxury ride in one, and doubled down on the parts needed to accomplish this heady task. Third-gen Magnetic Ride Control shocks, an e-LSD rear, 15.3-/14.3-inch Brembo brakes and 19-inch wheels wearing Michelin Pilot Sport tires combine with a 25 percent stiffer structure, finely tuned front multi-link and rear five-link suspension, and ZF variable-ratio electric power steering. If previous Vs are any indication, this will be a confident, comfy cruiser, right up to when the go-pedal drops.
And if the sheer number of body braces doesn’t clue you in to its performance potential, the aero bits will. This V wears aero-optimized front and rear fascias, rocker moldings, a front splitter and a rear spoiler. The air-extractor hood is made of carbon fiber, and there’s a Carbon Fiber package that makes those bits even more aggressive and carbon fiber-y.
High-end tech tricks abound in the suede/microfiber/carbon fiber interior. But when drivers are done playing with the 4G LTE and wireless inductive phone charging, they can dial up driver-selectable performance modes, Performance Traction Management and the Performance Data Recorder—then shoot for the claimed 200-mph top speed!
The V-Series has always made American performance sedan lovers proud—and the 2016 V may just take the performance sedan world by storm.