The dust from the arrival of the BMW M3/M4 has barely settled and already a new contender has arrived--and from an unlikely stable at that. Cadillac, a brand known of late for its glitzy SUVs, has just debuted its CTS-V premium sports sedan. The CTS-V is the performance version of Cadillac’s midsize-car model.
Power comes from a 6.2-liter supercharged V8 that generates 640hp and 855Nm. That’s more horsepower and torque than the Mercedes-Benz AMG 5.5-liter V8 and BMW M 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8. Clearly, the Americans still believe there’s no replacement for displacement. This results in a sprint of zero to 100kph in 3.7 seconds, all the way to a top speed of 322kph.
Helping the CTS-V slice through the air are carbon-fiber parts like the hood, the vent, the front splitter, the rear spoiler and the rear diffuser. For stopping power, high-performance Brembos have been installed in this Cadillac. The brakes are also good for track-day capability straight from the factory.
Managing all that power is an eight-speed automatic gearbox programmed for rapid shift response times. Of course, manual control via steering paddles is also available.
Since the CTS-V is expected to be subjected to all sorts of g-forces, it has been strengthened through various structural reinforcements. These enhancements make this performance model 25% stiffer than the standard CTS. And while the V shares the same wheelbase as the base CTS, the former has a wider front and rear footprint for better grip. Speaking of grip, 19-inch forged aluminum wheels wrapped in Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires allow the CTS-V to corner at nearly 1g.
For days when the driver prefers to take it easy, driving modes can alter the Cadillac’s behavior. Four settings are available: Tour, Sport, Track and Snow. Also helping on-road behavior is Magnetic Ride Control, a system that ‘reads’ the road 1,000 times per second, and adjusts the magneto-rheological fuild-filled dampers to compensate.
Beyond performance, the CTS-V is equipped with convenience features that wouldn’t be out of place in a minivan. A front-curb camera provides a view of curbs to protect the front splitter. Other features: automatic parking assist to locate and steer into parallel or perpendicular parking spots; blind-spot alert; forward-collision alert; lane assist; and rear cross traffic alert.
Lastly, for those who want to remember their priceless fun-run or track-day moments, the Performance Data Recorder in the CTS-V allows drivers to record HD video with data overlays of their driving experiences.
The CTS-V will be launched next month at the North American International Auto Show.
Cadillacs are a rare sight on our roads, but if we ever see one in the near future, we hope it’s this very car.