Cadillac’s 2020 CT5-V and CT4-V performance sedans are tamer than expected

Cadillac’s V-Series performance sub-brand turns 15 this year, and to celebrate the firm is launching not one, but two new V-Series models. Cadillac unveiled the 2020 CT5-V and CT4-V in its hometown ahead of the Detroit Grand Prix, where its race cars will take to the track.

While the CT5 was revealed to the public at the 2019 New York Auto Show, this is the first time anyone outside of Cadillac has seen the smaller CT4 sedan. The CT4 and CT5 will serve as replacements for the current Cadillac ATS and CTS, respectively.

The CT5-V uses a 3.0-liter, twin-turbocharged V6 producing 355 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque. That’s 20 hp more than the base CT5, which gets a twin-turbo V6 as an optional extra, but torque is unchanged. Just like the base CT5, the CT5-V will be available only with a 10-speed automatic transmission, with standard rear-wheel drive or optional all-wheel drive.

The V-Series double reveal is our first look at the Cadillac CT4, which will take up the departing ATS sedan’s fight against the BMW 3 Series and other small luxury four-doors. On the outside, the CT4 looks like a shrunken CT5, and interior photos show the telltale light bar for Cadillac’s Super Cruise driver-assist system on the steering wheel. The CT4-V sports a 2.7-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder engine making 320 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. Like the CT5-V, it will only be offered with a 10-speed automatic transmission, but with the choice of rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive.

Compared to previous V-Series models, the CT5-V and CT4-V seem a bit weak sauce. The outgoing Cadillac CTS-V boasts a 6.2-liter, supercharged V8 making 640 hp, while the ATS-V has a 3.6-liter V6 twin-turbocharged to 464 hp. Despite their names, the CT5-V and CT4-V seem less like full-fledged V-Series models, and more like lower-level competitors to the BMW M Performance, Audi S, and Mercedes-AMG 53 and 43 series.

At the launch of the CT5-V and CT4-V, Cadillac did allude to more powerful V-Series models, according to Car and Driver. It’s possible that Cadillac could shoehorn the 4.2-liter twin-turbo “Blackwing” V8 from the CT6-V into the CT5. Given that the CT6 is not long for this world, it would make sense for Cadillac to try to find a new home for that engine, which is currently used only in the CT6. It’s also unclear how Cadillac’s new role as the spearhead of General Motors’ electric-car plans will affect the future of the V-Series.

Editors' Recommendations