The Cadillac CTS-V is a truly great car, a stunning combination of muscle car power and sports car handling. However, since the arrival of the excellent new CTS – which stands for Catera Touring Sedan by the way, something that only three people in the world know – in 2014, Cadillac’s crown jewel has been in limbo. The CTS-V is based on the previous platform. So like an aging star athlete, it may still have the talent, but it is on its way out. A replacement may not be long in coming, though, and we want to tell you all about it.
What we know
A lot about this car remains up in the air, but we do know some important details. The current CTS-V shares its V8 with the old Corvette, which is a more exciting genetic connection, than its German rivals can boast. Thankfully, that tradition appears to be continuing.
According to a report from Autocar, the new CTS-V will be packing the same 6.2-liter LT4 V8 from the Corvette Z06 supercar … yeah that’s awesome. Sadly, ensuring the CTS-V doesn’t eclipse the range-topping ‘Vette, the power will be reduced from the blistering 635 horsepower of the Z06 to “just” 600 hp and 600 pound-feet of torque. Even so, that’s 25 hp and 100 torques more than a BMW M5 – and close to 50 more torques and ponies than a Mercedes E63 AMG.
Not only that, but based on the relative weights of the current CTS, a CTS-V is likely to weigh as much as 500 fewer pounds than its competitors. That’s a significant savings in a performance competition, where ounces and tenths of seconds matter. In fact, it will be our patriotic duty to get on the treadmill before we take the CTS-V up against the Germans, just so we don’t spoil all that weight saving.
The good news doesn’t stop there, though, because the CTS-V isn’t just borrowing a Corvette V8 it is also likely to get the awesome 8L90 eight-speed automatic. We can only hope that the ‘Vette’s seven-speed manual also shows up on the options list.
What we don’t know
Frankly there is a lot that is still unknown, despite the fact that the big Caddy is already in the prototype phase – but a few key things stand out.
While it is clear that the base model will be rear-wheel drive, ensuring lots of tail-out fun and trips to the tire shop, it is unclear if there will be an all-wheel drive option. The current gen CTS comes with optional all-wheel drive. With 600 Corvette-bred horses, it might be nice to have the option of some extra traction to bring them in line. This would also help it compete against the AWD offerings from Audi and Mercedes.
The other big question is whether the next generation CTS-V will be available in the same variety of bodystyles as the outgoing model. The CTS-V coupe is likely to fall by the wayside, replaced in the lineup by the upcoming ATS-V. More uncertain is the fate of the CTS-V Sportwagon. This was never a big seller. In fact cars were only built to order. It was a neat feather in the CTS-V’s cap, and the dream-car of wagon lovers like myself.
If forced to guess, I imagine the CTS-V Sportswagon does make a return, if only because Cadillac has already invested the money in creating a CTS wagon.
Why it matters
The Cadillac CTS-V deserves a lot of credit for the return of the Cadillac brand. When it first arrived on the scene a decade ago, it was nearly inconceivable that any American company could out do or even compete with the likes of BMW. The CTS-V stood out and helped rebuild the image of Cadillac as a sporty unique alternative to the Germans. Ten years later, the CTS might still lag in sales behind its German rivals, but it is every bit as good. And, thanks to the CTS-V, no one will feel compelled to ask why you bought a Cadillac.
Things are about to get better for Cadillac too. For the first ten years of its life, the CTS-V was burdened by having to simultaneously compete against both the BMW 3 Series and the 5 Series, as Cadillac couldn’t afford to develop vehicles for both segments. With the appearance of the ATS, the CTS can now do what it was always meant to do: take it to the M5.
While both the current-gen BMW 5 Series and the Mercedes E-Class will be a bit old themselves by the time the new CTS-V is released, an event expected to occur in the second half of next year, it should be able to blow them out of the water.
After all, who doesn’t want a chance to drive what will essentially be a four-door Corvette supercar?