In many ways, the CTS-V represents the pinnacle of everything that makes Cadillac great. With dynamic styling, cutting-edge technology and almost unheard of performance, the Cadillac CTS-V redefined the more than 100-year-old brand when the CTS-V sedan launched in 2004. Later generations would include a two-door coupe and one of the wildest station wagons every built. Today’s CTS-V is a midsize sport sedan with a supercharged V8 that continues to lead Cadillac into the future.
2016 to Present: Cadillac CTS-V
The third-generation CTS-V sedan is powered by a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 engine and an eight-speed automatic transmission, which sends 640 horsepower and 630 pound-feet of torque to the rear wheels. This sports sedan is a purpose-built, track-ready vehicle that uses lightweight materials like carbon fiber and aluminum for optimum performance and efficiency. General Motors’ third-generation Magnetic Ride Control system works in concert with a racing-inspired suspension, Brembo high-performance brakes and 19-inch wheels to provide driving dynamics comparable to many high-end and exotic sports cars.
The interior is equally lavish, providing a luxurious and driver-centric experience. Whether you opt for the standard seats or the available Recaro sport seats, high-quality leather and supportive side bolsters carefully walk the line between performance and luxury, providing plenty of both in the process. Based on the Cadillac CTS luxury sedan, the CTS-V’s cabin is flooded with soft-touch, and mostly leather wrapped, surfaces and high quality accent trim. The current CTS-V features a 12.3-inch instrument panel cluster display and a full-color head-up display. Cadillac’s CUE infotainment system boasts advanced smartphone connectivity and OnStar 4G LTE with a powerful Wi-Fi hot spot.
The CTS-V’s high level of luxury and performance place the Cadillac in direct competition with some of Europe’s greatest sports sedans. Shoppers interested in the CTS-V will also want to take a look at the Audi S6, BMW M5, the Mercedes-AMG E63 S 4Matic, Maserati Ghibli and the Lexus GS F.
Earlier Cadillac CTS-V Models
The original Cadillac CTS-V was launched for the 2004 model year and revolutionized the brand, offering luxury and performance on par with some of the greatest sports sedans in the world. The original CTS-V was powered by a 400-horspower, 5.7-liter V8 and a six-speed manual transmission. In 2006, a slightly larger 6.0-liter V8 would replace the original power plant in order to provide a wider power band, though horsepower and torque ratings would remain the same.
Performance was incredible, especially for the era. Zero to 60 mph flew by in 4.6 seconds. For the price, very little could offer the luxury-to-performance ratio of the first-generation CTS-V sedan. The fact that the first-generation was only available with a manual transmission confirms the enthusiast-pleasing nature of Cadillac’s flagship.
The second-generation CTS-V was launched for the 2009 model year. Based on the engine found in the sixth-generation Chevrolet Corvette ZR1, the CTS-V’s supercharged 6.2-liter V8 produces 556 horsepower and 551 pound-feet of torque. The second-generation CTS-V is equipped with a standard six-speed manual transmission, while a six-speed automatic became available for the first time. Either combination will catapult the CTS-V from 0 to 60 mph in less than 4 seconds as you approach top speeds of up to 191 mph.
The dramatic styling of the second-gen CTS-V features a lightweight aluminum hood and 19-inch wheels. The hand-crafted interior boasts a high-level of comfort and convenience. As Cadillac’s performance flagship, the CTS-V’s standard features are typical of those found on any high-end luxury vehicle, including a great-sounding Bose audio system.
In 2010, Cadillac would announce that a CTS-V coupe and a CTS-V wagon would be added to the lineup for the 2011 model year. The second-generation CTS-V coupe and wagon share the sedan’s supercharged V8, Brembo brakes, and racing-inspired suspension with Magnetic Ride Control.