With abundant power and style, the 2016 Cadillac CTS-V should remain an impressive bargain among more expensive -- and less capable -- luxury performance sedans.
One of the most powerful engines you can buy; suspension upgrades to match the power under the hood; should remain relatively affordable next to its competitors.
No more manual transmission, not even as an option; still too big to feel truly nimble.
The Cadillac CTS-V is redesigned for 2016.
Any lingering doubt about Cadillac's revival can be put to rest with the 2016 Cadillac CTS-V. This high-performance edition of the redesigned CTS sedan is simply the best-dressed American muscle car you can buy. And while it doesn't have the same race-bred legacy as the German badges it competes with, the new CTS-V should match its rivals in luxury and creature comfort, while outgunning them all in sheer speed and power.
What Makes It Go?
A supercharged 6.2-liter V8 engine, upgraded with direct injection and a smaller, more efficient supercharger, delivers eye-popping performance of 640 horsepower and 630 pound-feet of torque. That's up 84 hp and 79 lb-ft of torque on the previous model's V8 and puts the new car well ahead of its primary competition.
Cadillac says the new CTS-V can rip from 0-60 mph in 3.7 seconds -- same as a Dodge Viper in our testing -- and reach a top speed of 201 mph. There's no standard six-speed manual transmission this time around, only an eight-speed automatic with paddle shifters.
How Will It Handle?
A stiffer body structure, fortified suspension components and Cadillac's adaptive dampers promise more precise handling and control to accompany the CTS-V's newfound power. Brembo brakes and bespoke Michelin high-performance tires will be tasked with stopping it and sticking it to the road.
Extensive use of aluminum and other weight-saving measures, like a standard carbon-fiber hood, shave about 100 pounds from the new car and make it among the lightest of the midsize luxury sport sedans. As before, the CTS-V probably won't be able to mask its 2-ton mass on a fast, curvy road, but the lighter weight and increased rigidity should quicken its reflexes when the road begins to wind.
What Trim Levels and Unique Features Will It Offer?
Like other V models, the 2016 Cadillac CTS-V will offer only one well-equipped model with a few options and three interior/trim color combinations. An optional Carbon Fiber package of exterior trim cuts weight and improves aerodynamics, and there are a choice of three colors for the Brembo brake calipers, a sunroof, and Recaro sport seats with adjustable bolsters.
Like the Corvette Stingray, the new CTS-V will also offer a Performance Data Recorder, an onboard video recorder that can record lap times on a track day and help establish bragging rights. It can also literally keep an eye on tempted valets.
A special low-level "curb-view" camera is included to help you avoid tearing off the very low front splitter, and there's also an automated parking feature that will steer the car into parallel and conventional parking spaces. Other neat tricks include a 12.3-inch customizable instrument panel and gauge display, WiFi hotspot capability, a wireless inductive charging pad for compatible mobile phones, forward collision alert, blind-spot monitoring, lane-keeping assist and rear cross-traffic alert.
How Much and When Is It Available?
Look for the 2016 Cadillac CTS-V to start arriving at dealers in the late summer or early fall. Cadillac won't announce pricing until closer to the on-sale date, but given the CTS-V's thorough overhaul, we expect a hearty increase from the previous-generation's $65,825 starting price.
Even with a price boost, the CTS-V should remain one of the best deals in the class. You'll pay much more for the BMW M5, the super sedan by which all others are judged. The M5 makes 560 hp and still offers a manual transmission, but is no longer the surgical tool it once was and focuses instead on ride quality and comfort.
The Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG is another formidable German rival with a history of serious performance. The interior is impeccable and its twin-turbo V8 makes 577 hp, but all-wheel-drive makes it less of the tire-burning hooligan it once was.
Check back for more information on the 2016 Cadillac CTS-V, including specs, driving impressions and buying advice as it becomes available.