What Is It?
2016 Cadillac CTS-V
What's New About This Model?
The 2016 CTS-V is an all-new, high-performance variant of the third-generation CTS midsize luxury sedan that went on sale last year as a 2014 model.
When Does It Go on Sale?
Expect a late-summer or early fall arrival at dealer showrooms for the 2016 CTS-V.
How Much Does It Cost?
Cadillac says pricing for the 2016 CTS-V will be detailed closer to the car's on-sale date. The base price for the previous-generation 2014 CTS-V sedan (there was no 2015 model) was $65,825, but considering the 2016 CTS-V's almost total overhaul, we're projecting a proportionate price boost.
What Kind of Engines and Transmissions Does It Have?
Monster performance comes to the 2016 CTS-V in the form of GM's LT4 6.2-liter supercharged V8, upgraded with direct injection and a smaller, lighter and yet more efficient Eaton supercharger. The remarkably compact supercharger was first used for the LT4 V8 that powers the 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06.
In the CTS-V, the LT4 thunders out 640 horsepower and 630 pound-feet of torque mdash; a whopping hike of 84 hp and 79 lb-ft of torque compared to the previous CTS-V sedan.
The only downside? Unlike the previous CTS-V, the 2016 won't offer a manual transmission. Instead, an eight-speed automatic is the only transmission. Thankfully, it sends all that power to the rear wheels. No all-wheel-drive requirement here.
With 640 horses galloping through the heavy-duty eight-speed, Cadillac says the 2016 CTS-V will go from zero to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds and continue on to a top speed of 201 mph. The performance makes the new CTS-V not only the fastest Cadillac ever, but also the most powerful model in the brand's 112 years of existence.
How Many Body Styles and Trim Levels Are There?
The 2016 Cadillac CTS-V comes only as a four-door sedan. The previous CTS-V also was available in coupe and wagon body styles, but it's unlikely those will return for this third-generation lineup.
There are no trim levels, as the 2016 CTS-V follows Cadillac's established V-model practice of one comprehensively equipped model with just a few options. although buyers can select from three interior/trim color combinations.
Significant items on the CTS-V options list include a Carbon Fiber package of exterior trim that cuts weight and improves aerodynamics (including reduction of high-speed lift), a choice of three colors for the Brembo brake calipers, a sunroof and Recaro sport seats with adjustable bolsters.
What Unique Features Does It Offer?
There's extensive use of carbon-fiber body pieces for the 2016 CTS-V, most notably the hood. Every body panel forward of the front doors is unique to the CTS-V, as is the revised rear fascia. In a special flourish, all the pieces that comprise the optional Carbon Fiber package are constructed with a special, extra-cost finishing step that runs the "grain" at a consistent 45-degree angle to the centerline of the car.
The CTS-V chassis is enhanced with special bracing and other features to increase structural stiffness by 25 percent, and there is a plethora of other tweaks to the CTS-V's chassis and suspension that help sharpen steering and increase roll stiffness by 20 percent. Thanks to the extensive use of aluminum and other weight-reduction strategies employed for the standard CTS, the 2016 CTS-V, at 4,145 pounds, weighs about 100 pounds less than the previous model. It's also nearly 250 pounds trimmer than the Audi S6 and BMW M5 and 131 pounds lighter than the Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG S.
Meanwhile, the 2016 CTS-V also will have a few neat electro-tricks up its sleeve. It will be the first Cadillac to be fitted with GM's Performance Data Recorder, an onboard video recorder that can document special experiences like racetrack runs or literally keep an eye on valets.
The CTS-V also will feature a special low-level "curb-view" camera to help you avoid banging the excruciatingly low front splitter. There's also an automatic parking function to locate and then steer the car into both parallel and conventional parking spaces, WiFi hotspot capability and wireless inductive charging for properly equipped mobile phones, a feature Cadillac recently introduced with its ATS coupe.
What Models Will It Compete Against?
Audi S6: The refined and sublime S6's 4.0-liter turbocharged V8 is starting to look distinctly outgunned by its super-sedan competition and the S6 still is no track-day choice, but with its standard Quattro all-wheel-drive system and discreet styling, the S6 is a formidable everyday driver's car.
BMW M5: This is the super sedan by which others are often judged, and with good reason. With a twin-turbo V8 and 560 hp, the M5 is well equipped to take on all competitors. It's also one of the few high-end sport sedans that still offers an optional manual transmission.
Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG: Another immensely powerful German rival with a long history of serious performance. With up to 577 hp from its twin-turbo V8, the E63 delivers the goods, although with standard all-wheel drive it's not the tire smoker it once was.
Should You Wait for It?
Although you can still find new versions of the 2014 CTS-V, the differences between it and this new third-generation model are night and day, so unless you prefer the prior CTS-V's styling mdash; or yearn for the previous CTS-V's available manual transmission mdash; by almost any metric, the all-new CTS-V makes the case for waiting for it to hit dealer showrooms in late summer or early fall.