The Cadillac CTS-V has always been a slightly left-of-center choice for those after a big, fast car. With its square, edgy styling and supercharged V8 engine, it has provided an alternative to the more established BMW M5 and Mercedes E63 AMG. With its third generation CTS-V, Cadillac has combined a more sophisticated chassis with a supercharged V8, producing 640 hp (477 kW).
In its transformation from everyday luxury sedan to high-powered sportscar, Cadillac has given the CTS a supercharged, 6.2-liter V8 engine that produces 640 hp (477 kW) and 800 Nm (590 lb.ft) of torque. According to the American manufacturer, its latest sport sedan will hit 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 3.7 seconds – usurping the 575 hp (429 kW) BMW M5 Jahre Edition’s 3.9 second sprint. Claimed top speed is 200 mph (322 km/h).
There is more to the latest CTS-V than plenty of horsepower, however. The 6.2-liter powerplant employs a smaller supercharger than before, which is fitted with smaller rotors that spin faster than those on the outgoing car – allowing better low-rev response from the V8. To handle the heat and high cylinder pressures created by supercharging, Cadillac has also employed Rotocast A356T6 aluminum cylinder heads, which it claims handle the heat better than standard aluminum heads. Power is transmitted to the rear wheels via an eight-speed automatic gearbox, which can be manually controlled by wheel-mounted paddles.
To tackle the Germans, the CTS-V will need more than a big engine – it’ll need to handle, too. Cadillac’s big sports sedan is fitted with the latest version of the brand’s Magnetic Ride Control (MRC) system, which responds 40 percent faster than the system it replaces, and a multi-link MacPherson strut front suspension system that promises sharper responses and flatter cornering.
At the rear, the CTS-V’s five-link suspension has been designed to reduce squatting under acceleration, while also aiding a flat cornering stance. A limited-slip differential is also a part of the Cadillac’s package, as are Brembo brakes measuring 390 mm (15.3 inch) up front and 365 mm (14.3 inch) at the back.
Being a modern performance car, owners can configure the CTS-V’s setup depending on what kind of driving they want to do. Cadillac offers four options: Tour, Sport, Track and Snow, each of which set the car’s suspension and powertrain up to respond in a different way.
Hiding all of the performance is a body that is almost entirely unique from more standard CTS’. Up front, the car’s carbon fiber hood includes air-extracting vents to keep the big V8 cool, while a more aggressive bumper is also designed to feed plenty of air to the motor. A front splitter combines with the CTS-V’s rear spoiler to reduce high-speed lift, and wider fenders accommodate the car’s 19-inch wheels and Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires.
Inside, Cadillac’s changes are focused on adding a sporty focus to the CTS’ luxury interior. Recaro seats are an option, while the car’s suede-trimmed wheel and gearknob can be had in three different colors.
Cadillac has not yet announced when the CTS-V will be on sale, nor details about pricing.