The best of both worlds.
Ten years ago, Cadillac debuted their entry into the high-performance luxury sedan game with the goals of toppling the mighty BMW M5, Audi S/RS 6, and AMG-variant of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class. Their first entry may not have taken down the big boys, but it laid the foundation for a high-performance luxury sedan that has some true American muscle under the hood. Fast forward ten years later and the 2016 Cadillac CTS-V sedan is looking to take the reigns as the pinnacle of luxury sports sedans with its 640 horsepower output and 200 mph top speed.
In Cadillac’s 112-year history, nothing this powerful has ever rolled off the factory line for mainstream sales. The third-generation, 2016 Cadillac CTS-V is the pinnacle of the V-Series and instantly adds quite a bit of competition to the segment.
“V-Series represents the very best of the Cadillac brand – the pinnacle of our design and technical capabilities,” said Johan de Nysschen, Cadillac president. “The new CTS-V is the most compelling example of Cadillac’s product substance and brand trajectory. The new CTS-V soars into the stratosphere of the most exhilarating luxury cars.”
The 4.4-liter, twin-turbocharged BMW TwinPower V-8, 5.5-liter Biturbo Mercedes-Benz V-8, and 4.0-liter TFSI V-8 from Audi better watch out because the all-new supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 from Cadillac trumps them with one hand.
The all-new 6.2-liter supercharged V-8 engine found in the 2016 Cadillac CTS-V is more powerful and efficient than its predecessor and utilizes a more compact 1.7-liter supercharger with smaller-diameter rotors. This allows for a higher maximum RPM and more boost to be generated earlier in the power band. A revised, direct discharge port reduces heat and speeding airflow into the engine with less turbulence than before while Rotocase A356T6 aluminum cylinder heads and lightweight titanium intake valves provide better strength and thermal capabilities. In total, 640 horsepower at 6,400 RPM and 630 lb-ft. of torque at 3,600 RPM is generated and comes with better efficiency thanks to direct fuel injection and cylinder deactivation.
All that power is somehow handled by a new 8L90 eight-speed automatic transmission that combines the best of both worlds. The smoothness of a traditional automatic and quick-shifting times of a dual-clutch are hallmarks of the new gearbox. Smaller steps between gears ensure that the meaty portion of the RPM band is always on tap as drivers shift through the steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters. Performance Algorithm shifting ensures quick and precise gear changes and helps the rear-wheel drive 2016 Cadillac CTS-V reach 60 mph from rest in just 3.7 seconds, and a top speed of 200 mph.
But the new 2016 Cadillac CTS-V is more than your traditional big-displacement, big-muscle American sports car; the chassis is tuned to slice and dice tracks. The entire structure is 25-percent stiffer over non-V series models thanks to a great deal of new braces and panels.
“With the stronger body structure – and more than a decade of V-Series production models and the CTS-V racing program experience – engineers tuned the CTS-V to deliver greater body motion control for a more agile feel, while maintaining excellent ride quality,” said David Leone, Cadillac executive chief engineer. “The result is class-leading capability on the highway or track, balanced with luxury and refinement.”
Although the 2016 Cadillac CTS-V shares the same wheelbase as the non-V model, it sports wider, more commanding front and rear tracks that boost grip and lateral acceleration. The third-generation Magnetic Ride Control system reads the road at a rate of a thousand times per second and adjusts the dampers accordingly. The 40-percent quicker response means that the system analyzes every inch of road while the CTS-V is traveling at speeds of 60 mph. The updated system also works with the new Performance Traction Management system and its four selectable modes; Tour, Sport, Track, and Snow, along with the standard electronic limited slip differential to ensure maximum traction.
Large-and-in-charge lightweight forged wheels fill in the massive front and rear fenders and are made using a low-mass forging process to cut weight and improve strength. The 9.5 x 19 front and 10.0 x 19 rear wheels are 45-percent stiffer than the previous-generation units and are wrapped in sticky 265-35 ZR19 front and 295/30 ZR19 rear Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires with a tri-compound tread. Behind those wheels sit massive Brembo brakes in a powerful six-piston caliper, 15.3-inch rotor setup on the front axle and four-piston, 14.3-inch setup at the rear. With these upgrades, the 2016 Cadillac CTS-V is capable of reaching nearly 1.0G of lateral acceleration.
Like its smaller ATS-V counterpart, the 2016 Cadillac CTS-V wears a unique skin front the front to the rear. A lightweight carbon fiber hood with air extracting vent sits proudly up front and reduces lift by removing hot air from the engine bay. A dynamic front fascia boasts larger grille openings and a revised mesh design to bring greater amounts of cool air into the engine bay while a new splitter helps generate downforce for better stability. Wider front and rear fenders are connected by aerodynamically-optimized side skirts. At the rear, a subtle, aerodynamic trunklid spoiler and redesigned fascia with quad exhaust tips lends to a more efficient and brawny figure.
Inside, Cadillac’s focus on driving performance doesn’t take away from the brand’s luxurious taste. Two 20-way seats covered in soft semi-aniline leather with suede microfiber inserts and backs come standard while bolstered RECARO performance seats are available as an option wearing Mulan leather with suede microfiber inserts and backs for those looking for maximum support. Premium decorative stitching and high-end materials are found throughout the cabin in three color combos: Jet Black, Jet Black with Light Platinum Accents, and Saffron with Jet Black accents. The centerpiece of the 2016 Cadillac CTS-V interior is a 12.3-inch instrument panel display with new graphics and gauge readouts paired up with a full-color heads up display. The CUE’s touchscreen also integrates the vehicle’s Performance Data Recorder and can share information and video across multiple social networks.
“With the performance the new CTS-V is capable of delivering, the interior needs to be as functional as the other vehicle systems,” said Smith. “All of the points – the steering wheel, seats, shifter and pedals – are designed to make performance driving experiences direct and intuitive.”
The new 2016 Cadillac CTS-V will be launched in the late summer of 2015 as a 2016 model. Official pricing and fuel economy figures have not been released.
2016 Cadillac CTS-V Specifications
Engine: 6.2L supercharged V-8
Displacement (cu in / cc): 376 / 6162
Bore & stroke (in / mm): 4.06 x 3.62 / 103.25 x 92
Block material: cast aluminum
Cylinder head material: cast aluminum
Valvetrain: overhead valve, two valves per cylinder
Fuel delivery: direct injection
Lubrication system: wet sump
Compression ratio: 10:1
Horsepower (hp / kW @ rpm): 640 / 477 @ 6400 (SAE certified)
Torque (lb-ft / Nm @ rpm): 630 / 855 @ 3600 (SAE certified)
Max. engine speed (rpm): 6600
Recommended fuel: premium required
GM-estimated fuel economy: TBD
Transmission: Hydra-Matic 8L90
Type: paddle-shift eight-speed, electronically controlled, automatic overdrive with torque converter clutch.
Chassis and Suspension:
Configuration: rear-wheel drive
Differential: electronic limited-slip
Front suspension: MacPherson-type with dual lower ball joints and direct-acting stabilizer bar; Magnetic Ride Control with monotube inverted struts.
Rear suspension: independent five-link with Magnetic Ride Control
Steering type: ZF rack-mounted electric, power-assisted and variable assist
Steering ratio: 15.5 (on center) to 11.2 (full lock)
Steering turns, lock to lock :2.37
Turn circle (ft / m): 40.3 / 12.3
Chassis control: four-channel StabiliTrak w/ brake assist and traction control; Performance Traction Management.
Wheels and Tires:
Wheel size and type: 19 x 9.5-inch front / 19 x 10-inch rear aluminum
Front Tires: 265/35ZR19 Michelin Pilot Super Sport
Rear tires: 295/30ZR19 Michelin Pilot Super Sport
Type: four-wheel disc; four-channel ABS/TCS w/ DRP; Brembo brakes with staggered six-piston calipers (front) and four-piston calipers (rear).
Front Rotors: 15.35 x 1.41 in. (390 x 36 mm) vented, with two-piece construction; Ferritic Nitro Carburized process for corrosion resistance.
Rear Rotors: 14.37 x 1.10 in. (365 x 28 mm) vented; Ferritic Nitro Carburized process for corrosion resistance.
Acceleration 0-60 mph: 3.7 seconds
Top Speed: 200 mph
2016 Cadillac CTS-V Gallery