Cadillac last night introduced the 2016 CTS-V, the most powerful product in the brand’s 112-year history and the newest entry in the elite class of the world’s highest-performing luxury cars.
Launching in late summer with 640 horsepower (477 kW), 630 lb-ft of torque (855 Nm) and a top speed of 200 mph, the new CTS-V reaches higher than its predecessors, leading Cadillac’s product-driven expansion and elevation. It is the third generation of the acclaimed luxury sports sedan that launched the elite V-Series a decade ago – and redefined Cadillac for a new generation of enthusiasts.
“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.”
Comprehensive updates make the new CTS-V essentially two cars in one: a luxury sedan with sophisticated road manners and a track-capable sports car straight from the factory. It also introduces a new supercharged 6.2L V-8 engine backed by Cadillac’s paddle-shift eight-speed automatic transmission, featuring launch control and Performance Algorithm Shifting.
With more horsepower and torque than the Mercedes-Benz 5.5L biturbo V-8 and the BMW M-series 4.4L TwinPower (twin-turbo) V-8, the new CTS-V is capable of 0-60 performance in 3.7 seconds.
Track-honed design, chassis and suspension elements complement the supercharged powertrain and elevate CTS-V’s capability, performance and driver control to new thresholds, while enabling track driving without modifications or special procedures. Key performance technologies include:
- Standard carbon fiber hood and available carbon fiber vent, front splitter, rear spoiler and rear diffuser for greater aerodynamic performance
- Brembo high-performance brake system developed to provide durability, consistency and the capability for track-day performance straight from the factory
- Third-generation Magnetic Ride Control delivering 40-percent faster damping response
- Integrated chassis controls that provide balanced performance for touring and the track, including competition-spec Performance Traction Management
- Structural stiffness increased by 25 percent for improved ride and superior handling
- Driver-selectable modes electronically calibrate performance variables for touring, sport and track driving conditions
- Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires with tri-compound technology offering excellent grip with extended wear
- An interior with performance-oriented, sueded microfiber accents and matte-finish carbon fiber trim and available RECARO high-performance seats for spirited driving
- Advanced safety and parking technologies, including a front curb-view camera system that provides a visual cue of curbs to protect the front splitter; automatic parking assist to find and steer into parallel or perpendicular parking spots; side blind zone alert, forward collision alert, lane keep assist and rear cross traffic alert.
Additionally, the Performance Data Recorder in the CTS-V allows drivers to record high-definition video, with data overlays, of their driving experiences on and off the track, enabling sharing on social media.
More powerful supercharged V-8 engine
The power behind the new CTS-V’s capability is an all-new, more powerful 6.2L supercharged V-8 engine that makes more power more efficiently than the previous Cadillac supercharged engine. It employs a more-efficient, more-compact 1.7L supercharger and matches it with direct injection and Active Fuel Management (cylinder deactivation).
The supercharger’s rotors are smaller in diameter than the previous supercharged engine, allowing higher maximum rpm that enables power-enhancing boost to be generated earlier in the rpm band. That boost is achieved more efficiently via a more direct discharge port that creates less turbulence, reducing heat and speeding airflow into the engine.
The Cadillac supercharged engine also has several unique features designed to support its high output and the greater cylinder pressures created by forced induction, including Rotocast A356T6 aluminum cylinder heads that are stronger and handle heat better than conventional aluminum heads, and lightweight titanium intake valves.
The CTS-V’s complementing eight-speed automatic is tuned for world-class shift-response times. Smaller steps between gears keep the engine within the sweet spot of the rpm band, making the most of the output of the supercharged engine for exhilarating performance and greater efficiency.
The new 8L90 transmission offers full manual control via steering wheel paddles, and Performance Algorithm Shifting to deliver shift performance that rivals the dual-clutch/semi-automatic transmissions found in many luxury performance sedans – but with the smoothness and refinement that come with a conventional automatic fitted with a torque converter.
Stronger structure enhances body motion control
The CTS’s structure is highly mass optimized and designed to meet higher performance requirements, with enhancements to the V-Series developed to respond to cornering and torque loads that significantly exceed the levels experienced by the non-V models.
Unique and revised elements include:
- Strut tower-to-tower brace
- Strut tower-to-plenum brace
- V-braces for the engine compartment
- Strengthened rocker bulkhead
- Stronger rear cradle-to-rocker braces
- A unique aluminum shear panel at the front of the chassis
- Upper tie bar-to-bumper braces.
The enhancements bolster structural stiffness by 25 percent over non-V models, for more precise handling and steering – and a more confident feel from a vehicle that conveys strength through exceptional solidity.
“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.”
Track-honed chassis and suspension
The CTS-V shares the same 114.6-inch (2,910 mm) wheelbase as the CTS non-V-Series models, but has wider front and rear footprints that enhance grip, reduce body motion and contribute to more direct-feeling steering.
Nineteen-inch wheels wrapped with specially developed Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires give the CTS-V its footprint and enable nearly 1g in lateral acceleration. The lightweight, forged aluminum wheels – measuring 9.5 inches wide in the front and 10 inches wide in the rear – are constructed of a low-mass forging that helps reduce un-sprung weight for greater agility and a more direct feel to steering inputs.
The wheels are 45-percent stiffer than previous CTS-V wheels, while the Michelin tires feature a tri-compound tread that delivers excellent grip in performance driving situations, while offering excellent ride quality characteristics and extended tread wear.
Additional contributors to the CTS-V’s responsive, connected and track-capable driving experience include:
- A revised multi-link double-pivot MacPherson-strut front suspension delivers a quicker response and increased lateral control, incorporating “hydro” bushings, where traditional elastomeric bushings are replaced with zero-compliance cross-axis ball joints, higher-rate springs and a stiffer stabilizer bar – for 20-percent greater roll stiffness
- The ZF Steering Systems Servotronic II variable-ratio electric power steering gear, with 14-percent greater system stiffness for an improved feeling of precision and greater driver feedback
- Cadillac’s five-link rear suspension features reduced roll center migration, stronger lateral control and effective anti-squat geometry, complementing the front suspension with greater body motion control. Contributing components include stiffer bushings, new cradle mounts, higher-rate springs and a stiffer stabilizer bar
- A standard electronic limited-slip differential supports optimal traction and enables maximum corner exit acceleration
- Larger prop shafts and greater half-shaft asymmetry (stiffer driver’s side shaft) mitigate power hop during acceleration
- A Brembo brake system provides durability, consistency and the capability for track-day performance. The system includes two-piece 15.3-inch-diameter (390 mm) front rotors with staggered six-piston calipers and 14.3-inch-diamter (365 mm) rear rotors with four-piston calipers.
Also, the CTS-V features third-generation Magnetic Ride Control and Performance Traction Management. Four driver-selectable settings – Tour, Sport, Track and Snow – electronically calibrate performance variables to optimize the car for driving conditions. Performance Traction Management is offered in Track mode and features five settings of torque reduction and brake intervention for track driving.
Magnetic Ride Control “reads” the road a thousand times per second, sending data to magneto-rheological fluid-filled dampers that can independently control the damping characteristics of all four dampers. Third-generation improvements enable 40-percent faster damping response. At 60 mph, the third-generation magnetic ride control system calculates the optimal damping force for every inch of the road.
Almost every exterior panel on the CTS-V is unique, from the fascias and fenders, to the hood, rear spoiler and rocker moldings – and each was designed to support the car’s capability, contributing to lift reduction, enhanced cooling or both.
The unique elements include:
- A lightweight carbon fiber hood featuring an air-extracting vent that pulls hot air out of the engine compartment and helps reduce lift at speed by channeling air pulled through the radiator out and over the top of car rather than allowing trapped air to exit under the car
- Unique front and rear fascias provide optimal aero performance, with larger grille openings in the front fascia to feed more air to the supercharged engine. Even the mesh pattern of the signature grille openings is enlarged to allow more air into the radiator and multiple heat exchangers
- A front splitter enhances handling by forcing air to push down on the front of the car rather than flow under it, where it can cause lift
- Wider fenders to accommodate the wide, 19-inch wheels and Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires
- The rocker moldings and rear spoiler are aero-optimized
- The forged aluminum wheels and brake calipers are offered in three finishes, allowing owners to personalize the appearance of the CTS-V.
An available Carbon Fiber package takes aero performance and mass optimization to higher levels. The Carbon Fiber package includes a more aggressive front splitter, hood vent, rear diffuser and spoiler.
“V-Series is the emotive core of Cadillac and the apex of the brand’s Art and Science design philosophy,” said Andrew Smith, executive director, Cadillac Global Design. “The CTS-V reflects that with a bold sense of arrival, serious performance, seamless integration of technology and precision in its craftsmanship. The exposed carbon fiber components, for example, are book-matched on the centerline for a more precise, tailored appearance.”
The CTS-V’s dual-purpose capability carries over to the interior, where the design and relationship of key components are focused expressly on performance-driving ergonomics.
“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 contact points – the steering wheel, seats, shifter and pedals – are designed to make performance driving experiences direct and intuitive.”
The CTS-V features standard 20-way performance-oriented heated and ventilated front seats trimmed in semi-aniline leather, with sueded microfiber inserts and seatbacks. Available RECARO performance front seats deliver aggressive, adjustable bolsters that help hold the driver and front passenger in place during high-load cornering. They also have a luxury-performance feel, trimmed in Mulan leather with sueded microfiber inserts and seatbacks.
Additional features include Cadillac’s cut-and-sew elements, with decorative stitching and authentic materials such as available sueded steering wheel and shift knob. Three color combinations are offered: Jet Black, Jet Black with Light Platinum accents and Saffron with Jet Black accents.
The CTS-V features a unique version of the 12.3-inch instrument panel cluster display, with V-Series graphics and distinctive gauge readouts and complementing full-color, reconfigurable head-up display. It is also equipped with the latest connectivity technologies from Cadillac:
- CUE with Bluetooth connectivity with natural voice recognition
- Navigation with Bose Surround Sound audio
- Siri Eyes Free and text-to-voice that converts incoming text messages to speech and reads them over the audio system speakers
- Wireless inductive phone charging
- OnStar 4G LTE connectivity with built-in Wi-Fi hotspot.
The Performance Data Recorder is controlled via CUE’s color touch screen, and recordings can be reviewed on the screen when the vehicle is parked.