With the Cadillac CTS-V, the high-end brand aims to build an American performance sedan (briefly a coupe and a wagon too) capable of beating the best European competitors. A new video from Evolution of cars recounts the changes made to the Sports Caddy over 15 model years and three generations.
The CTS-V arrived for the 2004 model year using the 5.7-liter V8 LS6 from the Chevrolet Corvette Z06 during the same period via a six-speed manual. It produced 400 horsepower (298 kilowatts) instead of the Vette’s 405 hp (302 kW). To manage horsepower compared to a regular CTS, engineers added components like a revised suspension with larger anti-roll bars and Brembo brakes.
The original engine only lasted two years until 2006, when the CTS-V received the 6.0-liter V8 LS2. The output figures were the same as those of the LS6, but the larger powertrain offered a wider torque band. These models also had an improved rear differential.
The second generation CTS-V came for the 2009 model year, and it introduced major improvements. Rather than the previous naturally aspirated V8, there was now the 6.2-liter LSA supercharged V8 under the hood. This increased power to 556 hp (415 kW) and 551 lb-ft. A six-speed automatic transmission was available in addition to the six-speed manual. The ride received a huge improvement in the MagneRide damping system.
Cadillac has also started offering the CTS-V in different body styles. For the 2011 model year, a coupe and a station wagon joined the sedan.
The third-generation CTS-V replaced the previous model in 2016. A 6.2-liter supercharged V8 was still under the hood, but it was the new LT4 developing 640 hp (477 kW) and 630 lb-ft (854 Nm). The possibility of getting a manual transmission was gone, and the only choice now was an eight-speed automatic. This iteration was brief and only lasted for the 2019 model year.
When the Cadillac CT5 debuted as a replacement for the CTS, its V model was equipped with a twin-turbo V6 of 355 hp, which was far from the last CTS-V. The good news is that the CT5 Blackwing should take over by offering around 650 horsepower (485 kW).