2016 Cadillac CTS-V Road Test Review
By Bob Plunkett
Cadillac CTS-V charges with Corvette Z06 supercharged engine
Click here to see and hear CTS-V roar!
Score the 2016 incarnation of Cadillac's souped-up CTS-V sports touring sedan as the most powerful -- and certainly the quickest -- Cadillac in the brand's 112-year history.
With its wide track and squatty stance for knife-edge sharp skin that ripples over the notched and vented carbon fiber hood and amplifies a blunt in-your-face prow capped by a massive air-sucking chrome mesh grille, this track-ready high performance sports sedan comes with the strength of 640 stampeding horses off the hot-hot Z06 Corvette's supercharged V8 engine making massive torque to twirl the rear two 19-inch aluminum wheels shod with Michelin Pilot Super Sport rubber.
How quick is this CTS-V quick?
Track tests by Cadillac reveal that the 2016 CTS-V propels more than two tons of a mechanical marvel to speed at the speedometer's mark of 60 mph in only 3.7 seconds and its top speed climbs to the out-of-sight figure of 200 mph.
The 2016 CTS-V Sport Coupe stems from the High Performance Vehicle Operations at General Motors, sort of a tuner shop charged with pumping up racy versions of GM production models. It's obviously bred for race-track running, as it underwent a heap of testing during the development on Germany's 14-mile-long Nurburgring Nordschliefe course.
CTS-V '16 begins with the rear-wheel-drive platform of the mid-size CTS (Cadillac Touring Sedan), which itself made history with a 2003 debut as the first RWD vehicle in Cadillac's fleet since 1979 and the first to offer a manual transmission on a rear-drive chassis in half a century.
The third-generation total make-over of CTS for 2014 forged a larger vehicle, which for the 2016 CTS-V shows up with the wheelbase extending to 114.6 inches and the overall length increasing to 197.6 inches. These spatial expansions create a larger passenger compartment, now measuring in legroom at 45.7 inches for front-seat and 35.4 inches for rear-seat.
The aggressive face features a lightweight carbon fiber hood with an air-extracting vent and larger grille openings to feed more air to the supercharged engine. Front corners contain piercing optics from round high intensity discharge lamps that swivel in concert with the vehicle's front wheels plus signature vertical LED DRL strips.
Wider fenders bulge to house the wide 19-inch wheels and Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires -- 265/35R19 front and 295/30R19 rear. Also, Cadillac lists three different finishes for the forged aluminum wheels and brake calipers to personalize the car.
Key component of the CTS-V is the Z06-modified 6.2-liter V8, which is based on GM's legendary small-block V8 and hitched to an intercooled Eaton supercharger system. The plant develops 640 hp at 6400 rpm and massive torque of 630 lb-ft at 3600 rpm.
It operates with GM's Hydra-Matic 8L90 8-speed electronically controlled automatic with Performance Algorithm Shifting and paddle shifters pinned on the steering wheel.
All of the go-power for CTS-V is countered by its serious stopping power. The 4-wheel disc brake system by the Brembo brand from Italy uses slotted and vented rotors -- 15.35-inch up front and 14.37-inch in back -- with staggered 6-piston aluminum calipers in front and 4-piston aluminum calipers in the rear.
Suspension elements consist of a revised multi-link double-pivot MacPherson-strut front suspension and a 5-link independent rear arrangement. Further, Cadillac's Magnetic Ride Control suspension magic applies with variable shock damping to control wheel and body motion via magnetized fluid in shocks.
The steering system employs the ZF Steering Systems Servotronic II variable-ratio electric power steering gear.
In the cockpit the exterior theme of chiseled forms and angular features is expressed in a treatment with hand-cut, hand-sewn and hand-wrapped leather surfaces. Stock front seats are 20-way performance-oriented heated and ventilated in semi-aniline leather, with suede microfiber inserts and seatbacks. A Bose surround-sound audio package is on-board along with Cadillac's CUE electronics interface plus a Performance Data Recorder, and Recaro performance driving seats trimmed in Mulan leather are available.
Cadillac's most powerful 2016 CTS-V 4-door sports sedan comes with a price tag estimated to tally to $83,995.