How do the two latest additions stack up?
Cadillac recently introduced two new V Series models, the CT4-V and CT5-V with a lackluster 320 and 355 horsepower, respectively. Quickly after the two cars were revealed and subsequently mocked, Cadillac teased us with two higher output versions which will go by some different name. To illustrate why we are disappointed with the CT4-V and CT5-V, we wanted to look back on all of the V Series models to date, pick out the best (and worst) of the bunch, and talk about how the new cars stack up.
The CT4-V is the smallest V Series sedan ever produced and by far the least powerful with a 2.7-liter turbocharged four-cylinder producing just 320 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque going out to rear-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive through a 10-speed automatic. This is less powerful than the 3.6-liter V6 in the mid-level ATS, which produced 335 hp.
The CT5-V gets a 3.0-liter twin turbo V6 engine producing 355 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque, also going out through a 10-speed automatic. As a replacement for the 464 hp ATS-V, the CT5-V looks like a colossal failure. Let's hope the higher performance variant gets the 4.2-liter twin-turbo V8 Blackwing engine with a huge power bump.
Originally slated to be called the CT6 V-Sport, the CT6-V is now the flagship of the V Series lineup. It uses an all-new twin-turbocharged V8 producing 550 hp and 627 lb-ft of torque. It may not be the most powerful V car ever produced but it should be the most luxurious. Since GM has already discontinued the CT6 sedan, the CT6-V should be a very shortlived flagship.
The third generation CTS-V may go down as one of the best American sedans ever built. It uses a 6.2-liter supercharged LT4 V8 from the Z06 Corvette, de-tuned slightly to produce 640 hp. It may not have a manual option or wagon body style like the second generation but with the Alpha platform underpinnings from the Camaro, it is one of the best-handling midsize luxury sedans of all time.
The ATS-V was Cadillac's direct shot at the BMW M3, while the larger CTS-V was positioned to battle the M5. This car also benefited from GM's excellent Alpha platform but dropped the usual V8 in favor of a twin-turbo V6 producing 464 hp. The engine may not be the best part of the car but it was extremely quick and could be had with a six-speed manual transmission in coupe or sedan body styles.
In the minds of many, the second generation CTS-V is the car that truly put the V Series on the map. It shared its 6.2-liter supercharged LSA V8 with the Camaro ZL1, dishing out 556 hp to the rear wheels. This generation started off as a sedan but later branched out with a coupe and wagon body style, the latter of which has become extremely collectible. Collectors are willing to pay big bucks for a low-mileage CTS-V wagon with a manual.
Of all the V Series models, the STS-V is often the most forgotten. It was only sold from 2006 to 2009 and used a supercharged version of Cadillac's 4.4-liter Northstar V8 producing 469 hp. Only 2,503 were ever built and since it was automatic only, few enthusiasts remember it.
Remember when Cadillac attempted to build its own version of the Corvette? Exactly, it didn't go well. Where the Corvette was powered by an LS2 V8, the XLR was fitted with a Northstar engine mated to an automatic transmission only. It was supercharged on the XLR-V and tuned to produce 443 hp, though it was never as good of a sports car as the Corvette.
Cadillac introduced the V badge on the first-generation CTS. The car was originally powered by an LS6 engine from the C5 Corvette Z06 but was latter upgraded to the LS2. It produced 400 hp, which was sent out exclusively through a six-speed manual. The first-generation CTS-V had a cheap interior and a weak rear differential but it did put Europe on notice with its massive power.
We are curious to see how the V Series is divided up in the future, with two new versions of the CT4 and CT5 being teased. Cadillac used to badge its sub-V models as V-Sport models, but it seems this name will no longer be used. The CTS V-Sport and XTS V-Sport each used a 3.6-liter twin-turbo V6 producing 420 hp, which is more than both of the recently-revealed V models.