Don't expect the V8 to go anywhere anytime soon.
Despite giving the world two new high-performance sedans, Cadillac caught a lot of flak from fans after the all-new CT5-V and CT4-V were revealed with considerably less power than the V-Series models they replaced. While the two cars feature turbocharged engines making enough power to have a bit of fun with, the new models signaled that Cadillac was taking the V brand off the performance pedestal it used to be on.
And the scale of that step-down was tremendous. The CT5-V, which was previously assumed to be the CTS-V’s replacement, packs only 355 horsepower, putting it far behind the 640 horsepower CTS-V and even placing it below the 420 horsepower CTS V-Sport. Thankfully, rumor has it that Cadillac is going to milk more performance out of the two new V models and give those versions the Blackwing name. To reaffirm the message, Cadillac corresponded with Canada’s The Globe And Mail to talk about the brand’s future in the performance segment.
During the interview, Cadillac representatives confirmed that the brand is working on super sedans slated to come out "very soon.” The reason Cadillac gave the CT4-V and CT5-V less power than old V models is that the two cars are not intended to be range-topping performance variants. Instead, they are intended to challenge Germany’s entry-level sports sedans, including those from BMW’s M Sport lineup and Mercedes-AMG’s 43 range. It makes sense because the CT4-V and CT5-V are mid-tier performance cars that sell in greater numbers than the more expensive all-out performance sedans. But Germany also builds full-fledged super sedans like the BMW M5 and Mercedes-AMG E63, and Cadillac wants to compete in that segment.
"You’ll see an expansion of the V-Series,” says Mirza Grebovic, performance variants manager for Cadillac. "We’re trying to go out with a bang while internal combustion is still kicking.”
And though V-Series enthusiasts may not be happy that Cadillac is diverting resources to building less powerful V cars that dilute the performance lineup’s sporting clout, the company is only doing so to get customers used to the idea of the brand as a direct competitor to Audi, Mercedes, and BMW. The top-tier V-cars that have yet to debut will be performance halo cars rather than volume sellers. "These vehicles … help reinforce not only performance, but it gets people used to seeing Cadillacs commanding high prices,” said Robert Karwel, senior manager of auto analytics company Power Information Network. "What they portray to the market is that Cadillac has the machinery and know-how to go toe-to-toe with the [largely] German high-performance sedans. Vehicles like these are all about bragging rights and marketing.”
In our eyes, Cadillac has done enough to assure us that it has some real performance cars in the pipeline and that we shouldn't panic just yet. But what really makes us happy is Grebovic's comment affirming that Cadillac will work hard to get the most out of the internal combustion engine while it's still around.