This is a whole new beginning for Cadillac.
Next week Cadillac will reveal not one, but two new high-performance V-Series models as the long-awaited CT5-V and CT4-V will break cover on May 30 - although we're a little surprised Cadillac isn't revealing the base CT4 first. Little is known about the two sports sedans, but the CT5-V is rumored to use a detuned version of the 4.2-liter twin-turbo Blackhawk V8 found in the CT6-V, which produces 550 horsepower and 627 lb-ft of torque and is mated to a 10-speed automatic. It's great timing too because this year marks the 15th anniversary of Cadillac's first V-Series model, and the company is looking back at three-generations of the series.
"From the very beginning, Cadillac's V-Series represented the ultimate expression of our design, technology, and performance," said Mark Reuss, GM president. "It introduced an entirely new breed of performance-minded customers to Cadillac showrooms and helped transform the brand's traditional image into one with different facets for customers' varying driving tastes."
Introduced in 2004, the original CTS-V was the most powerful car Cadillac had ever built at the time thanks to its 400-hp 5.7-liter V8 (and later a 6.0-liter V8) that enabled the sedan to do 0-62 mph in around about 4.6 seconds. It also had sharper handling as a result of extensive testing at the Nurburgring, while some of its design elements, such as the mesh grille and darkened exterior trim, still feature on Cadillac's current V-Series models.
In 2006, the XLR two-seat grand tourer was also given the V-Series treatment and became one of the most powerful cars at the time thanks to a supercharged V8 rated at 443 hp. It established the legacy of forced induction, whether by supercharging or turbocharging, employed on every V-Series model that followed. The same year also saw the launch of the STS-V, distinguished by its staggered 18-inch front and 19-inch rear wheels, Performance Algorithm Shifting, and ZF Servotronic II steering, which was one of Cadillac's first applications of electric power steering. Power came from a 469-hp version of the supercharged V8 found in the XLR-V.
Kicking off the second-generation of the V-Series in 2009 was the new CTS-V. Under the hood was an all-new supercharged V8 engine that delivered 556 horsepower, resulting in a top speed of nearly 200 mph. It also lapped the Nurburgring in less than eight minutes, which was a record at the time for a V8-powered sedan riding on production street tires. It also spawned a CTS-V wagon in 2011 that was limited to just 1,764 units.
The third-generation CTS-V arrived in 2016 and was more track-focused than its predecessor, with its handling enhanced by the four-mode Performance Traction Management system. Power came from a supercharged and direct-injected V8 rated at 640 hp, making it the most powerful Cadillac ever with a top track speed of more than 200 mph. The ATS-V Coupe and Sedan, on the other hand, were the first V-Series cars to feature turbocharging, and also included electronic limited-slip rear differentials. A 464-hp turbocharged V6 enabled these models to hit 0-62 mph in less than four seconds and top out at nearly 190 mph.
Finally, the CT6-V debuted last year with an all-new Blackwing 4.2-liter twin-turbocharged V8 rated at an estimated 550 horsepower. And we could even see more models get the V-Series treatment, as Cadillac teased that next week's debuts of the CT4-V and CT5-V are "just the beginning." Maybe we'll see high-performance V-Series versions of Cadillac crossovers like the XT4 and XT5 in the future?