2014 will probably be remembered for many things, but for EngageSportMode, it’s going to be the year when American car manufacturers decided to go all out in the search for cars with ridiculous horsepower. But, after the Dodge Hellcat twins, is 640 bhp enough in this day and age?
Six hundred and forty horsepower, in a four-door
saloon sedan. That’s a fairly significant amount, especially when it’s matched by a torque output of 630 lb-ft too! Yes, it seems we’re still very much in open-warfare when it comes to power from the American market at present. A 200 mph top speed and 0-60 mph time of 3.7 seconds are seriously quick, and elevate the CTS-V from luxury to genuine muscle car.
Generating all those ponies is a supercharged 6.2 litre V8 ‘LT4’ engine, related to the one found in the insane Chevrolet Corvette Z06. It’s not all brainless muscle though; the LT4 engine features cylinder deactivation – presumably for an attempt at sensible fuel economy – along with direct injection. It’s also mated to an eight-speed conventional torque-converter automatic gearbox, with steering wheel mounted paddles, that Cadillac states competes with dual-clutch ‘boxes for shift times.
Now into the third generation of CTS-V models, this one features a host of measures apparently designed to make it effective on track and street. If the concept of a Cadillac on a race circuit seems weird, it’s worth remembering that the CTS-V has won the GT class of the US-based Pirelli World Challenge for the past three years. Along with a brace of… braces… that ties almost every structural bit of the car to another, there’s also Brembo brakes, upgraded driveshafts, and an electric limited slip differential.
The new CTS-V also features magnetically adjustable suspension, with a number of settings including sport and track modes. Michelin Super Sport tyres wrap lightweight alloy wheels, measuring 9.5″ and 10″ front and rear respectively. Cadillac claims these help play a part in the CTS-V generating almost 1g of lateral acceleration; something which genuinely matters in the US performance car world.
Externally there’s an obvious array of splitters and wings, with almost every panel on the car being modified for greater performance. Less obvious is the fact that the bonnet comes out of the factory made from carbon fibre. An optional ‘Carbon Fiber package’ includes a bigger splitter, rear spoiler, diffuser and wing made from the lightweight material. It’s perhaps not the most attractive saloon we’ve seen in a while, with some elements a little garish, but darker colours seem to suit it better. The huge chrome grille means it’s virtually impossible to disguise the CTS-V as anything over than a Cadillac, however.
Inside there are 20-way (yes, twenty) adjustable seats as standard, with Recaro seats available for more ‘spirited’ driving enthusiasts. The Recaro seats also come with a leather and microfibre suede combination as pictured; we’re not sure what that colour is meant to be though. Kevlar perhaps? More importantly, there’s a standard Performance Data Recorder which captures HD video along with data information as you drive. Your recordings can also be shared on social media; think carefully before pressing that button perhaps. Finally, if you’re worried about smacking that front splitter off things, there’s a front ‘curb-view’ camera to watch over it for you when parking. How handy.
The CTS-V is ever so slightly insane, and makes the BMW M5 and Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG look relatively sensible by comparison. We’d imagine it’ll also undercut both of those rivals, in the USA at least, when it comes to pricing; the outgoing CTS-V sold for around $72,000 compared to the $93,000 needed for the M5. Due to go on sale Stateside in late summer 2015, don’t expect to see it here in the UK officially.