DETROIT, MI – And here we are again in Detroit. With an aggressive release schedule planned over the next 18 months, Cadillac tells us we’ll be spending a lot of time here for the next little while.
This time, it’s for the world premiere of the more diminutive end of the General Motors luxury arm’s new line of performance products, the mid-size CT5-V and the compact CT4-V.
This reveal also offers our first glimpse at the all-new Cadillac CT4, which will take its full bow in roughly a month.
If you were hoping for the track-mangling monsters of V Series past, you might groan a little when you look at the hard figures. But this is by design: brand representatives say they’ve found that a lot of their customers want the differentiated looks and enhanced performance of V Series but have been intimated in the past by all that power. These products are designed to appeal to that base. They’re a step above being a gussied-up appearance package, but don’t go all the way to eleven.
But if there’s one thing that’s been said here at the launch a dozen times, it’s this: they’re not done yet. If eleven is your jam, in other words, it sounds like your car is still in the pipeline somewhere.
“This is the beginning of an expansion of V-Series,” said Mirza Grebovic, performance variants manager for Cadillac. “There’s more to come.
“We’re sending V out with a bang while the internal combustion engine is still going.”
Does that mean we might see a V-Series SUV sometime soon?
“Where I work, it’s all cars in there,” Grebovic said.
Food for thought.
Anyway, here’s what we know about the two cars in front of us.
Cadillac’s performance version of its new mid-size sedan – the one we’re being told about today, anyway – is powered by a high-output 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged V6 that produces 355 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque 90 percent of which is available at 1,800 rpm and holds its curve near peak to roughly 4,000 rpm. It comes with a 10-speed automatic transmission (sorry, no manuals here), and it starts with rear-wheel drive and has available all-wheel drive. And yes, the rear-wheel-drive version will be available in Canada.
An electronic limited-slip rear differential is standard, as are magnetic dampers, which are employed here as a Cadillac first. Standard 19-inch wheels, Brembo front brakes available with three caliper colours, and a five-mode performance traction management system that’s standard on both models and includes a new V-Mode for personalized steering, braking, and sound output settings round out the package.
While interiors are similar between the two cars, the CT5-V features some more dramatic exterior accents such as the split vertical detail on the headlamps, gloss black window surrounds that extend into a curved and pointed accent on the rear side window, and a body-colour rear diffuser. Another more subtle difference is in the door handles: the CT5-V has a hidden electronic button opener, while the smaller CT4-V has a more traditional mechanical door handle action.
Under the hood of the compact CT4-V, you’ll find a 2.7-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine that makes 320 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque that hits its peak at 1,800 rpm. Like its larger sibling, it comes with a 10-speed automatic and starts with rear-wheel drive while all-wheel drive is an option.
Instead of an electronic limited-slip diff, a mechanical one is used here. The standard wheels drop a size to 18 inches, while Brembo front brakes are still used.
Apart from a very dramatic solid-line LED vertical accent line in the headlamps, there are fewer exterior details here than on the CT5. Gloss black is still used liberally throughout, and paint colours will include bright offerings such as blue, orange, red, and green to appeal to a more youthful audience.
Both cars feature carbon fibre hoods and, according to the brand, are balanced to a near-perfect 50-50 weight distribution.
A list of available safety features was provided, although which will be standard on which vehicles hasn’t yet been announced: front and rear park assist, GM’s haptic-feedback safety seat, windshield collision alert, forward collision alert, automatic emergency braking, lane change alert, side blind zone alert, rear cross-traffic alert, lane keep assist, lane departure warning, following distance indicator, enhanced automatic braking, rear automatic braking, rear pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go, Cadillac’s rear camera mirror, a colour head-up display, surround-view camera, and auto park assist with braking.
Available Super Cruise
Cadillac’s Super Cruise feature, which enables hands-free driving on over 200,000 km of highways in the U.S. and Canada, will be available on both of these models beginning in calendar year 2020.
Both cars will be produced at GM’s Lansing Grand River facility in Michigan and will go on sale early in 2020. Additional product details for the rest of the CT4 line-up are yet to be announced, as will pricing – although it was revealed that these cars will carry a $6,000 to $7,000 premium in the U.S., so expect ours to land somewhere in the $8,000 to $10,000 range in Canadian dollars.