Cadillac reveals 2016 CTS-V ahead of Detroit auto show
General Motors Co.'s Cadillac brand on Monday revealed the most powerful vehicle in its 112-year history: the 2016 Cadillac CTS-V sedan, available in summer 2015.
The debut of the rear-wheel drive luxury sports sedan — packing 640 horsepower and 630 foot-pounds of torque — comes ahead of press days next month for the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Cadillac will show the new generation CTS-V during a press conference there Jan. 13.
The new CTS-V features a new 6.2-liter supercharged V-8 LT4 engine generating 15 percent more horsepower than its predecessor. The 2016 CTS-V also has a top speed of 200 miles per hour and can accelerate from zero to 60 miles per hour in just 3.7 seconds.
"A vehicle like the CTS-V, really the best way to describe it would be really as a brand accelerant because of what it represents — all of our engineering and technical capability and design kind of pushed to the limits," said Jim Vurpillat, director of global marketing for Cadillac. "So it really does represent the pinnacle of what a Cadillac is."
The CTS-V follows Cadillac's reveal last month of the 2016 ATS-V at the Los Angeles Auto Show. The brand, which has seen sales fall this year as it works to rejuvenate long term, will debut its CT6 flagship sedan in the spring at the New York International Auto Show. A new SRX crossover is coming, plus several new vehicles are in the works.
Cadillac launched the high performance CTS-V in 2004, its first vehicle in its V-Series, now turning into a subbrand for Cadillac.
Executives with Cadillac says the V-Series and the new CTS-V will help draw new, younger and more affluent buyers into the luxury brand.
"These are the most enthusiastic ambassadors for our products," said Tony Roma, chief engineer for the CTS and V Series lineup. "These are the customers that everybody covets. They're more educated. They have higher incomes. They're a little younger. They're influencers. They're people other folks ask their opinion about cars."
Roma said the CTS-V is two cars in one: offering buyers all features they expect in their daily luxury car but also the components of a modern, track-capable performance car.
It features GM's new eight-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters for manual control. And while fuel economy has not been released, Roma said the 2016 CTS-V will have better gas mileage than the second generation CTS-V.
The 2016 CTS-V is the lightest car in its performance sedan segment, which boosts responsiveness and handling, Roma said. The CTS-V competes with the BMW M5, Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG and Audi RS vehicles.
It features a standard carbon fiber hood, has a carbon fiber vent available, and a carbon fiber package features a more aggressive looking splitter in the front and spoiler in the rear that boost aerodynamic performance. The car also features Brembo brakes, magnetic ride control, Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires, a front curb-view camera to help protect the front splitter and available Recaro seats.
The car will have GM's performance data recorder available, which allows drivers to record high-definition video, with data overlays of their driving performance.
Inside, designers created an interior around the driver and for performance enthusiasts that includes Cadillac's cut and sew details, authentic carbon fiber trim and microfiber suede. Most exterior panels on the car are unique to the CTS-V.
"Every piece that we've changed to make the standard CTS into a V-Series is functionally driven," said Brian Smith, Cadillac design manager. "There's nothing purely decorative on the exterior of this car. It's all there to support serious performance."
The CTS-V will be built at GM's Lansing Grand River Assembly Plant, which also begins building the new ATS-V coupe and sedan in the spring.
The new CTS-V, for now, will be available only as a sedan. The previous version had been available in coupe and wagon styles.
IHS Automotive senior analyst Stephanie Brinley said Cadillac is allocating resources in the most effective way as it has many more products to develop.
"The wagon and the coupe were both great enthusiast cars, but they weren't great sellers," she said.
CTS-V Series sales represent about 8 percent of overall CTS sales. The 2016 CTS-V will be available for sale in North America, Europe, Russia, the Middle East, Japan and South Korea, Vurpillat said. Pricing has not been announced.
For the 2015 model year, Cadillac built about 500 limited edition CTS-V coupes that began at $72,195, including destination and $1,300 gas guzzler tax.