2009 Cadillac CTS-V Preview

Jeff Youngs | Dec 31, 2008
  • New 6.2-liter LSA supercharged V-8 engine with estimated 550 hp

  • Magnetic Ride Control suspension technology

  • Performance traction management system

  • High-performance Brembo brakes and Michelin tires

  • New Tremec TR6060 6-speed manual transmission

  • Exclusive 6-speed automatic transmission available for first time

  • Exterior and interior design changes

  • 19-inch wheels

  • First time offered outside North America

  • Sales to start in fourth quarter 2008


First introduced in 2004 as a performance version of the Cadillac CTS, the CTS-V was designed to compete against sports sedans like the BMW M5, Mercedes-Benz E55 AMG and E63 AMG.First in the V-Series, the CTS-V was later joined by the supercharged STS-V and XLR-V in 2006, marking a trio of models capable of 0-to-60 mph acceleration in under 5 seconds, as well as enhanced overall performance and luxury features. The rear-drive, 4-door high-performance luxury sedan goes beyond the all-new CTS sport sedan for 2008, as Cadillac engineers and designers raised the performance and luxury bar even higher. The automaker refers to the CTS-V as the "brand's ultimate expression of performance and luxury."

To square off against the luxury sports sedan competitors requires serious power, and the all-new 2009 Cadillac CTS-V offers a new 6.2-liter LSA supercharged V-8 engine with an estimated 550 hp. As part of the brand's global reach, the model will be offered for the first time outside North America, including exports to Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

The 2009 Cadillac CTS-V will feature a new Tremec TR6060 6-speed manual transmission as standard, with an exclusive 6-speed automatic with paddle shift control available for the first time, and a sixth-generation Eaton supercharger. Add to that what Cadillac says is the "world's fastest-reacting suspension technology," Magnetic Ride Control, along with performance traction management system, high-performance Brembo brakes and Michelin tires. Sales are expected to start in the fourth quarter of 2008.

Model Lineup

The Cadillac CTS-V is the performance version of the CTS sports sedan.Although the list of standard and optional equipment is not yet finalized, Cadillac says the vehicle will have a great majority of features and content included as standard. Consumers will have a few choices, such as standard 6-speed manual or optional 6-speed automatic transmission (offered for the first time in CTS-V), and interior/exterior colors, along with a few specialized features that will likely be optional. But that option list will probably be quite small. Look for a highly contented vehicle right out of the gate when CTS-V goes on sale later this year.


Under the hood, the 2009 Cadillac CTS-V will have the new LSA 6.2-liter supercharged V-8 engine. Cadillac claims the engine will be the most powerful ever offered in the division's 106-year history, with an estimated 550 hp at 6200 rpm and 550 lb.-ft. of torque at 6200 rpm.The engine is based on GM's small-block V-8 architecture that features an intercooled, sixth-generation Eaton supercharger, heat-resistant aluminum-alloy cylinder heads, and many other enhancements designed to ensure the quietest, smoothest power possible. Final SAE certified power levels will be available in April 2008.

Two 6-speed transmissions will be available, including the new Tremec TR6060 6-speed manual transmission that includes a dual-disc clutch, as well as a Hydra-Matic 6L90 6-speed automatic transmission with paddle-shift control-the first automatic transmission ever offered in the CTS-V.

Performance Brembo brakes have 6-piston front and 4-piston rear calipers. The CTS-V also features an electric parking brake for the first time. This gives the driver more legroom, essential for high-performance driving, according to Cadillac.


Like other CTS models, the 2009 Cadillac CTS-V will come standard with dual front air bags, driver and front passenger seat-mounted side-impact air bags, and front-to-rear head curtain side-impact air bags; traction control; 4-wheel disc with 4-channel anti-lock brakes; and optional performance traction management.


The 2009 Cadillac CTS-V features Magnetic Ride Control (MRC), a GM-pioneered technology that only appears on a select few industry elite cars. MRC first appeared on the Cadillac STS and Chevrolet Corvette in 2003. Since then, MRC availability has expanded to Cadillac's SRX Crossover and XLR Roadster. Ferrari also uses MRC on its 599 GTB Fiorano. In the CTS-V, the suspension uses shocks controlled by electro-magnets instead of mechanical valves and its network of sensors works to "read the road" in millisecond increments, feeding the data to an on-board computer. This, the maker says, optimizes more precise damping control for better handling and ride for all driving positions. The science used in the damping, called magneto-rheological, is the same as that used in prosthetic limbs. In the CTS-V, the driver can choose between two modes, Tour and Select, for either grand touring or more performance-oriented driving.

The CTS-V also uses performance traction management, which directs torque to maximize acceleration and traction in conditions where more power is driver-commanded, such as hard acceleration, Cadillac says. This differs from stability controls, which tend to manage wheel slip to steer or slow a car. The performance management traction system regulates torque delivery, matching it to available tire traction, thus maximizing acceleration, the maker adds.
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