2013 Cadillac CTS-V Preview

Jeff Youngs | Feb 22, 2013
  • High-performance version of Cadillac CTS
  • Available as a sedan, coupe or wagon
  • Powered by a supercharged V-8 engine
  • Features Brembo brakes, summer tires, and Magnetic Ride Control suspension
  • Two-piece front brake rotors become standard for 2013
  • OnStar Directions and Connections plan standard for one year


The CTS-V, or V-Series, is the high-performance version of Cadillac's midsize CTS luxury car. Offered in sedan, coupe and wagon body styles, it competes with the Audi RS6, BMW M5, and Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG. Over and above the standard CTS, the CTS-V features a supercharged V-8 engine, performance-tuned suspension with Cadillac's Magnetic Ride Control, Brembo brakes, summer performance tires, and more aggressive body styling.

Exterior Features

The CTS-V gets the same Art and Science design language as the base CTS, but with more aggressive exterior body styling. Up front, the Cadillac shield grille features a mesh insert, as does the larger lower air intake. The lower front fascia is also more pronounced, and the hood has a center bulge that hints at the big engine underneath. Lower ground effects are found along the sides, and the rear gets a lower diffuser.

All CTS-V body styles come standard with automatic adaptive xenon headlights, fog lights, and P255/40R19 front and P285/35R19 rear tires on alloy wheels. The wagon also gets a power liftgate and rear wiper/washer.

Interior Features

Standard interior features in the CTS V-Series include leather/synthetic-suede upholstery, heated 10-way power front seats with lumbar adjustment, dual-zone automatic climate control, interior air filter, power tilt/telescoping leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio and climate controls, reversing camera, cruise control, memory system (for driver's seat, mirrors and steering wheel), heated power mirrors, power windows, power locks, remote keyless entry, keyless access and starting, universal garage door opener, auto-dimming rearview mirror, and illuminated visor mirrors. The sedan adds a trunk pass-through, while the coupe and wagon get a split-folding rear seat.

Infotainment features on all body styles include a navigation system with voice recognition and real-time traffic information, Bose AM/FM/CD/MP3 stereo, satellite radio, 40-gigabyte music hard drive, USB port, Bluetooth connectivity, and GM's OnStar assistance system with one year of the Directions and Connections plan.

Optional Features

The 2013 Cadillac CTS-V offers fewer options than the standard model, and no option packages are offered. Stand-alone options consist of 14-way power-adjustable heated/ventilated Recaro front bucket seats, panoramic sunroof, synthetic suede-wrapped steering wheel, red brake calipers, and polished or satin-finish alloy wheels.

Under the Hood

All CTS-V models come with a supercharged, 6.2-liter V-8 engine that delivers 556 horsepower and 551 lb.-ft. of torque. It is offered with a 6-speed manual transmission or a 6-speed automatic. While standard CTS models are available with rear- or all-wheel drive, the CTS-V comes only with rear-wheel drive.

Fuel Economy

EPA fuel-economy estimates for the 2013 Cadillac CTS-V are:

  • CTS-V sport wagon, sedan or coupe with manual transmission: 14/19/16 mpg (city/highway/combined)
  • CTS-V sport wagon, sedan or coupe with automatic transmission: 12/18/14 mpg

Note: Premium fuel is required.


Like the standard line CTS, the 2013 Cadillac CTS-V comes standard with dual front air bags, front side air bags, curtain side air bags, anti-lock 4-wheel disc brakes, traction control, electronic stability control, tire-pressure monitor, and active front head restraints. Steering-linked adaptive xenon headlights are also standard, but the CTS-V does not offer the CTS's blind-spot monitoring and rear park-assist features.

The CTS-V has not specifically been tested by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), but structurally it is the same car as the CTS, so those results apply. In IIHS testing, the CTS was named a "Top Safety Pick" for receiving the Institute's highest rating of "Good" in the moderate front overlap, side impact, and roof strength tests. It could not be named a "Top Safety Pick Plus" because it wasn't subjected to the new small front overlap test. In government crash tests, the CTS sedan and wagon received an overall rating of 5 (out of 5) stars, according to NHTSA, but the coupe has not been tested.


The CTS-V features Cadillac's Magnetic Ride Control suspension with Tour and Sport modes. It uses shocks filled with a magnetorheoligical fluid with metal shavings suspended in it. When this fluid is subjected to an electric charge through the suspension system, it becomes more dense to make the ride firmer. Magnetic Ride Control reads the road conditions continuously and adjusts the shocks accordingly, firming them up when it detects body roll.
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