2016 Cadillac CTS-V Preview

Jeff Youngs | Dec 23, 2014
  • 640-horsepower engine is more powerful than predecessors
  • Third generation of luxury sports sedan
  • 8-speed automatic transmission features launch control and Performance Algorithm Shifting
  • Design allows track driving with no modifications or special procedures
  • 12.3-in. display features latest connectivity technologies


Cadillac says the 2016 CTS-V is the most powerful vehicle in the brand's history. This is the third generation of the luxury sports sedan that launched the elite V-Series 12 years ago. Cadillac classifies the vehicle as both a luxury sedan and a track-capable sports car, able to assume the latter role straight from the factory with no modifications. Its supercharged engine allows acceleration from 0 to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds, Cadillac says, and each exterior panel is designed to support the car's capability, contributing to lift reduction, enhanced cooling or both, the automaker claims.

Exterior Features

New enhancements to the V-Series include a multitude of bracing for enhanced rigidity (strut tower-to-tower brace, strut tower-to-plenum brace, V-braces for the engine compartment, strengthened rocker bulkhead, stronger rear cradle-to-rocker braces, aluminum shear panel at the front of the chassis, and upper tie bar-to-bumper braces). Cadillac says the enhancements bolster structural stiffness by 25% over non-V models. The 2016 CTS-V features 19-in. wheels and specially developed Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires. The CTS-V shares a 114.6-in. wheelbase with the non-V-Series CTS models, but has a wider front and rear track to enhance grip. A lightweight carbon fiber hood features an air-extracting vent that pulls hot air out of the engine compartment and helps reduce lift at speed by channeling air pulled through the radiator out and over the top of car. The front and rear fasc

ias enhance aero performance, with larger grille openings in the front fascia to feed more air to the supercharged engine. A front splitter enhances handling by forcing air to push down on the front of the car rather than flow under it.

Interior Features

The 2016 CTS-V features standard 20-way performance-oriented heated and ventilated front seats trimmed in semi-aniline leather, with sueded microfiber inserts and seatbacks. Available Recaro performance front seats feature adjustable bolsters and are trimmed in Mulan leather with sueded microfiber inserts and seatbacks. Other decorative features include special stitching and authentic materials such as an available sueded steering wheel and shift knob. Three color combinations are offered: Jet Black, Jet Black with Light Platinum accents, and Saffron with Jet Black accents.

The CTS-V features a unique version of the standard 12.3-in. instrument panel cluster display, with V-Series graphics and distinctive gauge readouts, complementing a full-color, reconfigurable head-up display. Connectivity features include: CUE with Bluetooth connectivity with natural-voice recognition; navigation with Bose Surround Sound audio; Siri Eyes Free and text-to-voice that converts incoming text messages to speech and reads them over the audio system speakers; wireless inductive phone charging; and OnStar 4G LTE connectivity with a built-in Wi-Fi hotspot.

Optional Features

Even though the new CTS-V comes loaded from the factory, a number of options are available, including Recaro high-performance seats and an available Carbon Fiber package with a more aggressive front splitter, hood vent, rear diffuser, and spoiler. Many other performance, cosmetic, and utilitarian features are optional.

Under the Hood

The 2016 Cadillac CTS-V introduces a new supercharged, 6.2-liter V-8 engine backed by Cadillac's paddle-shift 8-speed automatic transmission, featuring launch control and Performance Algorithm Shifting. The engine makes 640 horsepower and 630 lb.-ft. of torque, and can propel the CTS-V to a maximum speed of 200 mph, Cadillac says. It works with Brembo high-performance brakes and a third-generation Magnetic Ride Control system that Cadillac says will deliver 40% faster damping.


Safety features on the new Cadillac CTS-V include advanced safety and parking technologies, including a front curb-view camera system that provides a visual cue of curbs to protect the front splitter, automatic park-assist to find and steer into parallel or perpendicular parking spots, side blind-zone alert, forward-collision alert, lane-keep assist, and rear cross-traffic alert.


Cadillac says the track-honed design, chassis, and suspension elements complement the supercharged powertrain to elevate the new CTS-V's capability, performance, and driver control to new levels. Integrated chassis controls are designed to provide balanced performance for both touring and the track. Driver-selectable modes electronically calibrate performance variables for touring, sport, and track driving conditions.

The engine in the new CTS-V employs a 1.7-liter supercharger that Cadillac says is more efficient and compact than its predecessors, and matches it with direct injection and cylinder deactivation. The supercharger's rotors are smaller in diameter than the previous supercharged engine, allowing higher maximum rpm that enables power-enhancing boost to be generated earlier in the rpm band. That boost is achieved more efficiently via a more direct discharge port that creates less turbulence, reducing heat and speeding airflow into the engine.

Additionally, the Performance Data Recorder in the CTS-V allows drivers to record high-definition video, with data overlays, of their driving experiences on and off the track, enabling sharing on social media.
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