2016 Cadillac CTS-V Review
While the previous generation CTS-V’s 556 HP was certainly a respectable amount of thrust, the new Cadillac CTS-V delivers a brutal 640 horses and 630 lb-ft torque that may be enough power for a Gotham superhero. A jet engine and bullet proof glass may be the only options Cadillac left out. ‘Holy Smokes’ this is a wicket ride!
Let’s get the less than bad news out of the way first….the 2016 Cadillac CTS-V is Sedan only, and there’s no manual transmission available for this rocket ship. While I prefer to row through the gears for a fully satisfying and engaging driving experience, this is more of a daily driver with superpowers. It’s certainly racetrack capable, but there’s something too nice about the new CTS-V that would make a manual transmission almost seem out of place in this luxury sedan. Other than automotive journalist test drives and manufacturer driving events to get your juices flowing, I’d bet way less than 1% of any new Cadillac CTS-V will ever see a race track. So for the $84,000 starting cost of admission, I’m betting most drivers that crave a four door supercar may need a free hand to talk to clients as they speed to and from the office or the golf course. Luckily, the 8-speed automatic transmission can nearly ready your mind anyway and always seems to be in the right gear. But since the engine comes straight out of the new Corvette Z06 that offers both an automatic and manual transmission, it would have been nice to have had that option on the new 2016 CTS-V to satisfy the diehards.
We were also less than impressed with the Cue electronics interface. While faster than previous generations, the experience is nowhere close to an Audi or Chrysler electronics. Don’t buy this car for the most user friendly and well thought out system.
Now on to the good news!
- 6.2L Supercharged V8 – Heaven help us
- 640 Horsepower
- 630 lb-ft Torque
- 0-60 in 3.7 seconds
- 200 MPH Top Speed
- 8-Speed Automatic Transmission with paddle shifters
- Electronic limited-slip differential
- Brembo Brakes with steel rotors
- Magnetic Ride Control
- ZF variable rack mounted ratio electric steering
- Michelin Pilot Super Sport Tires
- Carbon Fiber hood
PERFORMANCE & DRIVING EXPERIENCE
This monster screams power! Fitted with an engine and suspension that are as good as supercars costing $50,000 more, the new Cadillac CTS-V Sedan is more affordable and very satisfying. Thrust is instant and relentless throughout the entire 6400 RPM band, and the exhaust sound is addictive and exhilarating while slightly digital.
The CTS-V’s magnetic suspension is lightning fast in adjusting to road conditions with various settings for track, sport, and comfort modes. The Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires transfer all this power to the ground with tremendous grip and a nice level of feedback during spirited driving.
If you head to the track, live in the desert or both, there’s cooling, cooling, and more cooling. The brakes provide excellent stopping power, but may be prone to a bit of fade during hard lapping sessions. Did I mention cooling? The Brembo braking system wasn’t left out, and brake ducts in the front bumper redirects air to help cool the 15.3 diameter front steel rotors.
Check the option box for the carbon fiber package and not only will you get race car good looks, but you’ll get a level of downforce upgrade to keep this beast planted on the track. This carbon fiber package includes a larger front splitter, hood vent, rear diffuser and trunk spoiler that make the new Cadillac CTS-V look like it’s speeding while standing still.
Standard 20-way performance seats are heated and ventilated with adjustments for perfect daily driver comfort and the occasional sporty drive. These semi-aniline leather sets with suede microfiber inserts provide a high level of comfort, cooling option, and decent keep you in place traction.
With any plans to explore what 640 horsepower can really do when combined with that magnificent suspension and ridiculously grippy tires, then you should probably check the option box for the Recaro performance front seats with adjustable bolsters to hold you in place. A CTS-V with the optional Recaro seats are still luxurious with Mulan leather and suede inserts and seatbacks.
The optional suede steering wheel and shift knob should be standard. It looks great and has a nice feel to provide great control of the wheel.
- Bose Stereo
- Built-in Wi-Fi 4G LTE connectivity
- 12.3 inch instrument panel display
- Reconfigurable heads-up display
- Wireless inductive charging for compatible cell phones.
To record your track day with video speed and stats, the Performance Date recorder is an optional built-in feature.
This car can be optioned over $100K, with added features like Recaro Performance Seats ($2,300), Carbon Fiber Package ($6,250), Luxury Package $1,600 that adds tri-zone climate control, split folding rear seats, rear and side sunshades, heated outboard rear seats, and a 110-v power receptacle, Red or Gold Brembo brake calipers ($595), UltraView sunroof (1,250), and a few small options.
WHO’S THIS CAR FOR?
Considering 90% of Corvette’s currently sold have automatic transmissions, there’s a pretty direct connection to the target driver of the CTS-V. I’d say this car was created for drivers who want a single car that can do it all and would buy a Corvette in a heartbeat…. if they didn’t have to carry around kids, clients, and need some trunk space from time to time. So for a supercar capable family ride that can get little Timmy safely to and from school, pick up groceries, then be an insane blast to drive, the CTS-V may just be the perfect car.