Update: an earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that the BMW M5 was not available with a manual transmission. It has since been corrected to reflect the fact that the M5 is available with an optional 6-speed manual.
It would be difficult to argue against the notion that the 2016 Cadillac CTS-V is a car for enthusiasts. Indeed, the same could be said about all Cadillac V-Series models, but especially so about the 2016 CTS-V. Just think about it: would a person who isn’t in love with cars, with Cadillac, or with the art of driving going to want a vehicle with a supercharged 6.2L V8 V8 LT4 engine making 640 horsepower and 630 pound-feet of torque, enabling a 0-60 mph time of 3.7 seconds and a top speed of 200 mph, while possessing some impressive handling capabilities.
So, it’s a bit of a mystery to us why Cadillac has decided to not offer the vehicle with a manual transmission, instead opting to equip the midsize sedan rocket solely with the 8-speed automatic 8L90. Yes, the automatic is highly capable, but it’s not nearly as fun to drive for those who are truly into the art of driving — the gear heads, the enthusiasts, and the car guys (and gals).
The explanation provided by Cadillac is that the segment in which the new CTS-V competes has very little demand for a stick. Indeed, the third-gen CTS (as well as the non-V CTS) has moved up in segment, in price, in size, and in features compared to its two predecessors, now squarely competing in the midsize luxury sedan space against two German stalwarts: the M5 from BMW and the E63 AMG from Mercedes-Benz.
Neither one of those German rivals offers a stick (in the U.S.), so why should Cadillac? To us, the answer is all about differentiation. Correction: the BMW M5 offers a 6-speed manual transmission; the Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG is only available with a 7-speed automatic transmission.
When you think about it, the CTS-V is the challenger in the segment, providing an alternative to the M5 and E63 AMG. The Cadillac is a different vehicle; it has its own personality, distinctive styling, and a unique character. Following that train of thought to its logical conclusion makes us realize that offering a manual transmission would simply serve as one more differentiator for Cadillac when compared to the Mercedes-Benz, while offering a feature comparable to the M5.
So, will people buy the CTS-V with a stick? Something tells us that they will. Granted, CTS-Vs with a manual transmission won’t make up the majority of the already-small sales volume for the vehicle… but it doesn’t need to, either. Especially since the cost of offering the stick would be minimal given that GM has already done the engineering and validation for a manual gearbox for the LT4 in the 2015 Corvette Z06.
And that brings us to our question to you: should Cadillac offer a manual transmission option on the third-generation CTS-V?
We realize we asked you the same exact question roughly a year ago, but didn’t offer up a poll at that time. So, a poll is in order this time around. So, please cast your vote and then discuss in the comments.