Earlier this month, we spotted a peculiar CT5 test mule that we believed to be a prototype of the upcoming Cadillac CT5-V. But now, new information has surfaced that tells us that the model in question is not the CT5-V.
According to a source familiar with future Cadillac product plans, the model we mistook for a Cadillac CT5-V prototype is actually a CT5 550T in Sport trim. The sighting is notable, since this is the first time we’ve ever seen the new Cadillac CT5 550T Sport in the flesh. Cadillac did not bring such a model to the New York International Auto Show earlier this year, instead showing the new CT5 in the 350T Sport and 550T Premium Luxury trim levels. In fact, Cadillac has not officially shared any information about the model in question. According to our sources, that’s because the vehicle has not yet completed development.
The CT5 350T models are powered by GM’s new turbocharged 2.0L LSY TriPower engine making 237 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, while CT5 550T models cradle the twin-turbo 3.0L V-6 LGY engine making 335 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque. The 350 and 550 names are part of Cadillac’s recently introduced nomenclature that denotes the respective engine’s torque figure in newton meters, rounded up to the nearest 50.
|Engine||Luxury (Base)||Premium Luxury||Sport||V|
|2.0L Turbo LSY I4||CT5 350T Luxury||CT5 350T Premium Luxury||CT5 350T Sport||N/A|
|3.0L Twin-Turbo LGY V6||N/A||CT5 550T Premium Luxury||CT5 550T Sport||N/A|
|4.2L Twin-Turbo V8||N/A||N/A||N/A||CT5-V|
The Cadillac CT5 550T Sport is the most recent example to adopt Caddy’s new Y Trim level strategy. The new naming convention creates a clear distinction between various sub-models of the same vehicle to cater to different styling and equipment preferences. First introduced on the 2019 Cadillac XT4 and 2019 Cadillac CT6 refresh, the Y Trim level strategy branches into Premium and Platinum trims for comfort and luxury models, and Sport and V-Series trims for more sporty offerings, with more aggressive styling enhancements and less chrome body detailing in favor of a darker theme.
Depending on the model line, some Sport trim models also get unique performance hardware. That seems to be the case with this model, as those air intakes at the front – in place of the signature vertical light bars – suggest that this Cadillac CT5 Sport 550T will feature advanced brake cooling. It’s unclear if the model will ship without the vertical light bars. In addition, notice the quad exhaust outlets out back. By comparison, the CT5 550T Premium Luxury features a set of dual exhaust outlets.
And that leads us to a somewhat more important realization: this Cadillac CT5 550T Sport is essentially an indirect successor to the V-Sport sub-brand, which Cadillac is discontinuing. V-Sport, offered on the CTS and XTS, was an intermediate performance trim level that slotted below Cadillac’s full-out V-Series models, such as the CTS-V. As such, the CT5 550T Sport model will slot under the upcoming CT5-V in the CT5 model hierarchy.
Meanwhile, we were also told that the CT5-V IVER (Integrated Vehicle Engineering Release – GM speak for a prototype in its final stages of engineering) has yet to make an appearance as a prototype. When it does, it’ll have all the upgrades expected of a V-Series model, such as new wheels, wide and sticky tires, and large brakes.
In fact, the CT5-V should be similar to the CT5-V test mule we spotted late last year, which at the time was using the same top hat (body) as the current CTS-V, along with bits of tape and other small pieces of cladding used to compensate for changes in dimensions from the third-gen CTS.
It’s still unclear what engine will power the CT5-V, but two of the most obvious choices are GM’s supercharged 6.2L V8 Small Block LT4 found in the outgoing third-generation CTS-V or a version of the twin-turbocharged 4.2L V8 LTA Blackwing that powers the Cadillac CT6-V.