Fear Not, More Powerful Cadillac V-Series Cars On The Way55
So, the 2020 Cadillac CT4-V and CT5-V just debuted, and the enthusiasts are woefully disheartened. The disappointment primarily stems from the fact that both the CT4-V and CT5-V are significantly lesser than the ATS-V and CTS-V models they indirectly replace. Both the CT4-V and CT5-V are less powerful, feature less aggressive styling, and are nowhere near as capable as their predecessors. But fear not: these two models are only the beginning.
On the sidelines of Cadillac’s special event at Detroit’s Eastern Market, GM President Mark Reuss said that there will be a second, even more powerful V-series model available at a later date.
But just in case we heard wrong, Cadillac’s own press release states the following:
“The new lineup expands the V-Series ethos, drawing more customers into the Cadillac Performance family, and the newest Vs are focused on elevated athleticism and luxurious refinement for customers wanting a dynamic daily drive,” said Reuss. “And this is only the beginning of the V family. Cadillac’s passion for performance shines on a racetrack. Stay tuned.”
With that in mind, along with several other rumblings we’ve heard over the course of the past year, let us attempt to explain what we believe is taking place.
|2020 Cadillac CT5-V||2020 Cadillac CT4-V|
|Engine:||3.0L V6||2.7 I4|
|Power (hp / kW @ RPM):||355 / 265 @ 5600||320 / 239 @ 5600|
|Torque (lb-ft / Nm @ RPM):||400 / 542 @ 2400-4400||369 / 500 @ 1800|
|Transmission:||HydraMatic 10-speed auto 10L80||HydraMatic 10-speed auto 10L60|
|Drive Wheels:||standard RWD, optional AWD||standard RWD, optional AWD|
A Two-Tiered Performance Lineup
We believe that Cadillac has adopted a two-tiered performance vehicle strategy, much like many of its competitors from Germany.
The entry-level performance models, like the new CT4-V and CT5-V announced today, will be “accessible” models.
“These cars represent a new take for V-Series for Cadillac and our customer,” Brandon Vivian, Cadillac executive chief engineer, said during his presentation today.
In other words, they will not be the high-performance monsters that we’ve come to associate Cadillac’s previous V-Series cars such as the ATS-V, STS-V, XLR-V, and CTS-V. Instead, these new V-Series cars will be a step up from the “regular” CT# and XT# models, creating a sort of mid-level performance offering previously occupied by the now-defunct V-Sport cars. In fact, the new V-Series cars are pretty much a direct replacement for V-Sport models of yore.
Primary competitors to these models will include the likes of:
- Audi S# models (S3, S4, S5, S6, S7, S8)
- Mercedes-Benz AMG “light” models (C35, C43, C53)
- BMW M###i models (M135i, M340i, M550i, M760i)
Above these models will be a whole other level of performance Cadillacs. These yet-to-be-named variants will be the direct successors the V-Series models of the past. And it will be these models that will be the ultra-high-performance machines capable of being tracked lap after lap after mind-numbing lap. These variants will take on the range-topping performance offerings from German rivals, including:
- Audi RS models (RS3, RS4, RS5, RS6, RS7)
- “Real” Mercedes-AMG models (C45 AMG, C63 AMG, E63 AMG, S63 AMG)
- BMW M models (M2, M3, M4, M5, M6)
The GM Authority Take
It might not look that way right now, but Cadillac has adopted an extremely smart and competitive strategy. What it’s doing is creating two separate levels of performance cars.
The new V-Series cars, including the CT4-V and CT5-V, are essentially the mid-level V-Sport variants meant to appease to a wide range of buyers. They are meant to solve a competitive disadvantage that Cadillac had for roughly the past decade – the lack of accessible sporty-oriented models that German competitors have identified and are owning outright.
One step above those will be the “real” performance offerings, with gobs of power, more aggressive looks, fat tires, and all the necessary chassis and cooling hardware to be driven hard. These have yet to be announced. In fact, they might not carry the V badge whatsoever.
Ultimately, we believe that the strategy will result in higher interest across the entire model range, turning into higher sales volume and profits for Cadillac. And that’s vital in today’s crossover-heavy market.
More Details To Come
Cadillac’s press release from today’s event tells us that “additional product information, as well as details on additional V-Series variants will be announced at a later date.” We’re waiting with bated breath.
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I didn’t get it initially but when I rewatched the reveal video, it made sense. It also clears up why the ct6 got changed to a v series instead of a v sport. I called a salesmen I knew and he told me how customers would come looking for models like the Mercedes c43 and they had nothing to offer. To us car enthusiasts, v sport makes sense but it confused the normal joes. This allows them to directly compete and keep us all happy. I wish they would have started at the top then worked their way down to avoid this confusion but business wise, it makes sense. That makes the power outputs competitive instead of what seemed to be unbelievable and now the top dog doesn’t have to worry about “fitting in” to please a larger audience because it can be an all out monster with the lower models pleasing the common folks.
Still disappointing numbers. BMW M340i makes 382hp and over 30 MPG highway.
That’s true but we still don’t know the mpg yet, weight, chassis dynamics, etc. Also the power delivery makes a big difference as well, its already said that the power comes in a very low rpms so we shall see. The numbers are close enough to not be able to say who’s on top without the real life tests
Not bad for a car that mostly goes to and from your local service center!
‘V’ now stands for ‘Velocity’ no matter the cylinder arrangements or type of propulsion be it ICE or Electric.
Sorry but I’m gonna have to go with what other’s said earlier they shouldn’t wear the badge, or at least go with what Mercedes did and differentiate it by adding engine displacement or something. It just seem like it’s diluting the brand. Or why not debut the more powerful ones first then give the entry level customers a taste after the real V’s come out. But let’s wait and see I’m trying my hardest too.
Don’t let the badge get in the way of what is an awesome product and a great product strategy.
Mercedes purists were all upset about how Mercedes started using the AMG badges on the “light” models not built in Affelterbach. And meanwhile, Mercedes is selling tons of these cars and making gobs of money.
So don’t be a purist or an extremist. See the bigger picture. Smell the coffee. This is a solid strategy. You just don’t happen to like that they’re using the V name for it. Whoooptiedoo.
Also, a big kudos to Alex Luft for being the voice of reason here. He’s the only one who has been able to understand the strategy and read between the lines.
Another good example of this (your example of MB and AMG) would be Lexus gluing an F-sport badge on nearly EVERY car they sell. Not saying I agree with it, but others are doing it. Maybe Cadillac is just following others lead again.
Not really. F badges might not accompany any performance upgrades… and Lexus” strategy is more about appearance.
Mercedes on the other hand actually offers major hardware and powertrain improvements with the AMG lite models like the C43 over the base C300/C250, while the C63 sits at the top. It’s not just about the badges with Mercedes… it’s about a lot more.
Audi and BMW are the same way. And now, Cadillac will finally be, too. I like the strategy from where im sitting.
Think of it this way, the STS-V is no longer the slowest least hardcore of the Vs Cadillac made 😉
First gen CTS-V had a slower quarter mile time. STS-V was never the slowest. And at the time of it’s release it had the most powerful engine ever produced by Cadillac.
Dropping HP = DEATH
I disagree that this was a smart strategy. Cadillac’s only shot to leapfrog the competition was in performance. Design both outside and inside, especially inside, is really lackluster for a new luxury sedan. And given that the ct5v will be priced higher than a camaro SS but will be way less powerful, this was a huge lost opportunity. Cadillac can’t get this wasted time back. By the time the twin turbo ct5 v+ is out, the Germans will be electrified. New bmw electric 3 and new Audi electric a4 are literally less than 2 years away.
I’m personally frustrated because I really wanted to return to GM, but it looks like Tesla is the last real trailblazer in American luxury.
Perhaps the naming is off, but it’s hard to say until we know what the top tier performance name is. I will say there has been an enormous space between the regular Cadillacs and the Vs. I think of the V2 when the jump was from 318hp to 556. I’d love the 556hp, but even used they’re expensive. If I could pick up a ls3 CTS-V coupe with a 6 speed, 15k less new or 8-10k less used I’d be on that.
I don’t agree what’s being transitioned here but if it helps Cadillac in all kinds of way for increased sales and a better and positive perception for the brand, I’m all in.
But what I see here are warmed-over V-Sport models in the CT4-V, CT5-V & CT6-V.
I think the crux of the issue at hand is the definition of what “V” meant 24 hours ago, versus now. This will create confusion, especially for those that aren’t enthusiast that pay close attention to things.
Had they just stuck with V-Sport or something else that was more obvious that this is simply a trim level, instead of a really different car, then I think we might be hearing a whole different tune from a lot of people right now.
Cadillac already had a V-Sport line. This isn’t Cadillac redefining it’s strategy. It’s just needless name shuffling and confusion.
I hope the high performance models wear a V badge also. Cadillac has spent 15 years building that trim as a performance standard and now should only build on it not abandon it. Enough of the name changing.
Okay so the CT4 actually looks like a good evolution of the Cadillac “look” the CT5 is just a weird conglomeration of Hondas and Lexuses. I’m still not a fan of the horizontal lighting, at all, I blame certain German wanna be’s for making that a “thing” with Cadillac. They were doing just fine having their signature elements that no other brand was doing, whereas now they are starting to look like everyone else.
Whoever’s been naming the latest cars at GM is really shooting them selves in the foot! Can’t they see people’s confusion with the new naming scheme. Even enthusiast think the ct5 competes with e and 5 series when it’s actually competing with 3 series and c class.
And now that you’re calling these Vs without specifying they’re actually lower tier people are thinking they’ll go against M, RS and the high numbered AMG when it’s really the m###, S and lower AMGs.
If you disregard the names these two cars actually compete nicely in terms of Powertrain and performance but most people don’t notice that since the see V and equate that to M sins that’s what it’s been for 15 years.
Furthermore when the come Hotter version of the Ct5-v comes out there’s still gonna be out cry because people are assuming it directly replaces the CTS-V. So even if it makes 450-500 hp and has the blackwing which would be an improvement over the ATS-V and be completive to M3 and C63 people are still going to associate it with M5 since that’s what the CTS-V went against.
Just in case you can’t see the confusion in comments on this site go check out Jonny Lieberman’s ig. Jonny works at Motor Trend and has been a long supporter of Vs but he basically went on a rant about the ct5-v because he didn’t comprehend this strategy.
If you’re confusing people who know and talk about cars for a living then you know there’s a problem.
I’m reading a lot of comments talking about confusion, people being confused, Cadillac causing confusion, etc. All this over them introducing lower powered V-series cars just to bring out the big dogs later. Yet, I’m going out on a limb here by saying that people buying V-series Cadillac’s make up a quite small percentage of the overall Cadillac sales each year. And now there’s all this worry about the confusion? Yet starting back in 2007 when I went back to the Cadillac store, we were seeing quite a bit of confusion with the direction of naming cars with numbers and letters. I worked with Cadillac up till late 2014 where everything but the Escalade was letters (ATS, CTS, XTS, SRX, ELR) and very few people had any clue what they were. You could ask anyone breathing what an Escalade was and they could tell you a Cadillac. Under the same exact circumstances ask the same question about ATS or any of the rest, and nobody but a few die-hard car people could guess what they were or who made them.
My point is that mass confusion has been effecting Cadillac for quite some time now and it takes the introduction of lower powered V-series cars to get people upset about it?
The confusion lies in the fact that V was the highest trim of performance for 15 years and now they’re making it the entry, if you don’t see how that’ll confuse people idk how else to explain it to you.
As for the names lets take for instance the ct5 which is a D segment car but people see 5 and think 5 series which is E segment there in lies the problem, Consumers and enthusiasts are looking at CT5 and think it’s E segment so the specs seem lackluster.
Cadillac’s previous D segment car was the ATS. I don’t care about opinions on alphabet soup vs real names bottom line is if the the car was named ATS or Seville your not going to have the consumer automatically jump to conclusions about what segment it’s in. They’re going to do research and learn what segment it competes in and what to cross shop.
You have no idea. Have you ever sold a car or worked in the industry? Your comment shows that you haven’t.
“People see CT5 and automatically assume 5 Series.”
No. They do not. Show me evidence that this is the case. You won’t be able to, since no such data exists and because your perception of the situation is your own…. and in this case it happens to be wrong. Very wrong.
Very few, if any, actual car shoppers think of Cadillac in the context of BMW models. So you’re way off there, to start.
Now, Cadillac very strategically named their cars with higher numbers than the competition. So 5 is greater than BMW 3 series and Audi A4. So If “people” would think anything, it is that it is higher and therefore better than the 3 series and A4, while commanding the same or lower price. Audi was first to do this with the A# family of cars, one-upping BMW. Cadillac is one-upping both BMW and Audi with its nomenclature. It’s actually rather smart.
People don’t care about segments. They don’t shop by segment. The segment exists by automakers and data gatherers to communicate information about a sector or group of people. Real people shop by cars and price. The name is irrelevant. The segment becomes a by-product of car type and price.
Get a grip on how this business actually works before spewing falsehoods.
“No. They do not. Show me evidence that this is the case.”
Literally read most comments on this site that think ct5 is the direct replacement for the cts so it needs 650 hp. Or most sites that write that ct5 goes after 5 series even though Cadillac says they were targeting 3 series with CT5.
“Real people shop by cars and price.“
You just stated the definition of what a segment is but call it however you like.
Don and Rob. I agree with a little from what you both say. But the real issues facing Cadillac isn’t what the people ON HERE think or say or do. Hell, the majority of people on here are the exact same (but small) group who do or would buy a V-series Caddy. People on here are not the norm and they are not the majority buying/leasing the cars. We make up a very small amount of Cadillac’s customers or potential customers.
The fact of this matter is that the vast majority of people walking into a Cadillac dealership (I know, it had to deal with them every day for years) just don’t understand what Cadillac is doing. The constant changing of names or lack of names. Changing of direction on how they classify cars and compare to other brands. You get what I’m saying. There is zero real direction with Cadillac and hasn’t been for quite some time. This ins’t just in the last 2 or 3 years. This goes way back starting around 2003 on up.
So yes there is a ton of confusion and it starts at the top and ends up with the customers. My comment is simply that people on here have gotten upset now and are talking about all the confusion because of Cadillac introducing the V-lite cars when they should be looking at the real problem within Cadillac’s larger picture.
The physical lengths/sizes of the cars are the objective and confusing crux of the matter. It’s hard to blame anyone for thinking the CT5 is a CTS replacement when it’s only 1.7″ shorter. Logically, they could have brought CT5 in as a tauter, lighter, competitively-priced, renamed CTS, and run a victory lap with the improved packaging & performance vs. the traditional rivals. Ditto with the CT4. But this is the picture they’re painting:
Group A: MB-193.8″ / Audi-194.4″ / BMW-194.6″
Group B: MB-184.5″ / Audi-186.1″ / BMW-185.4″ / CT5-193.8″
Group C: MB-182.3″ / Audi-175.5″ / BMW-174.7″ / CT4-183-186″ (est.)
One of these things is not like the others…8-9″ of car is a lot of sheetmetal. They can target the 3-series with pricing, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the 3-series shopper is interested in a larger car. The reception of the styling might play an even larger role in determining sales success than pricing or size, to be honest.
Update: GM has posted the CT4 specs, revealing that it’s almost 5″ longer than ATS, and heavier: the 2.7T RWD is est. at 3616 lbs., within 50 lbs. of the previous ATS 3.6 AWD.
Group A: MB-193.8″ / Audi-194.4″ / BMW-194.6″
Group B: MB-184.5″ / Audi-186.1″ / BMW-185.4″ / CT5-193.8″
Group C: MB-182.3″ / Audi-175.5″ / BMW-174.7″ / CT4-187.2″
More details at: https://media.cadillac.com/media/us/en/cadillac/home.detail.html/content/Pages/news/us/en/2019/may/0530-cadillac-vseries.html
Cadillac tried to sell a V sport name that just did not add up marketing wise.
Cadillac is now going the. Or Vette route buy having the established V be the base package and then do a V Blackwing or some new model like Corvette did with the Grand Sport and Z06.
People just need to relax and stop assuming they were given everything at once here.
I expect you will be surprised at what is coming.
The eternal optimist. I say we just let market forces take over and deal the finishing blow. Watching this decline in slow motion is painful.
Well looks like my 2016 v sport just got a boost in value being high hp in stock trim. Tuned these things are a beast so even the stock 420/420 looks better then what’s being offered so far on the “mid “ level.
I have three Cadillacs in my garage right now, but I really don’t see anything in the new models that will make we want another one. Very sad that GM continues to make such incredibly bad decisions…
The strategy makes sense but Cadillac did a terrible job with relaying this information. Yes I know the Germans have “diluted” the performance brands but it was not done in a confusing way. For instance BMW puts M on a lot of higher sport trims now but it does not follow the actual M nomenclature like M2. For their m sport it would be M235i or M135i. Full blown V models for the past 15 years have had V after the model name. If Cadillac had said CT5-V777 (too lazy to convert the NM number for those engines using their dummy naming convention) then us fans would not be confused. I will not apologize for being upset and confused at their strategy. Lack of good communication will always lead to problems no matter what. Just like the first Nintendo wii was super popular and when the wii u came out people had no idea it was a brand new console because the average consumer does not do their own research.
One of the biggest marketing and branding blunders in GM history. Poorly executed rollout of this new strategy. The strategy itself makes no sense. They spent 15 years building a no-nonsense, top of the line, tire-shredding brand know for being the pinnacle of Cadillac performance, that competed on the world stage and was at one time the fastest production sedan on the market – and now this? They should have remained with the V-Sport strategy in the mid-tier and V as the ultimate option. V was exclusive, now it is not. The problem with V-Sport was that they never fully committed to the sub-brand from the start. CTS V-Sport was a solid start, but there never was an ATS V-Sport, and the XTS V-Sport had no place being a “performance model.” Here’s to hoping all us naysayers are wrong and this is successful, but I think its poor branding.
So why not call these V-Sport Line then?
What a huge Blunder utilizing the V Series Badge on these two vehicles.
GM is the King of just wait for the better stuff, it really is coming.
Cadillac’s new naming convention uses the torque figure in the name right? But in newton-meters. So this CT4-V would be the CT4-V500 which is fine if they had that badge on this car. But this still doesn’t ring home with the V fans. Why release the car with one hand tied behind it’s back and just pi$$ people off and create confusion (which GM has been doing a lot with new releases lately). Release the big dog in the spot light, the CT4-V650 (475lb-ft) and then mention the lower power offerings on the sidelines.
90% of people are just going to now associate the new V’s being underwhelming.
This whole thing screams amateur hour. They should’ve said so and clarified their new strategy from the get go before even showing the cars… What a Charlie Foxtrot.
Si Cadillac hizo el comunicado sobre un posible modelo creó yo ct5 más caliente entonces debieron presentar la nueva línea de ultra rendimiento ahora bien.
Gmauthority debe crear un nuevo post sobre la nuevo sub marca que si quieren copiar seria VR o RV o series V 650 Tt
The “strategy” is clearly aimed at appealing to 20-30 somethings in China. Why is everyone so surprised?? Is no one paying attention? That audience has no need for, nor can they afford, 500+hp super sedans? Yet they want the look, lots and lots of badging and “some performance”. The avg. age of Cadillac buyers in China is……33-34. Here? about 60.
It’s about America just as much as it is about China. People the world over want sporty and luxurious cars in much greater quantities than people want track beasts. Cadillac will do both… only now it will actually be effective in the former space (a space it was previously non-existent), while continuing to be effective in the latter.
I just hope these more powerful are only months down the road and not years. They are already lagging behind and can’t afford to get further behind if they want to be comptative.