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.