General Motors is celebrating the 15th anniversary of its Cadillac V-Series sub-brand this year, with the very first V-badged vehicle, the original Cadillac CTS-V, having made its debut in the spring of 2004.
That debut, held at the Nurburgring in Germany, marked the start of Cadillac’s attempted transition from a classic American luxury brand into a sportier, more contemporary automaker that looked to take on European rivals like BMW and Audi.
“From the very beginning, Cadillac’s V-Series represented the ultimate expression of our design, technology, and performance,” GM president Mark Reuss said. “It introduced an entirely new breed of performance-minded customers to Cadillac showrooms and helped transform the brand’s traditional image into one with different facets for customers’ varying driving tastes.”
After the debut of the 2004 Cadillac CTS-V, the brand’s lineup grew the V-Series variants of the larger STS sedan and the two-seat XLR. The brand exploded in popularity following the debut of the second-generation CTS-V in 2008, which of course spawned the beloved Coupe and Sport Wagon model variants. The success of these cars eventually led GM to develop the BMW M3 and M4-rivalling ATS-V sedan and coupe, along with the more powerful third-generation CTS-V.
More recently, GM debuted the twin-turbocharged Blackwing V8-powered CT6-V, which will be built in very limited numbers before the CT6 is phased out from the North American market entirely. That doesn’t mean the end of V-Series, though. Cadillac is expected to pull the veil off both the CT5-V and CT4-V this month (almost 15 years to the day after the first CTS-V debuted) which will attempt to uphold Cadillac’s modern-day position as a purveyor of impressive performance cars.