Last month, GM announced the all-new 2020 Cadillac CT5-V. Unfortunately, many were left feeling a bit “meh” following the reveal. Chalk that up to a new two-tier V-Series strategy that will now include more approachable models, resulting in the CT5-V’s rather pedestrian output figures. But that wasn’t great news for enthusiasts, as the new CT5-V simply doesn’t have the ponies needed to replace the third-gen Cadillac CTS-V and its outrageous 640 horsepower.
The good news is that there’s another, more track-focused CT5-V on the way. This next-level variant will offer greater performance potential than the standard CT5-V model, as exhibited by a camouflaged prototype that teased its way around the Belle Isle track ahead of the 2019 Detroit Grand Prix. And that leads us to the next obvious question: compared to the “standard” CT5-V, what makes the next-level Cadillac CT5-V prototype unique? To answer that, we’re putting ‘em side by side and picking ‘em apart.
One note before we get started: it’s highly likely that the “next-level” CT5-V prototype shown at Belle Isle is a very early one. As such, it will likely change during the development process to include more aggressive features and components.
It’s a little difficult to pick out exactly what’s going on in front of the next-level Cadillac CT5-V, what with its heavy camouflage and thick black netting. However, there are a few things we can identify.
For starters, the prototype’s headlamps are identical to those of the standard CT5-V. That includes the vertical accent lamps lower in the bumper. However, the grille is definitely different. Side by side, we see the next-level CT5-V’s intake is bigger than that of the standard model, and it’s a different shape as well. The design of the grille insert also seems to be a point of departure.
Below the large upper grille, the prototype’s lower intake is flanked by a set of air-blade elements located near the vertical lighting signatures. Further towards the sides, the mirror caps are blacked-out, although this may be part of the camouflage of the next-level CT5-V, rather than a design change.
Looking ahead, we expect additional visual changes with the next-level Cadillac CT5-V that aren’t included with this prototype, such as large air extractor vents in the hood and – potentially – an entirely new hood altogether.
Sides & Rear End
Unsurprisingly, the next-level CT5-V gets a brand new wheel spec, with large, blacked-out alloy rollers. It also looks as though the wheels and tires are wider than those of the standard CT5-V, which makes sense if the next-level model is intended to stick even harder.
Behind the front wheels, low in the fenders, we spy small air vents. These likely work in tandem with the air intakes next to the vertical light signatures at the front to help cool the upgraded front brakes.
Viewed from the rear, the next-level Cadillac CT5-V prototype is equipped with the same subtle spoiler as the standard CT5-V model. However, the next-level Cadillac CT5-V will likely get even bigger aero bits when it comes to production.
To finish it off, the next-level prototype gets the same quad trapezoidal exhaust tips as the standard model, but again, it’s possible these may change when the next-level model hits production, likely with some sort of black finish added to match the wheels.
What’s Under The Hood?
For now, the standard CT5-V is equipped with a twin-turbo 3.0L V6 LGY engine laying down 355 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque. Output is routed through the new GM 10-speed automatic transmission to standard rear-wheel-drive, with all-wheel-drive being an available option.
By comparison, the next-level Cadillac CT5-V is expected to receive Caddy’s 4.2L “Blackwing” Twin-Turbo V8, which produces 550 horsepower and 627 pound-feet of torque when cradled by the CT6-V. The rest of the specs should match the higher output figures, with bigger brakes and sharper settings for the Performance Traction Management and Magnetic Ride Control suspension.
We’re chomping at the bit to see what Cadillac has in store with this go-faster premium four-door, but we’ll have to wait for any official info. Until then, subscribe to GM Authority for more CT5 news, Cadillac news, and 24/7 GM news coverage.
This report is produced in collaboration with our sister publication, Cadillac Society.