Dodge set plenty of mouths agape when it announced the two-door Challenger SRT Hellcat and four-door Charger SRT Hellcat. Both vehicles pack in a supercharged 6.2-liter Hemi engine generating 707 horsepower and top speeds in excess of 200mph. Cadillac isn’t about to let Dodge hog the spotlight when it comes to high-powered, German slaying hyper sedans; so today it’s launching its third generation CTS-V and it sure is a beauty.
The 2016 CTS-V is all about the engine, and Cadillac couldn’t have picked a better donor vehicle than the Chevrolet Corvette Z06. That means that you’ll find the 6.2-liter LT4 V8 producing 640 horsepower and 630 lb-ft of torque (down 10 horsepower and 20 lb-ft from the Z06) under the hood. Despite the slight detune, it’s enough to send the 2016 CTS-V rocketing to 60 mph in just 3.7 seconds on up to a top speed of 200hp.
But Cadillac’s engineers haven’t neglected the rest of the vehicle; they’ve also delivered a four-mode Magnetic Ride Control active damping system that has a 40 percent increase in responsiveness, a 25 percent increase in structural stiffness, revised double-pivot McPherson-strut front suspension for quicker response, standard limited-slip E-Diff, larger prop shafts, 19” forged aluminum wheels (available in three finishes), and Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires. Cadillac has also taken steps to reduce weight with a standard carbon fiber hood; a carbon fiber front splinter, rear diffuser, and rear spoiler will also be made available for those that don’t mind paying extra.
Inside, the CTS-V also receives a revised version of the massive 12.3” digital instrument cluster and will be paired with a heads-up display (HUD) that is projected onto the windshield. As for other technology items, you’ll find the [unloved] CUE interface on the dash, Siri Eyes Free, Bluetooth connectivity, inductive wireless charging for your compatible smartphone, and 4G LTE hotspot capabilities. The CTS-V even receives another goodie from the Corvette: the Performance Data Recorder (which has already nabbed at least one valet in the real world).
Like the Charger SRT Hellcat, the 2016 CTS-V will only come with an 8-speed automatic transmission; in this case, the 8L90 that will offer full manual controls with wheel-mounted paddles. The loss of the manual is just one of the letdowns for the CTS-V — a manual transmission was offered in both the first- and second-generation vehicles.
The second loss is the good looking and versatile wagon variant. Cadillac only sold 1,200 examples of the second generation CTS-V wagon or roughly 0.5 percent of total CTS production. We can always hope that the smaller ATS-V — which will be made available in both coupe and sedan variants with both automatic and manual transmissions — will see a wagon variant in the future, but we’re not holding our breaths on that one given America’s aversion to any vehicle with a hatch and plenty of cargo room that isn’t AWD and jacked up on stilts.
The 2016 CTS-V will be unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show next month, and hopefully we’ll have some pricing and availably information at that time.