General Motors has released the third-generation model of the 2016 Cadillac CTS-V, and reviewers have driven it on the test track. Based on their experience, the latest offering from Cadillac takes on a muscular feel.
According to Pat Devereux of Top Gear, the Cadillac CTS-V is America's answer to the "European super saloons." He found a few improvements in the latest version.
"Power is now provided by the supercharged 6.2-liter V8 borrowed from the Corvette Z06, with 10 fewer bhp than its coupe cousin at 640 bhp," Devereux wrote. "Weight has been pared back by 45 kg over the outgoing model, giving it a 160 kg head start over all its European rivals, particularly the class heavyweight, the Audi RS7."
Devereux pointed out that like other high-end Cadillacs and Corvettes, the CTS-V had "Performance Traction Mangement, third-generation magnetorheological dampers, a data recorder and an electronic rear diff." He also found that its big brakes were made of steel instead of carbon.
"The interior has been tidied up enormously from the previous gen car. It's now of comparable quality with the European competition in terms of fit, finish and materials," Devereux wrote.
Devereux reported that the seats in the CTS-V can be configured to where "it's comfortable on the road and keeps you locked in position on the track." He then talked about the ride.
"On the road, the fastest Cadillac you can buy is hushed and calm, with instant warp power and a smooth, level ride," Devereux wrote. "The miles just vanish beneath the wheels."
In terms of handling, Devereux noted that the CTS-V was "quick and wieldy with good steering position."
"You'd never, ever encounter similar behavior on the road unless you went utterly and illegally mad. So nothing to worry about, just to note," Devereux wrote.
Based on his experience with the luxury car, Devereux thought it had "all the comfort and four-door convenience you'd want to cruise through everyday life."
"This new CTS-V has not just leveled its offer with the competition; it's surpassed it in several areas," Devereux wrote. "It's lost none of the base CTS's lightness of touch and precision and added a thick layer of performance that pushes the platform, brakes and tires to the very edge of their capabilities."
Ben Stewart of Edmunds also tested the latest version of the Cadillac CTS-V. He noted that the standard version of the luxury car included "most of the important equipment."
"Before that horsepower reaches the ground, it is distributed to the tires by an electronically controlled limited-slip differential," Stewart wrote. "Onboard computer systems can read road and vehicle conditions and decide to send more power to a specific tire to either help balance handling, increase traction - or both."
Stewart reported that the CTS-V top performance model had "safety features like lane departure warning and lane-keeping assist" as standard. The car also came with automatic parking assist, "which can park the car with the driver only selecting the gear and applying the throttle and brake."
"Another great standard feature for urban dwellers is the curb-view camera system, which shows the driver a bird's-eye view when approaching a parking spot," Stewart wrote. "It's good for preserving the expensive carbon fiber below the bumper."
When it came to performance, Stewart thought the CTS-V was "the closest you can get to a four-door Corvette."
"The big V8 has so much power and torque on tap that flooring the throttle means it will keep pace with some very speedy company," Stewart wrote. "Cadillac says it will run through the quarter-mile in the mid-11-second range at more than 125 mph. Believe it or not, that's as quick as the $245,000 Ferrari 458 Italia."
Stewart cited that "the incredible power, grip and highly accurate steering" made driving the CTS-V a fun experience.
"If you aren't encumbered by decades of German badge loyalty and would be proud to own a 200-mph super sedan designed and built in America, then the Cadillac store is a great place to spend your money," Stewart wrote. "In just about every performance parameter, the CTS-V either meets or exceeds its rivals, which certainly earns its owner some bragging rights."
The MSRP for the 2016 Cadillac CTS-V starts at $83,995 for the base model.