Today, virtually all premium brands offer powerful and stiffly suspended variants of their normally sedate saloons, but today Cadillac is no longer the newcomer to this battle.
Following two previous generations of surprisingly performance-minded models, Cadillac's CTS gets the V treatment. Starting with General Motors’ new Alpha platform that underpins the Cadillac ATS-V, as well as the Chevrolet Camaro, the CTS-V gets the full performance treatment.
Gone are the coupé and wagon variants, as well as the availability of a manual transmission. This CTS-V is exclusively a rear-drive, automatic, four-door executive saloon.
The supercharged 6.2-litre V8 is a derivative of the engine developed for the Corvette Z06, but is a wet-sump iteration that develops 640bhp and 630lb ft. Cadillac touts this engine as more powerful than the last generation Mercedes-AMG E 63 and BMW M5.
Still, those output numbers are slightly down from the Z06 and, according to Cadillac, due entirely to exhaust manifold packaging constraints within the CTS platform.
Power is delivered to the rear wheels through a remarkably rapid eight-speed automatic transmission. The rear differential is the electronically controlled kind and driveshafts are asymmetric, developed specifically to avoid the dreaded axle hop under hard straight-line acceleration.