Cadillac took the wraps off two new cars late last night. The CT4-V and CT5-V both represent the next step for the V performance series — and it’s an unexpected one.
First, let’s unpack where both of these cars stand. Cadillac calls the CT4-V an all-new model, but it is ostensibly a heavy update to the outgoing ATS. It shares that car’s Alpha platform and wheelbase, but drapes it in more modern sheetmetal.
That’s where the similarities end, however. Cadillac is re-framing its smallest sedan: the CT4 will be targeting the likes of the Mercedes A-Class and Audi A3 in the sub-compact luxury class. The new strategy also shows its influence under the hood of the CT4-V, which drops the six-cylinder of its predecessor for a four-banger. The 2.7-liter turbocharged inline engine recently debuted in the 2019 Silverado and Sierra. GM designed the long-stroke engine specifically for truck duty; here, it gets a slight bump in power and torque to 320hp and 369lbft.
The CT4-V will be available with either rear- or all-wheel drive. Opting for the former provides drivers with magnetorheological dampers and 18-inch summer tires, whereas the latter gets passive dampers and all-seasons. No matter which drivetrain buyers select, they’ll get a 10-speed automatic and electronic limited slip differential.
Moving up a rung, Cadillac’s built the CT5 to take on the BMW 3 Series, Mercedes C-Class, and Audi A4. It too sits on the Alpha platform, although it’s stretched over its little brother. Considering the similarities in size — and even badge — to the outgoing, Corvette-powered CTS-V, you might expect another sort of V8 under the hood here. Nope: instead, the CT5-V packs Caddy’s turbo V6. It’s the same engine that the regular CT5 debuted with earlier this year, though here it boasts an extra 20 ponies at 355hp. Torque remains unchanged, at an even 400lbft.
Like the CT4-V, the CT5-V will stick to a 10-speed auto sending power either to the rear or all four tires. It bumps its wheel size up to 19 inches however, with 245/40 summer-only tires on rear-drive models.
Both cars will also feature Cadillac’s hands-free Super Cruise driver assist.
For those keeping track at home, those power levels put both cars well over 100hp down on their predecessors. Moving from CTS-V to CT5-V actually drops a massive 285hp. It looks like Cadillac is shifting what the V badge will mean: no longer will it be mixing it up with the Ms, RSs, and full-fat AMGs of the world. Instead, these new cars will seemingly slot into the class below, with the CT4-V going up against the likes of the Audi S3, and the CT5-V more in line with BMW’s M340i.
It’s a move aimed at spreading awareness of the V brand, but the big question is just what Cadillac will call future higher-performance models. V²? VR? At the reveal event, Cadillac did hint at an eventual V8 model — the Blackwing, its new 550hp turbo engine — but that’s all.
The two cars go on sale early next year. We expect the CT4-V to start at roughly $40,000, while the CT5-V may be around $10,000 more.