Cadillac has taken a lot of heat about moving its headquarters to Manhattan and otherwise metrosexualizing the brand, but perhaps announcing that the next-generation Cadillac CTS-V will have a top speed of 200 mph is new Cadillac chief Johann de Nysschen having a Giuliani moment . Powered by a 6.2-liter supercharged V-8, the super sedans blunt recent criticism that by moving its headquarters to Manhattan, Cadillac is abandoning “real cars” for metrosexual branding.
The 2016 Cadillac CTS-V promises to combine leap-into-hyperspace acceleration with track-worthy handling and braking while still providing four-door luxury automobile accommodations and comfort. It’s racer ready accoutrements—beyond the 640 horses—include carbon fiber hood and spoilers, Brembo brakes and stiffening of the chassis with additional bracing.
Because of the massive increase in torque from the supercharged V-8, the chassis required greater stiffening than the usual strut tower brace.
- Unique and revised elements include:
- Strut tower-to-tower brace
- Strut tower-to-plenum brace
- V-braces for the engine compartment
- Strengthened rocker bulkhead
- Stronger rear cradle-to-rocker braces
- A unique aluminum shear panel at the front of the chassis
- Upper tie bar-to-bumper braces.
The enhancements bolster structural stiffness by 25 percent over non-V models, for more precise handling and steering – and a more confident feel from a vehicle that conveys strength through exceptional solidity.
The stiffer chassis also allows an upgraded suspension to handle the greater loads transmitted via the greater grip from the performance tires.
Nineteen-inch wheels wrapped with specially developed Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires give the CTS-V its footprint and enable nearly 1g in lateral acceleration. The lightweight, forged aluminum wheels – measuring 9.5 inches wide in the front and 10 inches wide in the rear – are constructed of a low-mass forging that helps reduce un-sprung weight for greater agility and a more direct feel to steering inputs.
The wheels are 45-percent stiffer than previous CTS-V wheels, while the Michelin tires feature a tri-compound tread that delivers excellent grip in performance driving situations, while offering excellent ride quality characteristics and extended tread wear.
The suspension received a thorough going over.
- A revised multi-link double-pivot MacPherson-strut front suspension delivers a quicker response and increased lateral control, incorporating “hydro” bushings, where traditional elastomeric bushings are replaced with zero-compliance cross-axis ball joints, higher-rate springs and a stiffer stabilizer bar – for 20-percent greater roll stiffness.
- The ZF Steering Systems Servotronic II variable-ratio electric power steering gear, with 14-percent greater system stiffness for an improved feeling of precision and greater driver feedback
- Cadillac’s five-link rear suspension features reduced roll center migration, stronger lateral control and effective anti-squat geometry, complementing the front suspension with greater body motion control. Contributing components include stiffer bushings, new cradle mounts, higher-rate springs and a stiffer stabilizer bar.
The 2016 Cadillac CTS-V has the third-generation Magnetic Ride Control and Performance Traction Management systems. There are four driver-selectable settings, Tour, Sport, Track and Snow. Track mode enables Performance Traction Management. Five settings of torque reduction and brake intervention can be set for track driving.
The 2016 CTS-V continues use of GM’s Magnetic Ride Control system. Like previous generations, the system adjusts shock absorbers damping via magneto-rheological fluid—the fluid in the shock absorbers changes viscosity with electromagnetic charge—at each shock absorber independently. Third-generation improvements enable 40-percent faster damping response. At 60 mph, Cadillac notes, the system calculates the optimal damping force for every inch of the road.
An electronic limited-slip differential is standard on the 2016 Cadillac CTS-V, and power hop during acceleration is reduced by the use of larger prop shafts and a stiffer driver’s side shaft for greater half-shaft asymmetry.
Huge Brembo brakes are standard. The two-piece front discs measure 15.3-inches in diameter and have staggered six-piston calipers. The rear discs are slightly smaller, at 14.3 inches, with four-piston calipers.
Of course, that’s somewhat besides the point without the all-new engine, which is what Cadillac is calling it despite the identical displacement. It’s not only more powerful but although it’s too early for official fuel economy numbers, the 2016 Cadillac CTS-V more efficient as well. That’s against, however, a 14/19 mpg city/highway fuel consumption of the current CTS-V.
The new engine comes with a more-compact 1.7L supercharger. According to Cadillac,
The supercharger’s rotors are smaller in diameter than the previous supercharged engine, allowing higher maximum rpm that enables power-enhancing boost to be generated earlier in the rpm band. That boost is achieved more efficiently via a more direct discharge port that creates less turbulence, reducing heat and speeding airflow into the engine.
Special for the 2016 Cadillac CTS-V engine are Rotocast A356T6 aluminum cylinder heads that are stronger and can handle heat better than conventional aluminum heads. The double overhead cam engine, which has a 6600 rpm redline, has lightweight titanium intake valves .
Naturally, with supercharging and a compression ratio of 10:1, the engine has direct injection. And because sometime you have to behave, the new CTS-V has cylinder deactivation and runs on four cylinders at light throttle load. You will have to use premium fuel. But you knew that.
The 2016 Cadillac CTS-V, however, loses the manual transmission option. Instead, an eight-speed automatic replaces the current six-speed. According to Cadillac, “The new 8L90 transmission offers full manual control via steering wheel paddles, and Performance Algorithm Shifting to deliver shift performance that rivals the dual-clutch/semi-automatic transmissions found in many luxury performance sedans – but with the smoothness and refinement that come with a conventional automatic fitted with a torque converter.”