The Cadillac V-Series is the name of high-performance vehicles tuned by the General Motors Performance Division for the Cadillac division of General Motors. Models in the V-Series include the CTS-V coupe, sedan and wagon. Cadillac reportedly has no plans to create V-Series versions of its SUVs, the Escalade and SRX.
All V-Series Cadillacs feature high-performance V8 engines mated to manual six-speed transmissions, more aggressively tuned braking and suspension systems, revised interiors and special V-series bodywork which is intended to improve vehicle performance as well as differentiate them from their normal production counterparts.
Cadillac has also re-entered Motorsport competition with their CTS-V R, a joint venture between GM Performance Division and Pratt & Miller race team, most famous for their role in GM's Le Mans winning Corvette C5-R program.
In addition to the Corvette and Camaro, the V designation draws comparisons to other high-performance models by GM such as the Super Sport series, Chrysler's SRT, and Ford SVT line of high-performance vehicles.
In 2009, the 2nd generation CTS-V sedan achieved a lap time of 7:59.32 at the Nürburgring Nordschleife, which was the fastest documented time for a production sedan on factory tires -until the Porsche Panamera Turbo clocked a time of 7:56 in July 2009- thanks to a heavily-tuned "LS9" EATON-supercharged 6.2L V8 engine that was borrowed from Corvette. The engine was renamed as "LSA" and it produces 556 horsepower as well 551 lb.-ft of torque. The same "LSA" engine is used in CTS-V coupe and wagon. The CTS-V is currently the only V-Series by Cadillac for the 2014 model lineup, and it was originally created to compete with BMW M3 sedan and coupe, as well the M5. Future plans for the V-Series include a new ATS-V sedan and coupe along to a 3rd generation CTS-V sedan.
1st Generation V-Series
The very first V-Series model of the Cadillac family was the CTS which was built on GM Sigma Platform like the core model. Since a V8 engine was used, it required a unique engine cradle distinct from the base CTS V6. Larger anti-roll bars and larger shocks were also added. The spring rate was significantly increased. Right at front above the ground, GM LS engine V8 from the C5-generation Corvette Z06 was fitted. Coupled -also from the C5 Z06- with a six-speed Tremec manual transmission.
XLR hard-top was the second Cadillac to join the V-Series. It was an ultra-luxury segment car, first introduced in 2005 and it shared platform with Corvette C6. The XLR-V used a supercharged Northstar V8. For the XLR-V, the engine was certified by the SAE to produce 443 hp (330 kW) and 414 lb·ft (561 N·m). The supercharger and four intercoolers were built into the intake manifold. A six-speed automatic transmission, larger brakes from the Z51 Corvette, and 19-inch wheels were used. The XLR base price was $98,000 and by 2008 it reached $101,300 making it one of General Motors' most expensive vehicles of all time.
A year after XLR-V launch and two after CTS-V. In 2006, Cadillac started producing STS-V sedan that also featured the famous Northstar V8 engine from XLR-V. However, the supercharged 4.4-liter Northstar V8 in STS-V had 26 more horsepower and 25 more lbs.-ft. of torque than XLR-V's. The engine was mated to a driver-adjustable transmission with two shifting modes, larger brakes by Brembo, larger 10 spoke alloy wheels (18"x8.5" front, 19"x9.5" rear), Pirelli run-flat tires, a faster steering ratio, and a stiffer suspension than the standard STS.
2nd Generation V-Series
The second generation V-Series was exclusive to the CTS since STS and XLR were rolled-out of production. For 2009, Cadillac introduced the second-generation CTS-V that was built on GM Sigma II Platform. It was a rear-wheel drive, powered by a 6.2-liter LSA EATON-supercharged V8 that was based on LS9 V8 from -what was then- recently released Corvette ZR1. The engine generates 556 horsepower and 551 lbs.-ft. of torque. The second-generation CTS-V was a major hit that advanced Cadillac's "Art & Science" philosophy further ahead. It broke a Nürburgring lap-record which made it -back then- the fastest production sedan.
When asked in 2009 about the possibility of a CTS-V wagon, the GM Vice Chairman at that time, Bob Lutz, replied, "... should sufficient demand materialize, there is no reason why we couldn't do a V-Series wagon, and I would be standing in line for one, just ahead of you." GM decided to move forward, introducing a 5-door sport wagon body style to the CTS-V vehicle line at the New York International Auto Show on 29 March 2010.
The CTS-V wagon shares the 556 hp (415 kW) engine and 6-speed manual or automatic transmission, Magnetic Ride Control, Brembo brakes, 19 inch aluminum wheels and performance tires and a dual-airflow grille also used in the CTS-V sedan and coupe.
The CTS-V Coupe debuted at the 2010 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, and entered production in summer 2010 as a 2011 model. It has the same 556 hp (415 kW) engine and transmission choices as the CTS-V sedan. The CTS-V Coupe features unique centered twin exhausts, a larger grille for air intake, and an optional "saffron" interior trim color. Like the CTS-V sedan, it comes standard with 19-inch aluminum wheels, Brembo brakes, and Magnetic Ride Control.
3rd Generation V-Series
The 3rd Generation V-Series is not revealed yet. But, car magazines have spotted prototypes in testing. Based on the spy-photos available online, the 3rd generation V-Series will include a new CTS-V sedan, ATS-V compact sedan and ATS-V coupe. Rumors and leaks by far claims Cadillac will drop the CTS-V coupe and wagon for the next generation. An ATS-V convertible (cabriolet) is on the table which may or may not reach production.
- Official V-Series website
- CadillacFAQ.com-Information, pictures, video, documents and more on the V-series