General Motors' luxury arm Cadillac has confirmed that it will be debuting the latest-generation Cadillac CTS-V, a sedan that packs more punch than supercars such as the Ferrari 458 Speciale and the Lamborghini Huracán.
The 640-horsepower CTS-V comes supercharged with a direct gas-injected 6.2-liter LT4 V8 engine, the same engine that powers the 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06. With 630 pound-feet of torque, the new CTS-V accelerates from zero to 60 miles per hour (mph) in 3.7 seconds and can reach top speed of 200 mph. It's 135 pounds lighter than the first-generation CTS-V, but it is way more powerful compared to its predecessor and its little brother, the ATS-V unveiled earlier at the Los Angeles Auto Show.
"V-Series represents the very best of the Cadillac brand - the pinnacle of our design and technical capabilities," says Cadillac president Johan de Nysschen in a statement. "The new CTS-V is the most compelling example of Cadillac's product substance and brand trajectory. The new CTS-V soars into the stratosphere of the most exhilarating luxury cars."
The CTS-V certainly looks better on paper than its direct competitors, the 5.5-liter biturbo V8 Mercedes Benz E63 and the 4.4-liter twin turbo V8 BMW M5, which both have 577 and 575 horsepower respectively. Aluminum deactivation, titanium valves, standard carbon hood and optional carbon fiber vent, and a rear spoiler and front splitter contribute the biggest improvements to the CTS-V since the first-generation model debuted in 2008.
Although the older but still powerful 556-horsepower CTS-V earned the praise of enthusiasts, the original model did not attract as many buyers as Cadillac would have wanted, owing in part to the car's racer boy looks and inferior interior quality. However, the new CTS-V boasts a subtler, classier design that combines with outrageous luxury appointments.
The rear-wheel drive will have a new eight-speed automatic transmission, which means stick shift enthusiasts only have the six-speed manual ATS-V as an option. Both cars will go on sale in American markets next year.
The price of the new CTS-V, however, is still undisclosed, although the older model goes for anywhere between $71,000 and $75,000. Some analysts believe the cost of buying and owning a CTS-V will play a role in whether its most powerful sedan will be able to stand up to the European competition.
"A lot of it will come down to pricing," says analyst Dave Sullivan of AutoPacific.
Nysschen, who took over the Cadillac helm in September, says he hopes to double the sales of his company's luxury cars to half a million units by 2020 and increase product offerings from six to 12 cars. The company is, in fact, working on a new flagship sedan that will be introduced next spring in New York, he says.
Luxury cars are obviously not high-volume sellers for their price, but they prove Cadillac's engineering expertise can satisfy the demand of a small but affluent subset of buyers looking for the newest technological innovations in the auto industry.
The new CTS-V will make its first appearance at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit next month.