The CT4-V and CT5-V are part of a growing family at Cadillac’s performance division.
Both employ the automaker’s latest engine tech and a special rear-wheel drive platform.
The 2004 CTS-V was not your grandfather’s Cadillac. With a 5.7-liter V8 churning out 400 horsepower (later a 6.0), this new V-Series car hit 60 mph in about 4.6 seconds. Established in 2002 under the direction of one Ken Morris, Cadillac’s special vehicle performance team was looking to give the luxury marque serious street cred. Armed with a manual transmission, the first CTS-V would get its chance two years later, cutting its teeth on Germany’s famed Nürburgring circuit.
And perhaps, the rest is history?
“From the very beginning, Cadillac’s V-Series represented the ultimate expression of our design, technology, and performance,” said Mark Reuss, GM President. “It introduced an entirely new breed of performance-minded customers to Cadillac showrooms and helped transform the brand’s traditional image into one with different facets for customers’ varying driving tastes.”
The V-Series family tree grew to include five platforms: CTS, XLR, STS, ATS, and CT6, with the branches of that tree still growing. The new CT6-V is a literal monster and an exact beauty; one showcasing the best elements of Cadillac’s now 15-year-long V program. On the heels of the CT6-V come the CT4-V and CT5-V, smaller variants in size but certinately not in stamina or strength. Both are driven by Cadillac’s latest engine tech; both are supported by GM’s rear-wheel drive Alpha architecture; and both utilize Magnetic Ride Control 4.0 with V-Series specific tuning.
Here is a look at the 2020 Cadillac CT4-V and CT5-V. It’s hard to pick a favorite.
“The new lineup expands the V-Series ethos, drawing more customers into the Cadillac Performance family,” Reuss explained. “The newest Vs are focused on elevated athleticism and luxurious refinement for customers wanting a dynamic daily drive.”
2020 Cadillac CT4-V: Engine & Transmission
Indeed, the forthcoming CT4-V will make a great daily driver. It will have a nice, plush interior and plenty of connectivity options; it will be quiet and calm inside – essentially, it will have everything one would reasonably believe a Cadillac should. And under the hood, we have enough for a quick sprint down the on-ramp and for a heart flutter once on the highway. In other words, the 2020 Cadillac CT4-V is a nicely-balanced machine.
Take, for example, the 2.7-liter’s valvetrain which consists of a three-step sliding camshaft and dual-overhead camshaft with four-valves per cylinder; continuously variable valve timing and variable valve lift; and, for good measure, Active Fuel Management (or cylinder deactivation in GM’s parlance). These systems combine to balance performance and fuel economy, all while the driver sits comfortably.
Moving through the in-line four engine we find a single, dual-volute turbocharger (33-psi) with an electronically-controlled waste gate and special cooling system. Downstream is a 10-speed automatic (Hydra-Matic 10L60) with a limited-slip rear differential. All told, the 2020 Cadillac CT4-V dials up 320 horsepower and 369 lb-ft. of torque through a 2.85 final drive ratio. (SAE certification pending as of this writing).
CT4-V: Chassis & Suspension
Up front, the CT4-V rides on a MacPherson-type suspension with dual lower ball joints; at the rear, it’s a five-link independent setup. All-wheel drive variants receive ZF MVS passive dampers and a direct-acting stabilizer bar. By comparison, real-wheel drive variants employ Magnetic Ride Control 4.0 with V-Series-specific calibrations. The V-Series calibration treatments continue over to the electric power steering system.
From the factory, the 2020 Cadillac CT4-V will ride on 18 x 8.0-inch aluminum wheels with 235/40R18 summer-only tires. If you opt for all-wheel drive, the CT4-V gets all-season treads. Keeping everything under control is a Brembo front braking system with vented rotors.
2020 Cadillac CT5-V: Engine & Transmission
As we make the jump to the CT5-V, we see more muscle and grunt. The 3.0-liter twin turbo V6 runs low-inertia turbochargers to ensure power delivery across the rpm range. Like the CT4-V, this engine also uses electronically-controlled waste gates, while cooling comes by way of a water-to-air system. Diving deeper, we see the direct-injected V6 has dual-overhead camshafts and four valves per cylinder; along with dual-independent valve timing and Active Fuel Management.
The CT5-V’s 10-speed automatic (Hydra-Matic 10L80) links with an electronic limited-slip rear differential. At the end of the day, the 2020 Cadillac CT5-V cranks out 355 horsepower and 400 lb-ft. of torque through a 2.85 final drive ratio. Like the CT4-V, the figures are pending SAE approval, but still. It’s a solid amount of snort.
Keeping The Balance
This is a similar approach to the CT4-V. The idea is to keep an ideal balance between performance and fuel economy, while you as the driver are enjoying the comfort of the cabin. With the connectivity options, a driver can cue up their music and settle in for a long trip; the engine will do its job to maximize mileage but spring to life when extra power is needed, say for passing or climbing a hill.
The CT5-V is an ideal middle ground, in the sense it’s a bit more punchy than the CT4-V but not as aggressive as the CT6-V. Cost-wise, it will land between the two, which has its own advantages. An approach like this could serve as the CT5-V’s greatest asset. Yes, it runs more money than the CT4-V, but offers more power. No, it’s not as powerful as the CT6-V, but it’s less money. In this new line of Cadillac V-Series cars, the CT5-V may well be the gem.
The CT5-V resides on a MacPherson-type front suspension with dual lower ball joints, and a five-link independent setup at the rear. Like the CT4-V, Magnetic Ride Control 4.0 and the electric power steering receive V-Series calibrations. The similarities to the CT4-V make sense, although Cadillac puts emphasis on the stabilizer bars, both front and rear, as essential parts of the CT5-V’s suspension.
Wheels are slightly bigger here: 19×8.5-inch aluminum wheels with 245/40R19 summer-only tires. The Brembo front braking system returns with four-piston fixed calipers and vented rotors.
Advanced Driver Assistance Systems
On the technology and safety-front, both are available with Super Cruise. Cadillac’s Super Cruise can automatically steer, brake, and keep the vehicle positioned on the highway in certain, optimal conditions. The system uses high precision LiDAR map and GPS data, an advanced driver attention system, and a network of camera and radar sensors. Cadillac says customers can drive hands-free on more than 130,000 miles of limited-access freeways in the United States and Canada, provided they have an active OnStar plan with emergency services.
In other words, with these two V-Series cars, it’s all about performance; including performance on the technology side of things.
Pricing & Availability
The CT4-V and CT5-V will arrive early next year, with production at GM’s Lansing Grand River facility in Michigan. Exact pricing and additional product information is forthcoming. We are told by Cadillac these two V-Series cars represent “only the beginning” when it comes to what the future holds. With that in mind, we will look to the horizon; in the meantime, we cannot wait to drive the CT4-V and CT5-V.
Carl Anthony studies mechanical engineering at Wayne State University, serves on the Board of Directors for the Ally Jolie Baldwin Foundation, and is a loyal Detroit Lions fan. Before going back to school, he simultaneously held product development and experiential marketing roles in the automotive industry.