Cadillac reveals CT4-V and CT5-V, watering down its performance brand

Cadillac today introduced the first CT4-V and CT5-V versions of its compact and midsize sedans. They are less sporting than the ATS-V and CTS-V that they replace, as Cadillac is both expanding its V-Series performance trim line with the hardcore and track-focused models to follow, apparently under a different designation. The V-Series cars will slot in above Cadillac’s Sport trim package and should be available on most Cadillac models eventually, including the XT-branded SUVs.

Going forward, the V-Series cars will be more like the V-Sport trim line Cadillac has previously offered. It looks like General Motors’ luxury brand would like to compete with the likes of the Porsche Cayenne Turbo and Audi SQ5 and while performance-oriented SUVs have become a thing, an all-out track-focused SUV is a bit of a contradiction in terms.

Since Brandon Vivian, Cadillac’s chief engineer, said the new V-Series models will be slotted “between” the Sport line and “the ultimate, high-performance track capability that the V-Series has grown to represent,” this repositioning of the V-Series cars does not mean Cadillac is completely abandoning the likes of the 640-horsepower CTS-V. Regarding possible future racetrack capable Cadillacs, GM president Mark Reuss said, “Stay tuned.”

2020 Cadillac CT4-V rear 3/4 driving
2020 Cadillac CT4-V GM

Both the CT4 and CT5 are based on GM’s rear-wheel-drive Alpha platform with available all-wheel-drive. They feature Magnetic Ride Control 4.0, which has calibration unique to the V-Series, selectable driving modes including customizable V-Mode for more spiriting driving, Brembo front brakes with eBoost electronic assist, and limited slip differentials, with the CT4-V getting a mechanical limited-slip-diff while the CT5-V’s diff is controlled electronically. Cadillac’s self-driving SuperCruise will be available on both models.

The CT4-V will be powered by Cadillac’s version of GM’s turbocharged 2.7-liter inline four rated at an estimated 320 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque. The idea of a four-cylinder performance Cadillac seems a bit odd, especially when the same basic powerplant is also offered on the Chevy Silverado full-size pickup truck. The turbo-four drives the wheels through a 10-speed automatic transmission and the aforementioned mechanical LSD. The CT4-V is said to feature V-Series performance upgrades to the chassis, including Magnetic Ride Control on RWD versions, and passive MVS shocks from ZF on AWD models. The brakes have four-piston calipers at each corner, with Brembo calipers up front. Interestingly, the CT4-V comes standard with summer-only performance tires (all-seasons are available on the AWD version), mounted on 18-inch rims.

Aesthetically, the CT4-V gets dark exterior accents, quad exhaust tips, a rear spoiler for reduced lift and increased grip at speed, and a V-Series mesh patterned front grille. Inside, the new entry level V model has a performance instrument cluster and steering wheel mounted V-Mode control.

2020 Cadillac CT5-V front 3/4
2020 Cadillac CT5-V GM

The CT5-V is powered by a 355-horsepower twin-turbo 3.0-liter V-6 engine, also with a 10-speed automatic, and in this case an electronically controlled limited-slip rear end. Along with Magnetic Ride Control, and the V-Series chassis upgrades, the CT5-V features Performance Traction Management and Vehicle Control Mode with personalized V-Mode. As with the CT4-V, the CT5-V comes with summer performance tires, though it gets 19-inch wheels. It gets similar exterior and interior treatments as the smaller sedan.

Both cars will be built at GM’s Lansing Grand River assembly plant alongside their Camaro platform mate and will go on sale early next year. Pricing has not been announced yet.

Cadillac promises to tell us about CT4 Luxury, Premium Luxury, and Sport models at some future date, and we’re eagerly awaiting what will slot above the V-series in Cadillac’s new performance hierarchy.

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