By on September 22, 2013

2014-Cadillac-XTS-Vsport-032-medium

We called it on April Fools’ Day. Sort of, anyway. The new high-power XTS uses a twin-turbo 3.6L V-6 to twist out 410 torque-steering horsepower on its way to a C/D – tested 0-60 in 5.2 seconds and a quarter-mile in 13.5@105. (Naturally-aspirated Porsche owners should feel free to turn right at stoplights unless they have 3.8 liters or direct injection.)

Big, fast car. Well, kind of big. And kind of fast. But what are we supposed to call the thing?

Nominally speaking, the new turbochaged XTS is the “XTS V-Sport”. The television ad that’s being shown now briefly flashes a “V” on the trunk, and early magazine tests referred to the car as the “V-Sport”. Cadillac’s own website, however, simply calls it the “XTS with 410-horsepower turbocharged engine” and the TV ad never actually says V-Sport or refers to V-Sport in the final tag screen.

Is this a case of General Motors experiencing a last-minute crisis of confidence in the “V-Sport” idea? Is the “V” sub-brand really well-established enough to spawn a junior division the way AMG and M have for their parent manufacturers with “AMG Design” and “M-Sport” models? It seems frankly doubtful that the message behind the the V-flag logo is that strong.

Given control of the Standard of the World, we’d have explicitly called it XTS-V or settled for “XTS Turbo”. If AMG can get away with the CLA 45, GM can get away with XTS-V. Alternately, XTS Turbo would have been an accurate description of the car that didn’t write too many rubber checks on the sporting front. This “V-sport” business is the proverbially spittable lukewarm choice and it won’t earn any respect from anyone, even if the straight-line performance of the twin-turbo XTS manages to do so.

The biggest obstacle facing the XTS-Whatever in the marketplace, however, won’t be the name on the sticker. It’ll be the number. At between $63,020 and $75K depending on equipment, the LaCrosse Plus actually costs more than the biturbo V-8 Mercedes-Benz E550 4Matic. A Cadillac for the price of a Mercedes? Call this one the XTS-Vanish.

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69 Comments on “Don’t Call It A V-Sport — Or Do, Maybe...”


  • avatar
    Lorenzo

    It’s a sedan and not a two-door so you can’t call it an Eldorado. I’d take a top-of-the-line nameplate from one of it’s defunct brands. How about “Toronado”?

  • avatar
    ajla

    This will be a fun car for me to own in 2026.

    • 0 avatar
      Jan Bayus

      At least it will still be running. The AMG won’t be.

      • 0 avatar
        SayMyName

        I find your confidence in the long-term durability of a high-strung, direct injected, twin-turbo V6 from General Motors to be rather comically misplaced.

        Then again, given the likelihood that most XTS-Vs will end up in the hands of elderly types who mistakenly walk into the Caddy store and say, “gimme the fanciest Deville – er, Lacrosse – ya got,” maybe a few pampered, low mileage examples will still be around. Maybe.

        • 0 avatar
          ajla

          I’m pretty much banking on your second paragraph being the usual reality.

          Same with those 3.5L Ecoboost Fords and Lincolns.

        • 0 avatar
          Signal11

          “I find your confidence in …… to be rather comically misplaced.”

          I will be looking for opportunities to use this turn of phrase in the future.

          I will not credit nor attribute you (because I will be trying to take the credit for myself), but let it be known that if you see this as an internet meme in the future, you were instrumental in its genesis as an Internet Thing.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          I agree with the elderly top-trim-greyhair purchase thoughts.

  • avatar
    carguy

    It maybe fast but maybe it was deemed not to have the driving dynamics of anything deserving a V-Sport badge?

  • avatar
    NormSV650

    This thing gets results at the ‘ring too besting the 2005 CTS-V time with Corevtte engine that own. But mine has had some weight reduction to around 3,400 lbs and 450hp and is two seconds off my 2000 C5 Corvette at Mid-Ohio on the same wheels and tires.

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    So, they’re *not* calling it what you think would be a little presumptuous for them to call it, the “V-Sport” So, why the incredulous tone? The price *may* be between $63 and $75K which *might* be more then a Mercedes… Well, that explains it, I think

    On further checking Cadilliac’s site, they *do* call it a Vsport, but it’s priced about the same as the MB, probably lower out the door due to traditionally more leeway in the pricing of Cadillacs…. Tell me again, what the issue is?

    • 0 avatar
      beefmalone

      The issue is that this is TTAC and since GM hasn’t given them anything of substance to bitch about in awhile then this is the best they can come up with.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      “Tell me again, what the issue is?”

      The issue is that the “V” badge doesn’t have enough clout to spawn a little brother in the form of the Vsport. It would arguably be wiser to first create some heritage for the V prior to creating any spinoffs.

      Not mentioned in the article is that there is also a CTS Vsport, which is slotted in between the CTS and CTS-V. Presumably, the ATS will be getting the same treatment.

  • avatar
    Detroit-X

    V-Sport? Heck I did that in my 20s and 30s. It was a lot more fun than owning a depreciation hurricane.

  • avatar
    swilliams41

    So far the V series have been pretty serious about performance. They might have put a harder edge on this Lacrosse-plus before slapping the V-badge on it. Maybe even stiffer springs and slightly more aggressive algorithms in the magic shock controllers. Never-the-less, I will be enjoying a CPO model in 2016. That’s if that boosted V-6 has no nasty reliability surprises. Remember first gen Northstar’s????

  • avatar
    MBella

    The window sticker on these at our sister Cadillac store says XTS-V.

  • avatar
    Detroit-X

    There’s some V-Sport to Cadillac… as Charlie Sheen, Linday Logan, or Mike Tyson is to _____ analogy that escapes me at the moment.

  • avatar
    racer-esq.

    Isn’t the traditional designation for the Impala with the most powerful engine Impala SS?

  • avatar
    dtremit

    “Cadillac’s own website, however, simply calls it the “XTS with 410-horsepower turbocharged engine.”

    It appears on the website as a trim:

    http://www.cadillac.com/xts-luxury-sedan/features-specs/standard-optional-equipment.html

    My theory is that the 410hp version isn’t called out specifically as a Vsport because the trims are “Vsport Platinum” and “Vsport Premium.”

    • 0 avatar

      Yeah, it does show up, but you’ve got to select the right model year, and it defaults to the wrong one. Jack, go back to Cadillac.com and make sure you’re looking at “2014 XTS” and not “2013 XTS”… it’s there on the ’14, but it’s confusing.

  • avatar
    ...m...

    …three hundred seventy foot-pounds is some serious twist for a front-wheel-drive car: seems a lot less than seven years ago that the TRD aurion was setting records with only four-fifths the torque, and i see some LF3 applications quoting up to four hundred thirty foot-pounds…i’d be very interested to see what the LF3 is capable of doing in a transverse RMR platform, where torque steer’s not an issue and chassis balance favors handling when the road gets interesting…

  • avatar

    I bet someone at GM decided that the “V-Sport” name should be reserved for RWD vehicles, namely the ones that can actually compare well to the Germans. But that said, I work out sometimes with a guy who is general manager of a Cadillac dealership, and he was referring to it as “XTS V-Sport” just the other day, so I dunno. I’ll ask if they actually got an XTS with a V badge on it.

  • avatar
    Joss

    Call the looks – a bloated Sentra that caught a horse shoe. Sentrom.

  • avatar
    TCragg

    The GM Canada web site lists the car thus:

    “2014 Cadillac XTS Twin Turbo Vsport Platinum 4 Door Sedan AWD 1SL”

    The car starts at $73,745 (CDN) and tops out at $79,020 with options and freight. Add in HST, and you’re at $90,000 out the door. For comparison, the E550 4-matic lists at around $76,000 in Canada.

    • 0 avatar
      dtremit

      The Platinum is the higher trim; the Premium starts at ~CAD$67k before options.

      To match the equipment on the CAD$75k XTS Vsport Platinum on an E550, you’d be looking at about CAD$83k.

      Something tells me there’s not that much cross-shopping, though.

  • avatar
    rpol35

    I have to call this one a miss. The V series has done well in other Cadillac forms and I salute them for moving forward and promoting the sub-brand. One place that it does not belong, in my estimation however, is on a front wheel driver. I think it dilutes and devalues its core mission, sort of like badge engineering.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      Well that’s just it. That’s why “V-Sport” is in place, which is more of a package than a trim. This isn’t at all a member of the V series. And the reason Cadillac didn’t just go with “Turbo” is probably because that’s what Buick’s performance models are called.

    • 0 avatar
      N8iveVA

      “One place that it does not belong, in my estimation however, is on a front wheel driver.”

      It’s AWD

  • avatar
    Commando

    So Caddys are now rebadged Buicks like Lincolns are rebadged Fords.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Some Cadillacs are rebadged Buicks or Chevrolets, all Lincolns are rebadged Fords.

      • 0 avatar
        NormSV650

        They just rebadge them, is that true?

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Rebadged in the sense the model or platform is not exclusive. To GM’s credit (and my amazement) they have not made a cheaper version of the CTS/ATS platform available through another brand.

          • 0 avatar
            NormSV650

            Rebadge/badge engineering is the swapping badges, exterior lighting, and bumper covers according to wiki.

            http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Badge_engineering

            You mean “platform sharing”. I have seen the body in white for a platform for (4)four cars. The only thing similar were the frame rails which consisted of 25 parts. That’s it, 25 parts!

          • 0 avatar
            MBella

            http://www.caranddriver.com/features/2015-buick-grand-national-and-gnx-25-cars-worth-waiting-for-20142017-future-cars

  • avatar
    Da Coyote

    Specs? Nice.

    Looks? Fugly.

    Caddie, GM used to have the best stylists in the world (albeit with beta-test products in the engineering side).

    Fire ALL of your MBAs, get rid of ANY gubmit support, rehire some good engineers and stylists, and get out there and fight.

    You won’t convert a singla Audi, BMW, or Mercedes owner with these plastic pieces…even though they are quantum levels better than those lead sleds you foisted on the elderly in previous years.

  • avatar
    krhodes1

    I call it sadly mal-proportioned. I don’t care how fast it is.

  • avatar
    panzerfaust

    Please, dear God, GM give it a name, not this stupid meaningless alphabet soup that has bedecked Caddies for years. For goodness sake, take a risk, have some balls and design a car with some panache and style instead of another ‘X’ercise in making a plastic box on wheels with LED’s on every corner ’cause that’s what the yungins think is cool.

  • avatar
    chaparral

    If Cadillac renamed its sedans and coupes, do you think they’d sell better? I think even if you called the Chevrolet Cruze a “Vega” it wouldn’t lose many sales.

    Call the ATS a “Calais”
    Call the CTS sedan a “Seville”
    Call the CTS coupe an “Eldorado”
    Call the XTS a “DeVille”

    Any of those cars are good enough to help the reputation of a good old name.

    • 0 avatar
      IHateCars

      I’m not so sure…those old nameplates conjure up images of dismal ’70s and ’80s Caddies, at least for me. The demographic that Cadillac is now going for seems to like the Germanic alpha-numerical type monikers.

  • avatar
    CelticPete

    They don’t call it sport because its wrong wheel drive. And the people in Cadillac designing the cars KNOW that. It’s classy of them, IMHO. Good for Cadillac..

    Before you go all ballistic on me – remember that the more powerful the engine the more FWD is a problem. That engine is plenty powerful – in the real world its sporting intentions are going to be quashed by weight transfer, torque steer and understeer. The ESP/TC will help against this but accordingly it won’t feel as fast or powerful as it should..

    It will help old men pull away quick from stop lights if they desire though – provided the conditions are nice and dry.. So its not entirely useless – just not sporting.

  • avatar
    danio3834

    I am fine with this. Just call it a V and call it a day. 13.5 in the quarter ain’t anything to scoff at, especially if you’re a MKS or SHO owner.

    I think I’d prefer this mill in an Impala SS, though. And I’d be OK with them calling it an “SS” too.

  • avatar
    VenomV12

    Wow, this is a bloated, ugly car. That price is just laughable.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    Of course V-Sport is meant to mimic BMW’s M-Sport, which is often an appearance package with few to no performance upgrades whatsoever. I understand Cadillac not wanting to sully the V nameplate since this isn’t actually a performance vehicle. The XTS itself actually looks really good in person, and I’m sure it looks even better with this grille. But they probably should start introducing the new logo right about now. Oh, and the pricing is ridiculous. Given its plebeian roots, the XTS in any form should max out at $60K, not start there.

    As for torque-steer, I’m sure the V-Sport will be AWD-only.

    EDIT: I’m sensing a lot of uproar on this article. Look, guys, they aren’t going to go back to archaic names like Seville, Eldorado and Deville. They aren’t going to lower the belt-line. They aren’t going to decide to spontaneously replace the Super Epsilon platform on which this vehicle sits with something that is RWD. And while we’re at it, the XTS probably isn’t the kind of car for anyone here. It also isn’t designed to run with sport sedans and it isn’t a part of Cadillac’s German-chasing strategy, and so comparisons with Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz are kind of silly. About the only thing that this car competes with is the Lincoln MKS EcoBoost (which is considerably less-expensive). If Cadillac just threw up its hands and said, “See this XTS V-Sport? This is your flagship”, then I could understand the outrage, but that’s not what they’re doing. Cadillac has many other vehicles that are more palatable to enthusiasts, and I can’t imagine that this one model’s existence could be so offensive to everyone.

    • 0 avatar
      Type57SC

      I think they’re going for the audi ‘s-line’ approach more than the M-sport approach. on most BMWs M-sport is an standalone option, not a full trim line and doesn’t have exterior badging (other than the e9X 335is coupe/Conv).

      Also – insane price. just insane.

    • 0 avatar
      dtremit

      I’m with you on the edit. There seems to be a notion that there are two paths for Cadillac: itself, circa 1968, or a carbon copy of M-B/BMW. Whatever path they choose to follow, they must follow it with obsessive purity.

      I don’t think Cadillac’s ability to compete with Germany in some sectors is affected by this car at all.

  • avatar
    CJinSD

    By the numbers, it is about as fast as a 310 hp Audi A6 3.0T that costs less. Meh.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    I think a comparison of this should be done against the Chev SS when it comes out. Will GM allow this?

    I would expect the Chev SS to a better drivers car.

    The Caddy is pretty fast, how well does it handle compared to a M Series or the Merc AMG?

    Throw in a Lexus and if you can get your hands on one of those Kia K9s or whatever they are.

    The Caddy might offer more bling than the SS.

    Yes, a comparison by TTAC between a Chev SS, similar Ford (what have they got with 4 doors) and the Euro guys.

    I have yet to see X v Y v Z and add W or as many vehicles as you want.

  • avatar

    You gotta love the commercials that claim: “THE V-SPORT BLOWS EVERYONE’S DOORS OFF”

    OH REALLY???

    I’ve got a 6.4-L in a Jeep and a car the same size…

    JUST TRY ME…

  • avatar
    bunkie

    Back when the XTS was introduced, I remember a lot of bitching from the commentariat about the 3.6 engine not being enough. So now we have a properly powerful engine. The result? More bitching. Yay!

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Well as long as this is more reliable than a Northstar… I’ll be browsing the websites of Florida and Phoenix car dealers in several years. Cheap speed, yee ha!

    • 0 avatar
      bunkie

      Can we please bury this meme? Later Northstars were perfectly reliable. I put almost 90,000 miles on one without so much as a hiccup and It burned so little oil that I never once added so much as an ounce between extended oil changes using Mobil 1. I miss that motor.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        Take it 200,000 miles with the same service record and I’ll gladly buy one of those little old lady specials with 75,000 miles that you can pick up for $13,000 around here in the Southwest. Love me a DTS or a Lucerne with the Northstar.

        BTW a family friend who happens to be a salesman at the local Buick/GMC dealer remarked of another salesman who had his Lucerne in the service bay: “God those Northstars are sweet until something goes wrong.” When 20 year GM employees are throwing those kinds of comments out that makes me pause before purchasing.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    This needs a body kit and trims and spoiler to look like a proper V-Edition. Maybe a body colored grille.

    And question: Is this a modified 3.6L out of the any-90s-00s-GM-sedan?


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