Cadillac CT5-V and CT4-V: Alpha Males With a Weakness?

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
cadillac ct5 v and ct4 v alpha males with a weakness

“2.7L Turbo” — that’s General Motors’ preferred description of the large-displacement four-cylinder found in Chevrolet’s 2019 Silverado 1500. When wearing a Cadillac crest, however, the motor generates additional grunt and serves as the main motivator for the new CT4-V, a sportier version of Caddy’s new compact.

The CT4-V (seen above) debuted alongside the hotter version of its midsize sibling, the CT5-V, in an event held in Detroit Thursday night. No, the regular CT4 was not there. After getting over the shock of a V-badged Cadillac with a four-banger mill, guests were confused to learn that there may be additional V-badged versions of these two sedans.

As expected, the larger CT5-V carries a version of the twin-turbo 3.0-liter V6 found elsewhere in the Caddy lineup. In this application, the engine generates an estimated 355 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque, routed to the rear (or all four) wheels via a 10-speed automatic.

That blown six transfers into traction through 245/40R19 rubber, with the 3,975-pound sedan aided on the handling course by the latest iteration of GM’s Magnetic Ride Control. For this application, the suspension setup adopts V-specific tuning.

It sounds fine, until you recall that the model this vehicle replaces — the beastly CTS-V — carries a supercharged 6.2-liter V8, good for 640 hp and 630 lb-ft.

For the smaller CT4-V, which looks very much like its Escala-inspired stablemate, power comes by way of the aforementioned 2.7-liter turbo four, aided by extra boost, and routed through a 10-speed auto. Rear-drive is standard, with AWD available. Better breathing ramps the 2.7L’s power up to 320 hp and 369 lb-ft — a mild improvement over the Silverado’s 310 hp and 348 lb-ft, but a big climb-down from the ATS-V’s twin-turbo 3.6-liter V6. That engine produced 464 hp and 445 lb-ft.

Looking at the CT4-V’s engine, it’s safe to assume the base CT4 mill will be GM’s trusty turbo 2.0-liter.

But what of the other V-series variants promised in Detroit? As reported by Roadshow, Cadillac’s executive chief engineer, Brandon Vivian, said that broadening the V-series “gives us the ability to have a range of V-Series models,” adding, “there will be different personas.”

Different personas, yes, but what about the names? You’re not alone in thinking it’s weird that a V-series Cadillac model could come in more than one form, with, perhaps, more than one engine. How will Cadillac differentiate the variants via trunklid badging? Stay tuned for the answer to that question. It’s likely the brand will lean on its bizarre metric torque figure badging strategy as one way of separating the different variants.

Certainly, Cadillac has hotter mills than either the 3.0TT and 2.7L Turbo to stuff into these machines, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Blackwing 4.2-liter V8 make an appearance in the CT5-V. The CT4-V cries out for something with extra oomph.

Elsewhere on these cars, four-piston Brembo front brakes and limited-slip differentials (electronically controlled on CT5-V) give a nod to performance, while available Super Cruise backs up GM’s claim that its advanced driver-assist system would soon proliferate throughout the brand.

Pricing for either model was not forthcoming Thursday night; expect those figures to drop closer to the models’ early 2020 on-sale date. By then, your V-series questions will likely be answered.

[Images: General Motors]

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2 of 63 comments
  • Nvinen Nvinen on Jun 04, 2019

    "Too powerful"? That's like too sexy, too much chocolate, too much money, too smart. No such thing! I mean, who's forcing you to use all the power available? You could use some of it, smug in the knowledge that there's more if you need it.

  • Cimarron typeR Cimarron typeR on Jun 04, 2019

    I agree with the above posters. These are built for Chinese consumption. The benefit to this is that the sedan will still get some development so if ever Americans fall out of love with SUVs the General will still have a product to sell.

  • SCE to AUX A plug-in hybrid requires two fuels to realize the benefit of having that design. This is where the Volt fell down.It could be either:[list][*]A very short-range EV[/*][*]A long-range ICE with mediocre fuel economy[/*][*]An excellent mid-range vehicle that required both a plug and gasoline.[/*][/list]If you wanted a short-range EV you got a Leaf (like I did). If you wanted a long-range car with good fuel economy, you got a Civic/Elantra/Cruze/Corolla. In my case, we also had an Optima Hybrid.I'd personally rather have a single-fuel vehicle - either gas/hybrid or electric - rather than combine the complexity and cost of both into one vehicle.
  • Bobbysirhan The Pulitzer Center that collaborated with PBS in 'reporting' this story is behind the 1619 Project.
  • Bobbysirhan Engines are important.
  • Hunter Ah California. They've been praying for water for years, and now that it's here they don't know what to do with it.
  • FreedMike I think this illustrates a bit of Truth About PHEVs: it's hard to see where they "fit." On paper, they make sense because they're the "best of both worlds." Yes, if you commute 20-30 miles a day, you can generally make it on electric power only, and yes, if you're on a 500-mile road trip, you don't have to worry about range. But what percentage of buyers has a 20-mile commute, or takes 500-mile road trips? Meanwhile, PHEVs are more expensive than hybrids, and generally don't offer the performance of a BEV (though the RAV4 PHEV is a first class sleeper). Seems this propulsion type "works" for a fairly narrow slice of buyers, which explains why PHEV sales haven't been all that great. Speaking for my own situation only, assuming I had a place to plug in every night, and wanted something that ran on as little gas as possible, I'd just "go electric" - I'm a speed nut, and when it comes to going fast, EVs are awfully hard to beat. If I was into hypermiling, I'd just go with a hybrid. Of course, your situation might vary, and if a PHEV fits it, then by all means, buy one. But the market failure of PHEVs tells me they don't really fit a lot of buyers' situations. Perhaps that will change as charging infrastructure gets built out, but I just don't see a lot of growth in PHEVs.