The Cadillac V series has been a special sub-brand for Cadillac enthusiasts since 2004. It has always stood for something really special and fast. But now, Cadillac is expanding the V brand to get more customers. This is nothing new. Brands do this to make more money, but the result is that they water down the brand’s specialness.
Cadillac’s recently introduced CT4 represents the brand’s realigned sedan portfolio. It is built on Cadillac’s very good Alpha architecture. It is actually amazing that we are getting a new sedan from Cadillac because many U.S. companies have been discontinuing their sedans due to poor sales and they have just been focusing on SUVs. Cadillac could sell millions of high-end pickup trucks compared to sedans today.
The CT4-V is special because it is developed to deliver more performance and refinement. It features the Magnetic Ride Control 4.0, which is tuned specifically for V models to enhance comfort without sacrificing performance-oriented responsiveness, and drive modes that include new V-Mode personalization. Each model is available in RWD or AWD and features a 10-speed automatic transmission, Brembo front brakes with eBoost electronic assist and a limited-slip rear differential.
The styling of the CT4-V is stunning, and Cadillac has achieved the right look. High-end manufacturers want their cars to be recognizable and Cadillac has succeeded. You can instantly tell from far away that this is a Cadillac. The interior styling is beautiful, with lots of leather and suede everywhere to make you feel special. The fit and finish is great, and you are reminded that you are in a premium car.
The V series have been about power in the past, and that is probably the biggest disappointment in the CT4-V. Under the hood is a 2.7-liter turbocharged four-cylinder rated at 325 horsepower. The engine is mated to a good 10-speed automatic and power flows to the 235/40-18 tires through a limited-slip differential. The CT4-V is a fairly heavy car at about 3,600 pounds and 325 horsepower can only do so much. What’s worse is that the engine doesn’t sound special when you push it. Not that this is a slow car, but we just expected more from a V.
When it comes to handling, the solid Alpha architecture delivers. Coupled with the Magnetic Ride Control 4.0, sticky summer-only tires, near perfect 50/50 weight distribution, and five-link rear suspension, the car is fantastic. The magnetic dampers are awesome at providing a great ride when you feel like taking it easy and they stiffen up when you feel more playful. The steering provided good feedback, which really helps in being able to push the car without crashing.
A big sedan needs big brakes to stop consistently, and Cadillac has installed four-piston Brembo calipers with 13.6-inch rotors in the front and 12.4-inch rotors in the rear.
We talked about needing more engine in the CT4-V, but Cadillac is trying to get more customers, and many of those are not as hardcore as NASA drivers, so a 325-horsepower engine seems adequate. It seems like the biggest problem for us is just the name. If they did not call it a V, we would be much happier. If they called it a CT4 GT, we would be loving it as a terrific car that is fun to drive. But as enthusiasts, we want the V family to be super powerful.
In the end, for Cadillac to survive they need to sell more vehicles, and most people do not need 500 horsepower. But it seems like Cadillac is listening, because it recently announced that there will be a more powerful CT4-V dubbed the CT4-V Blackwing. That car will be available in 2021 and rumors put the power at over 450 horsepower. Thank you, Cadillac!
On the plus side, the CT4-V is affordable, which should bring in more customers. The CT4-V starts out at only $45,490, which is a bargain for what you receive. The biggest problem seems to be that many people don’t know more about this car because it deserves to sell out.
|Engine:||2.7-liter turbocharged four cylinder|
|Horsepower:||325 @ 5,600 rpm|
|Torque:||380 pound-feet @ 1,500 to 4,000 rpm|
|Front Suspension:||McPherson strut with dual lower ball joints|
|Rear Suspension:||Five-link independent|
|Curb Weight:||3,616 lbs.|