First Drive: 2016 Cadillac CTS-V Review [Video]

The Dual Identity of the 640-HP 2016 Cadillac CTS-V. We hit the track at Road America to test the 2016 Cadillac CTS-V - the company's most powerful product to date. A 640-hp sedan that'll transport your children to school and tear up the track.

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Elkhart Lake, WIHave you ever picked a movie to watch that you knew nothing about and had no expectations only to be surprised by how good it was and that it was one of the best movies you’ve seen all year? Well, that’s the case with the 3rd Generation Cadillac CTS-V for myself. Sure I knew it had plenty of power but for some reason, I really wasn’t expecting too much from a 4 door Caddy, especially on a high speed race track like Road America.

Cadillac has always had a place in our family. I can remember being a kid riding in the back of my grandpa’s Fleetwood choking down fumes from his cigar as we floated down the streets. Later on my dad owned a couple of Caddys, a coupe de ville  which I got as a hand me down and a DTS. While I loved these cars and still do, they couldn’t be anymore different than todays caddys, especially this CTS-V. The new generation Cadillacs are now performers and gone are the floaty boaty cars of the past. One thing that hasn’t changed though is their commitment to quality and excellence. This thing just feels well put together like all the other Cadillacs I’ve driven.

2016 Cadillac CTS-V horsepower surpasses the Germans

Launching in late summer with 640 horsepower and 630 lb-ft of torque with a top speed of 200 mph, the new CTS-V reaches higher than its predecessors, leading Cadillac’s product-driven expansion and elevation. It is the third generation of the acclaimed luxury sports sedan that launched the elite V-Series a decade ago.

Comprehensive updates make the new CTS-V essentially two cars in one: a luxury sedan with sophisticated road manners and a track-capable sports car straight from the factory. It also introduces a new supercharged 6.2L V-8 engine backed by Cadillac’s paddle-shift eight-speed automatic transmission, featuring launch control and Performance Algorithm Shifting.

With more horsepower and torque than the Mercedes-Benz 5.5L biturbo V-8 and the BMW M-series 4.4L TwinPower (twin-turbo) V-8, the new CTS-V is capable of 0-60 performance in 3.7 seconds.

How does Cadillac’s performance sedan perform and handle?

On the street, the CTS-V is right at home and a real joy to drive. The magnetic ride suspension isolates you from all the bumps without killing the drive feel. When in the regular touring mode, you wouldn’t even know you’re driving a 640hp car unless you pushed your right foot down. The new conventional 8 speed automatic transmission shifts confidently and without any jerkiness. Even the exhaust valves remain closed creating just a mild purr. This is a car you could drive everyday of the year with your family, clients, pets with room to spare for lots of luggage.

This is a car you could drive everyday of the year with your family, clients, pets with room to spare for lots of luggage.

Press the drive mode into Sport or Track and you now have a second car. The engine now growls, the transmission kicks you in the back with every shift and seems to know exactly when to up and downshift. The V is like a scalpel on the track. Just point it to where you want to go and it does it. There are several different modes in the track setting, each having the electronic aids intervening at different levels. The magnetic ride control works seamlessly and any type of roll you would expect is virtually non existent leaving you with a car that feels a lot lighter than what you would expect. The CTS-V is seriously fast, not only for a 4 dr sedan, but for any car and  is an absolute joy to drive. In fact, 36 hours after driving it, I still have a grin when I think of blasting down the straight at Road America at 150 mph.

2016 Cadillac CTS-V Price

The 2016 CTS-V is priced from $83,995 US ($91,685 CDN, plus a destination freight charge of $1,800).


  • 2 cars in 1
  • Super comfy Recaro seats
  • goldilocks handling on the street – not too  hard, not too soft, just right
  • light agile handling on the track backed by 640hp
  • value compared to its competitors


  • No Manual