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The first model in Cadillac's V-Series line of luxury performance vehicles, the CTS-V Series is based on the Cadillac CTS, a dynamic luxury sedan with a bold and distinctive chiseled form. The V-Series combines a 5.7 liter 298 kW (400 horsepower) V8 engine with an agile rear-wheel drive chassis honed on the world's most renowned racing circuits, including the fearsome Nürburgring in Germany. It is designed and engineered to the desires of luxury sedan driving enthusiasts, either on the road or the track.


The Cadillac CTS-V provides high-performance driving enthusiasts with a serious, credible alternative to imports in the highly competitive, low-volume luxury performance segment, including the BMW M-Series, Mercedes-Benz AMG Series and Audi S-Series.

The V-Series has been designed to take Cadillac's performance credentials to an entirely new level. A 5.7 liter, LS6 V8 engine mated to a Tremec T56 six-speed manual transmission gives 298 kW (400 horsepower, making the CTS-V the most powerful production model Cadillac has ever offered. It will accelerate from 0-96 km/h in 4.6 seconds and has a top speed of 262 km/h.

Sigma architecture

The CTS-V Series marks Cadillac's ambitious entry into the low-volume, high-performance luxury car niche. It is based upon GM's new rear-wheel-drive Sigma architecture which is also the foundation for both the mainstream CTS sedan and SRX luxury utility vehicle. The distinctive exterior of the luxury sport sedan is differentiated from its less powerful siblings with larger front and rear fascias and rockers, seven-spoke 18-inch flangeless wheels, wire-mesh upper grille and lower front air intake and badging that incorporates the V-series emblem.

The V-Series logo both reminds of Cadillac's rich heritage as a pioneer in V-engine technology and conveys a dynamic automobile, engineered and refined to more than hold its own with some of the industry's most renowned high-performance luxury sport vehicles.

The distinctive dual exhaust features investment cast twin tailpipes, a process used in the manufacture of high-end golf clubs. The interior incorporates suede seat inserts, accent stitching throughout; satin chrome and aluminium accents and an instrument cluster with two Driver Information Center (DIC) readouts controlled by steering wheel mounted switches.

Engineered and produced by GM's Performance Division

The CTS-V Series is the first vehicle to be engineered and produced by General Motors's recently established Performance Division, an in-house center designed to explore enthusiast-oriented versions of production models. It has also enjoyed a successful debut racing season in the 2004 SCCA Speed World Challenge, the highly competitive North American racing series for production based cars. Team Cadillac has notched five podium finishes, including four pole positions and three victories in ten races.

Distinctive, dynamic styling and performance-oriented refinements

The distinctive exterior styling features of the CTS-V are all geared toward contributing to the vehicle's dynamics. From the front, the CTS-V is immediately discernable from its mainstream sibling by its stainless steel wire mesh grille. The grille incorporates a diamond-shape pattern with the Cadillac crest mounted prominently in its center.

The front of the vehicle incorporates an integrated aero splitter design, extending the front overhang approximately 30 mm compared with other CTS models. An entirely new front fascia incorporates a significantly larger lower air intake distinguished by a diamond-patterned stainless steel wire mesh grate that matches the upper grille. The lower air intake is dynamically sized to ensure proper engine cooling and breathing. The fascia is lowered approximately 40 mm and incorporates dual brake cooling ducts directly below the integrated fog lamps positioned on the outward edges of the fascia. The brake ducts directly channel air for cooling the CTS-V's Brembo discs and callipers.

Improved steering response

Underneath the hood, a tower-to-tower cross-car brace has been installed for improved steering response and linearity under high-performance conditions. To help reduce underhood noise, a unique nylon cover, which features the Cadillac wreath and crest and V-Series logo, is fitted over the top of the engine.

The color-matched two-piece rocker panels beneath the doors are 40 mm lower than the CTS and are integrated with a sill plate embedded with an aluminium V-series identification, that wraps over the driver and passenger thresholds. In addition, the rockers are molded into a compound flange sweep shape, bringing more character, sharper lines and a lower outward appearance. The all-new rear fascia is exterior color-matched and - like the front fascia and rockers - is lowered 40 mm when compared to the CTS.

Two parallel feature lines are molded into the fascia and are located directly above integrated cut-outs for the dual, investment cast, stainless steel, oval-shaped exhaust tips which exit through the rear fascia. The V logo appears on the deck lid and front fenders and also on brake calipers, rocker panel and the speedometer in the instrument cluster.

The 18 x 8.5-inch painted aluminium alloy wheels have a narrow seven-spoke design that provides clear view to the CTS-V's large Brembo discs and calipers at all four corners, and a flangeless design results in an even larger wheel appearance. The wheels are fitted with Goodyear P245/45WR18 EMT tires. A tire pressure monitoring system functions via a sensor in the valve stem.

Interior refinements

While the interior dimensions on the CTS-V are similar to its mainstream sibling, all wood accents have been removed resulting in a more performance-oriented environment. The grab handles, door handles, and shifter ring cap have a satin chrome finish, matched by light grey accent stitching on the seats, armrest, and steering wheel. A new Light Gray interior color is now available, along with Ebony and Light Neutral.

Performance-oriented refinements include a completely new instrument cluster, trimmed with satin chrome rings around each gauge. Aircraft style, white on black lettering is used on the gauges for increased legibility and the speedometer reads up to 280 km/h. The V-series emblem is prominently displayed in the cluster, while the instrument panel clock has been replaced with an analogue temperature gauge.

Two Driver Information Center (DIC) readouts located in the lower portion of the tachometer and speedometer - can be quickly accessed and scrolled via switches located on the steering wheel. The left DIC (tachometer located and accessed by switches on the left side of the steering wheel) displays performance-orientated information including peak and momentary lateral acceleration; oil, transmission and coolant temperatures; and oil and tire pressure. The right DIC indicates odometer, digital speedometer and gear selection information.

The steering wheel on the CTS-V is leather wrapped and incorporates a real aluminium bezel. In addition to the DIC toggle switches, the steering wheel is also equipped with an interface for cruise control. The seats on the CTS-V are fitted with ebony Milliken suede inserts, which accent the vehicle's ebony interior and better hold the driver and passengers in place during high-performance driving manoeuvres. Driver and front passenger seats also include adjustable lumbar support.

To accommodate the six-speed manual transmission, the center armrest has been repositioned to prevent it impeding gear changes. The armrest has been lowered, moved rearward and shortened - refinements that demonstrates the CTS-V is truly engineered and designed with the driver in mind.

Powertrain and chassis: serious performance credentials

The Cadillac CTS-V is powered by GM Powertrain's celebrated 5.7 liter, overhead valve (OHV) LS6 V8 engine. The two-valves-per-cylinder powerplant, a variant of that found on the Corvette, delivers 298 kW (400 hp) at 6000 rpm and 533 Nm of torque at 4800 rpm. This mated to a six-speed manual Tremec T56 (M12) transmission, providing the CTS-V with successful, racetrack-proven performance and outstanding reliability/durability, as well as smooth, quiet operation. Its lightweight all-aluminium construction, including cylinder heads and blocks, provide an excellent power-to-weight ratio and good chassis balance.

Engine highlights include an aluminum block, two-valve cylinder heads with revisions to the air induction system, and an enlarged dual exhaust system for an impressive V-8 sound. The LS6 V-8 provides CTS-V with racetrack-proven performance, along with smooth, quiet operation and outstanding reliability, durability and quality. The engine's lightweight aluminum construction - including its cylinder heads and block - delivers an excellent power-to-weight ratio (1:9.6) and good chassis balance (54 percent front / 46 percent rear).

Power is delivered through the six-speed manual Tremec T56 transmission that features a dual mass flywheel for reduced noise and vibration harshness. A heavy-duty, increased diameter, 70-mm prop shaft is used for the higher torque requirements. The limited-slip rear axle is fitted with a 3.73:1 final drive ratio to optimize acceleration.

To help develop and manage its higher horsepower and torque output, and to reduce noise, vibration and harshness, the CTS-V received several performance modifications including a high-profile camshaft that opens the valves faster and higher, enabling more air to flow into and out of the combustion chambers and contributing to horsepower gains. High-strength pistons help increase engine durability, particularly under high-performance operating condition, while revised valves and stiffer valve springs better accommodate valve operation with the high-lift cam. Hollow intake valves reduce mass and permit extremely high cam lift, and the sodium-filled exhaust valves help ensure proper cooling.

An enhanced induction system enables better engine breathing, helping to increase horsepower output aided by a high-flow intake manifold which helps to ensure a broad torque curve while delivering maximum power. Reconfigured exhaust manifolds and dual exhausts constructed of 159 mm diameter stainless steel pipe to help minimize back pressure, increase horsepower and ensure the proper exhaust tone. A special nylon engine cover helps reduce underhood noise and ties directly to the exterior performance styling of the vehicle with the Cadillac wreath and crest in its center and V-Series identification positioned over each cylinder bank/

Chassis refinements

Based on Cadillac's performance-oriented rear-drive Sigma architecture, CTS-V is a highly refined high-performance luxury sedan designed for performance enthusiast drivers. Like the original CTS, CTS-V was refined and validated at Germany's famed Nürburgring racetrack to meet the expectations of the world's most avid driving enthusiasts.

GM Performance Division engineers implemented a series of high-performance refinements to the vehicle's chassis system. The CTS-V's front and rear suspension and cradles are revised and tuned to handle the high horsepower and torque delivered by the LS6 engine. The cradles are hydroformed with a thicker gauge steel. In addition, high-stress areas - located using math-based finite element analysis (FEA) - are reinforced with a series of surgically located, welded-in-place steel gussets and a tower-to-tower cross car brace brings enhanced cross-vehicle stability.

The front and rear stabilizer bars are increased in size and spring rates were increased approximately 27% for the V-Series. The diameter of the monotube shocks was increased from 36 to 46 mm and valving refined to the vehicle's high-performance characteristics, while the rear suspension uses Nivomat shock absorbers, which adapt automatically to different loads and road conditions. The incorporation of a nine-land steering gear (lands are the tuning elements/valves within the steering gear - a six-land steering gear is used on the mainstream CTS) enables more precise steering tuning. The result is more accurate on-center feel and responsiveness.

The CTS-V is equipped with a Nürburgring-tuned Brembo brake system that is considered world-class and unmatched in the high-performance luxury vehicle niche. The vented, cast-iron rotors measuring 355 x 32 mm at the front and 365 x 28 mm at the rear, feature huge four-piston calipers at all four corners.

Recalibrated StabiliTrak chassis control system

The four-channel StabiliTrak chassis control system has been recalibrated for the vehicle's increase in horsepower and torque and provides enhanced stability control. In addition, the system enables the driver to select from four modes ranging from full traction and stability control, to traction control off and stability control on, and both features switched off. The system also offers the option of a competition mode, which provides a "less governed" level of stability control, when it will only engage the stability control in situations of extreme oversteer or extreme acceleration.

Adding to a prestigious racing heritage

The Cadillac CTS-V has been playing a highly successful role in adding to Cadillac's prestigious motor sports heritage. In its debut season in the closely-fought SCCA Speed World Challenge, the highly competitive North American road racing series for production based cars, Team Cadillac scored five podium finishes, four pole positions and three victories and only missed out on winning the manufacturers' title by the narrowest of margins at the tenth and final round.

Cadillac's racing heritage dates back to 1909 when a Cadillac won the first race held in the United States National Championship series. Cadillac cars and engines have since raced in NASCAR, NHRA, and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. When in 1949, Cadillac introduced the first modern mass-produced overhead-valve V-8, it was rated at an astounding 160 horsepower and featured a short stroke and lightweight construction. It weighed 200 pounds less than the sidevalve 'flathead' V-8 it replaced.

Racers quickly recognized the advantages of the new Cadillac powerplant. Famed Indy driver Paul Russo won the 1949 Milwaukee 100 stock car race in a Cadillac, and Red Byron finished third in the 1950 NASCAR Southern 500 in Darlington, S.C. Gober Sosebee took the pole position and finished second in a 100-mile NASCAR Grand National race on a half-mile dirt track in Columbus, Ga., in June 1951, while Cadillac engines powered Briggs Cunningham's limited-production sports cars and made the English-built Allard J-2 the car to beat on road courses from Watkins Glen, N.Y., to Pebble Beach, California and even at Le Mans.

First race car developed by GM Racing

In 2004, the Cadillac CTS-V made its mark in its debut season in the closely-fought SCCA Speed World Challenge, the highly competitive North American road racing series for production based cars. The CTS-V race car was the first race car developed by GM Racing in conjunction with the new GM Performance Division, an in-house center designed to explore potential enthusiast-oriented versions of production models.

The outstanding performance characteristics of the rear-drive Sigma-based CTS and CTS-V road cars lent perfectly to a race-car application. The engineers were able to maintain a significant amount of shared parts, technologies and processes in developing the CTS-V race car.

By weight, the CTS-V race car was 73 percent stock-derived. The production CTS-V and CTS-V race car share common technology in the form of the all-aluminum V-8 engine, front and rear suspension, steering system, differential and halfshafts - and talent, as the engineers who conceived the CTS-V for street use were directly involved in the creation of the race car.

Team Cadillac scored five podium finishes, four pole positions and three victories and only missed out on winning the manufacturers' title by the narrowest of margins at the tenth and final round.

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