New 2018 Cadillac CTS‑V Sedan
Cadillac CTS‑V Sedan
The 2018 Cadillac CTS-V remains a potent all-American alternative to the likes of the upcoming BMW M5 and Mercedes-AMG E 63.
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No American manufacturer makes anything quite like the 2018 Cadillac CTS-V. With its 640-horsepower supercharged V8 engine, rear-wheel drive, performance-tuned suspension and incredibly agile performance, there's nothing that rivals it in the U.S. That's because the CTS-V is an arrow aimed straight at the heart of high-performance European luxury sedans, like the BMW M5 and Mercedes-AMG E 63. Yet if you think this casts Cadillac as David vs. those European Goliaths, make no mistake: Caddy's got the goods. The engine outpowers both of those cars, it weighs several hundred pounds less, and the chassis is good enough to dust off the old Standard of the World badge. While it has a handful of shortcomings, it also costs tens of thousands less than the Europeans.
You'll Like This Car If...
The 2018 Cadillac CTS-V combines the grace and agility of a premium European sports sedan with the visceral thrill of American V8 muscle, and wraps it in styling that looks like something out of a science fiction movie. There's literally nothing like it on the road.
You May Not Like This Car If...
This Cadillac can run with the big boys, but it doesn't yet have the cachet of an M5 or AMG E 63 (although it's getting close). It's also lacking a handful of luxury features, like active cruise control, that are available elsewhere, including the standard CTS.
What's New for 2018
Aside from a new exterior color and an automatic heated steering wheel, there is a new limited-edition Glacier Metallic model. It's basically a loaded CTS-V, with quantities limited to 115 units to celebrate Cadillac's 115th anniversary.
The 2018 Cadillac CTS-V barks to life, the exhaust quickly settling into a muted growl. Grab the gear selector -- a traditional PRNDL handle covered in faux suede -- and the CTS-V belies its power with a docility that's surprising and welcome. Cruise around town, and this Cadillac sports sedan remains true to its luxury-car heritage: It's poised, comfortable, quiet and refined. Yet when you need to pass that semi, or just want to open 'er up, the engine roars, the supercharger sings, and the CTS-V rockets forward like few cars can. Click the drive mode to Sport, and the gauges change to black-on-white, with the "V" logo prominently showing. The suspension firms up as well. On back roads, the CTS-V gleefully showcases its agility and (relatively) light weight. Track mode takes things even further by loosening the restrictions on the stability control, and really should be reserved for the track.
The engine is the star of the show here. With 640 horsepower and 630 lb-ft of torque, it's the same engine you'll find under the hood of the Chevrolet Corvette Z06 and Camaro ZL1. Yet here it feels smoother and more refined, befitting its role.
CARBON BLACK PACKAGE
If you need to announce your presence even more loudly, the $6,950 Carbon Black package is the best way to do it. It adds a carbon-fiber spoiler, front splitter, hood vent, rear diffuser and interior trim, plus black wheels and a black-chrome grille. It's exceptionally sinister on black cars.
Inside the 2018 Cadillac CTS-V you'll find an interior that's much like the rest of the CTS lineup (reviewed here). This is a good thing, as the cabin is awash in high-end materials, soft leathers, and cool tech options. Cadillac's CUE infotainment system has been thoroughly upgraded and is now as quick, useful and responsive as it should've been when it debuted. Like the rest of the lineup, the rear seat isn't the roomiest, but it'll hold three in a pinch. Available Recaro seats hold you like a long-lost friend, but ordering them sacrifices the ventilation you get on the standard seats.
The 2018 CTS-V looks terrific from just about any angle. Especially with the Carbon Black package, the already-sharp lines of the standard CTS take on an intimidating aura with the CTS-V's wide fenders, big wheels and tires, and vented hood. What's surprising is the reaction the CTS-V gets from younger enthusiasts, who wholeheartedly embrace the car's mix of luxury and menace. If you want to save about $7,000 you can skip the Carbon Black package and have a more stealthy CTS-V; however, once you see it on the car, it's hard to turn it down.
Notable Standard Equipment
The 2018 Cadillac CTS-V comes with everything you'd expect in a high-end luxury-sports sedan. There's the fantastic engine, of course, driving the rear wheels through an 8-speed automatic. You get a leather interior with suede inserts on the seats, CUE with navigation, dual-zone automatic climate control, and a reconfigurable LCD instrument display. There's a Bose surround-sound audio system as well, along with a rearview camera and parking sensors in front and back. Other touches include a curb-view camera so you don't bang up those expensive wheels, behind which are standard Brembo brakes with 6-piston calipers in front, and 4-piston ones in the rear.
Notable Optional Equipment
A Luxury Package adds 3-zone climate control to the CTS-V, along with sunshades for the rear and side windows, a rear camera mirror, and heated outboard rear seats. There's the Carbon Black package, and a Recaro Seating option that adds excellent driver's seats, but at the expense of seat cooling. Other options include a performance-data recorder that will record not just your lap-time data but also a video, and suede microfiber cloth on the steering wheel and shift handle. Unfortunately, active cruise control isn't available since the radar takes up valuable space in the grille needed to keep the engine cool.
Under the Hood
There's only one engine available in the CTS-V: a 6.1-liter supercharged V8 monster putting out 640 horsepower and 630 lb-ft of torque. It powers the rear wheels through an 8-speed automatic transmission with quick-reaction paddle shifters on the steering wheel. You can shift for yourself, or just let the car's performance algorithms do it for you with uncanny precision. Considering the horsepower under hood, the CTS-V even manages somewhat respectable fuel economy, up to 21 mpg on the highway.
6.2-liter supercharged V8
640 horsepower @ 6,400 rpm
630 lb-ft of torque @ 3,600 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/21 mpg
The Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for the 2018 Cadillac CTS-V lists at about $90,600, which includes the $995 destination charge and the $1,000 gas-guzzler tax. The Glacier Metallic model has a price of about $105,000, including the same. That's not what anybody would call "cheap," but that's for a loaded version. The similarly quick Mercedes-AMG E 63 starts at about that price, and climbs skyward from there, and the upcoming 2018 BMW M5 will likely be about the same story. On the other hand, the Lexus GS-F costs about the same, but the Cadillac runs circles around the Lexus. Before buying, be sure to check the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying for their new Cadillac CTS-V. Good news: The CTS-V is projected to beat its rivals in resale value.
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