2013 Cadillac CTS-V Coupe in Silver Frost - image: GM CorpEnlarge Photo
We’d have no problem tossing the 556-horsepower Cadillac CTS-V's ignition keys to a (relatively) inexperienced driver, with only the admonition to “be careful.” On the other hand, we’d be reticent to give the keys to a 662-horsepower Mustang Shelby GT500 to anyone lacking a competition license and years of experience.
The difference is that the Cadillac goes out of its way not to kill you, while the Shelby, like its cobra mascot, seems to lie in wait for a moment of driver inattention before striking. Drive both, and you’ll be astonished at how docile the Cadillac feels when you don’t have your foot in it. The Mustang, on the other hand, demands your constant vigilance.
Yes, we know the Shelby has more horsepower and is supposed to be more sporting in nature, but the difference between the two cars is even more extreme than positioning, branding and 106 horsepower would lead you to believe.
The good news for Cadillac fans, according to Motor Trend, is that the next Cadillac CTS-V may get an even heartier forced-induction V-8, based on the new LT1 V-8 used in the Corvette Stingray. Both supercharging (as used in the current CTS-V) and twin-turbocharging are being considered, as both present advantages and drawbacks.
It's not all good news on the CTS-V front, however. Word is that GM is back to its old cost-cutting ways, and even Cadillac is feeling the pain. The CTS-V Coupe and CTS-V Sport Wagon, once considered critical for Cadillac's global image, may be dropped from the next generation of CTS-V models, even though the cars remain profitable.
Speaking of fast Cadillac models, Motor Trend also reports that the ATS-V project is proceeding, and that the car will come to market with a twin-turbo V-6. Observant Cadillac fans have pointed out that there’s room under-hood for a V-8, and speculation is that an ATS-V Plus may carry a V-8 as the model’s first generation winds down.
There’s still no word on when an ATS-V model will be in dealer showrooms, or exactly how much power it will be packing beneath its sculpted hood (aside from the previously rumored 380 horsepower).