Though heavily masked, the prototypes give away some clues as to what we can expect on the new CTS range-topper. It looks like the car will sport a revised grille as well as new intakes in its lower bumper and an aggressive front lip spoiler. The wheels are also much wider, and at the rear we see a new trunk lid spoiler as well as four round exhaust tips instead of the rectangular pair fitted to the regular CTS.
Air vents on the domed hood likely hint at a force-fed V-8 nestled underneath. We could see a supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 like that fitted to the outgoing CTS-V, though we’re also hearing that Cadillac engineers may go with a new twin-turbocharged V-8 instead. Cadillac’s Elmiraj concept car from 2013 had a twin-turbocharged 4.5-liter V-8 rated at more than 500 horsepower.
One thing you can bet on is more power than the 556-horsepower rating of the outgoing CTS-V, which combined with the lighter mass of the new car’s Alpha platform should translate to dramatic improvements in dynamic performance. Look for output to lie close to or exceed the 575 horsepower of the latest M5 Competition Package and 577 horsepower of the E63 AMG S-Model—an M5 can even be seen alongside the CTS-V prototypes in some of the shots. It's not clear if Cadillac will offer an all-wheel-drive option on its new CTS-V like AMG does with its latest E63, but rear-wheel drive will almost certainly remain standard.
Expect all the performance bells and whistles on the new CTS-V, such as the latest magnetic ride suspension, a limited-slip differential, beefy brakes and high-performance rubber. Some of the prototypes featured here are wearing Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires. Hopefully the transmission will be based on the quick-shifting eight-speed 8L90 automatic that debuts in the 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06.
Unfortunately, all these upgrades will push prices up. Expect a hefty premium on the $60k starting price of the current CTS range-topper, the CTS Vsport. To cater to fans seeking a less expensive performance sedan, Cadillac will introduce a smaller ATS-V sometime in the next 12-18 months as well.
Look for a debut of the 2016 Cadillac CTS-V at a major North American auto show in the first half of 2015. Sales should commence by the fall of that year.