2016 Cadillac CTS-V
No matter where your car company hails from, if you build a sport sedan, you’ll ultimately get compared to the companies that have done it the best, for the longest time: The Germans! BMW, Mercedes, and VW/Audi. Whether that’s fair or not, is a topic for another day. Because right now, we’ve got a home grown contender to put through its paces, the Cadillac CTS-V!
American carmakers have been trying to catch up, and one-up the German sport sedan concept for over half a century. Numerous times critics, including us, thought they got close. But, it took the 21st century Cadillac brand to really close the gap, with the 2016 CTS-V aiming to fill it for good.
The CTS-V is the original V “for Velocity” of course, but just about everything that makes it go fast now, comes from the Chevrolet Corvette; making this essentially a four-door Corvette with a nicer interior.
That kinship start naturally enough under the hood with the Z06’s glorious 6.2-liter chunk of supercharged aluminum with pushrods, producing 640-horsepower and 630 lb-ft. of torque. The M5 and E63 AMG don’t even come close.
This thing is clearly not some mild-mannered pretender. Just hearing it rumble at startup will put fear into you; floor it and its “oh my gosh” awesome power!
It is still built on the ATS platform, but significant structural bracing had to take place; and like some of us around here, has stiffer joints all around. Oh yeah, it’s race car rigid.
Just as in some front-wheel-drive transaxles that feature unequal half-shafts to prevent torque steer; a similar arrangement in the CTS-V’s rear, works to quell axle hopping on hard acceleration. The results are, according to the factory, a blistering 3.7-seconds to 60.
There are Brembo brakes obviously; and topping it off, GM stuffed as much rubber into the wheel wells as possible; 265/35/19 Michelin Pilot Super Sports in front, 295/30/19s in back.
We’ve said it many times before about V-Series cars; you really need to get them on a race track for full affect. Tooling to the winery on the weekend or even slicing up your local back roads in this CTS-V does not reveal the true story of how competent it is.
So we jumped at the change to try it out a Road America! Yep, this Caddy is one awesome track machine. Between Performance Traction Management and the power distributing electronic limited-slip differential, you have no trouble getting all 640 horses to the pavement with little concern about being out of control.
More power than the Germans, and better use of it than hotrods like Hellcats and Shelby’s. And that very linear power delivery also works well with the 8-speed automatic transmission that comes with all CTS-Vs.
There’s plenty of mid-range muscle coming out of turns; with minimal weight transfer thanks to Magnetic Ride Control, even with a hefty 4,145-lbs. to manage. Brakes are all day long durable.
Driven hard it seems to move around on you a little, but it seems to catch itself and never get out of shape. You know there’s electronic intervention happening, but you still feel in total control.
There’s a more aggressive look to go along with all of that performance. Virtually every body panel is unique and purposefully designed to maximize downforce, minimize lift, or enhance cooling.
The air-extracting hood is made of carbon fiber as are the front splitter, rear diffuser, and spoiler if you opt for the carbon fiber package.
As for the interior, thankfully it does not appear like it was done on a shoestring budget; just an enhanced performance feel thanks to sueded materials, performance seats, Head Up display, and of course the Corvettes’ Performance Data Recorder.
And perhaps most important of all, it doesn’t feel any less Cadillac when you’re driving sanely.
Government Fuel Economy Ratings are 14-City, 21-Highway, and 17-Combined. So there is a gas guzzler tax.
Base price is $85,990. And if that’s too much, don’t forget that this big V has a little brother ATS-V which packs almost as much performance for $61,460.
Now, we know that many sport sedan aficionados will never be convinced that a four-door designed anywhere but Germany is worth a second look. But, if you have an open mind, then you’ll see where we’re coming from when we say that hands down, the 2016 Cadillac CTS-V beats all comers in the traditional European sport sedan category in every way! And we’re just ecstatic to be along for the ride.
- Engine: 6.2 liter
- Horsepower: 640
- Torque: 630 lb-ft.
- 0-60 mph: 3.7 seconds
- EPA: 14 mpg city / 21 mpg highway
2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06
Bringing Supercar Performance To The Street…American Style
What happens when you let enthusiasts and engineers worry less about tradition and allow them to do what they do best? You get cars like this Chevrolet Corvette Z06. What happens when GM let’s us borrow one for a few days? That’s what we’re about to find out!
While the Z06 package first became an option for the Chevrolet Corvette back in 1963, it wasn’t until the C5 that it describe the ultimate track-focused ‘Vette. And while since then every Z06 has gotten more extreme, if we were plotting things out on a graph, this is where the line of performance progression goes from a steady incline to almost vertical. Yes, the latest C8 Z06 is all that.
It starts with a brand new LT6 5.5-liter DOHC V8 that outputs 670-horsepower and delivers 460 lb-ft. of torque. It sounds great too, the very aggressive nature of its flat-plane crank design has it sounding, and feeling like it’s trying to shake its way out of the engine bay unless you unleash some of its furry.
This dual-cammer featured a dry-sump design from the get-go and is more racing engine than souped-up small block, being developed originally for the C8.R race car.
It made short work of Roebling Road Raceway’s long front straight, able to reach 160 by the end of it. With Hellcats no longer rolling off the assembly line, this is easily our new favorite V8.
But, as you can imagine, Chevy has done much more than just plop a bigger motor into its rear-midship engine bay, which was easier to do since they didn’t have to worry about anyone seeing over it. They’ve addressed just about every part of the car to ensure it puts that power to best use for coming out of corners like few other cars on the street.
That includes upgrades for the short/long arm double wishbone suspension setup that can be further enhanced with an available Z07 Performance Package that adds more aggressive tuning for Magnetic Ride Control, and Michelin Sport Cup 2R tires. Which can be mounted on 20 and 21-inch carbon fiber wheels with carbon ceramic brakes nestled behind.
It all translated into more grip than a semi’s worth of industrial strength Velcro through Roebling’s 9-turns.
With Hellcats no longer rolling off the assembly line, this is easily our new favorite V8.
Like most Corvettes, the Z06 can be as wild or mild of an experience as you care to make it but will most likely be the fastest car to show up at most track days. Yet, the same magnetic dampers that void all body roll on the track, provide an almost plush ride quality for the drive home, though not quite as plush as the standard Corvette.
We’re struggling to find something non-fan boy to say; sure the 8-speed dual-clutch gearbox doesn’t deliver shifts with the brutality of some exotics, but really, they’re just as fast, and the shifts are much smoother.
Believe it or not, almost all the body is unique. So, rather than just tacking on some fender flares, Chevy made the entire car wider to cover the 345 rear tires, yet keep the same uniform look in place.
The optional Carbon Fiber Aero Package adds a front splitter, rocker extensions, front dive planes, and a huge rear wing. We’re not sure if the multi-level nature of that rear wing was done for functional or aesthetic reasons, but it doesn’t block your rearview, and that is much appreciated.
We always talk about torque being more important than horsepower when it comes to acceleration, and the Z06 works with almost 200 fewer lb-ft. of torque than horsepower, but you sure wouldn’t know it when you mash the throttle.
Easy to use programmable launch control allows you to dial in your preferred RPM for launching; we found 4,500 was just about perfect for Roebling’s front straight, allowing for just a tiny bit of slip before rocketing us to 60 on a 40 degree day in just 2.6-seconds.
Power continues to pour on hard as the engine quickly hits its 8,600 RPM redline, and gear changes happen often. The sound inside the cabin in intense, and when the ¼-mile came to an end in 10.7-seconds at 130 miles-per-hour, it felt like it was just getting started.
Government Fuel Economy Ratings are a low 12-City, 19-Highway, and 14-Combined.
For the Z06 there are 3 LZ pricing points to land on, starting at $114,395; but you can go with the top-of-the-line Z06, add 50-grand worth of options, and still come out half the price of anything you can compare it to.
Call us home teamers all you want, but America’s only exotic does it yet again, not only is it the best Corvette ever, but it is also easily one of the greatest American cars of all time, arriving at a particularly poignant time culturally as we mourn the potential loss of internal combustion engines altogether. So, come for the spectacular engine and stay for the complete performance package, and experience, that is the Chevrolet Corvette Z06.
- Engine: 5.5-liter V8
- Horsepower: 670
- 0-60 mph: 2.6 seconds
- EPA: 12 City | 19 Highway | 14 Combined
- Transmission: 8-speed dual clutch auto
- Torque: 460 lb-ft.
- 1/4 Mile: 10.7-seconds at 130 mph