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
2023 Genesis Electrified GV70
Genesis Waves Their Magic EV Wand Yet Again
The Genesis Electrified GV70 is not only the 3rd all-electric vehicle offering from Hyundai’s luxury division, but it’s also the first Genesis model to be built here in the US. You know, the GV70 was already a big hit with both critics and buyers, so let’s find out if a big pack of batteries and American workers can take it to the next level.
For the 2023 model year, the Genesis GV70 utility has gone electric. And like the Electrified G80 sedan before it, Genesis has integrated an all-electric drivetrain into its existing platform seamlessly and effectively.
Now, it may look almost exactly like the sleek and sophisticated internal combustion powered GV70 SUV that arrived just last year. But packed underneath it all, is the GV60’s next-gen propulsion system that uses a pair of electric motors delivering standard all-wheel drive and 429-horsepower. Both the front and rear-mounted electric motors are 160-kW and produce a combined 516 lb-ft. of torque, relying on energy from a 77.4-kWh battery. Full 350-kW charging capability will get the battery to 80% in just 18-minutes. The Electrified GV70 is rated to travel 236-miles between those charging sessions.
But based on our driving loop, we’d say more is easily possible as we were on pace for over 250-miles; making it an overachiever, much like the G80.
The approach to the interior is not so much a heavy-handed blast of over-the-top luxury, rather just a soothing blend of high-quality metal and leather materials with soft tones, subtle ambient light, and an airy feel that ultimately delivers a very comforting experience.
There’s an available 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, along with a 14.5-inch touchscreen that houses standard navigation, and it also has a rotary style control on the console if you prefer that, just don’t confuse it with the rotary gear selector like we did. Lexicon audio, quilted leather, and a suede headliner come with the Prestige package that also includes active noise control and white brake calipers.
Regen braking paddles mounted on the back of the steering wheel allow for adjusting amounts of regen up to full 1-pedal driving; or you can let Smart Regen take control, gathering data from past driving history, navigation, and road conditions to determine the appropriate amount of braking. Drive modes include Comfort, Eco, Sport, Sport +, and Custom, and Genesis has added some additional sound deadening for this EV.
Based on the incredibly quiet, smooth, and steady highway ride we experienced, we weren’t sure what to expect when we pulled this GV70 up to the line at our Mason Dixon Dragway test track.
Well, not much calmness or serenity here, as this thing absolutely blasted off the line like a rocket, hitting 60 in just 3.9-seconds. That’s almost a full 2-seconds quicker than last year’s 2.5-liter turbo-equipped GV70. It’s hard to beat performance-tuned EVs when it comes to torque delivery, and like the GV60, there’s a boost button on the steering wheel that delivers an additional 54-horsepower for a thrilling 10-seconds, helping us clear the ¼ in 12.4-seconds at 112 miles-per-hour.
The low center of gravity, an electronically controlled suspension, and a Disconnector Actuator System that allows for 2-wheel or 4-wheel-drive operation depending on circumstances, helped keep the Electrified GV70 well-planted through our handling course, and provided a livelier feel than the ICE version.
Substantial side bolstering of the front seats kept us settled in place very nicely. Great steering feel, very little body roll, and only minor amounts of understeer at its limits. Brakes were equally as sporting, with good feedback and stability, despite the noticeable nosedive that typically accompanies stopping 5,000-lbs. of utility vehicle in just 111-feet, 6-feet shorter than the standard GV70.
There are some subtle changes outside for this Electrified version of the GV70; it gets unique 20-inch wheels, and as in the G80, the signature crest grille gets an aerodynamic makeover, nicely integrating the charging port. Same 2-line lighting theme up front, and in back, where the rear bumper is reshaped now that there are no tailpipes. Cargo area is well finished with thoughtful use of space; at 28.7 cubic-ft. with a max of 56.5, capacity is down a tiny bit, but a small storage bin up front under the hood more than makes up for it.
At 37-kWh/100 miles, the Electrified GV70 rates a good efficiency score. Pricing starts at $66,975, about 20-grand over a base ICE GV70, and 3-years of free charging at Electrify America charging stations is included.
Genesis is slowly but surely electrifying their lineup, and the 2023 Electrified GV70 is not just another step in the process, but further proof that carmakers can progress to EVs without upsetting the entire apple cart of their brand. Forward thinking but staying classy, just what we’ve come to expect from Genesis.
- Motor Setup: Dual 160-kW Motors
- Horsepower: 429
- 0-60 mph: 3.9 seconds
- 60-0 Braking: 111 feet (avg)
- MW Range: ~254 miles
- Battery Size: 77.4-kWh
- Torque: 516 lb-ft.
- 1/4 Mile: 12.4-seconds at 112 mph
- EPA Range: 234 miles
- Efficiency: 37 kWh/ 100 miles