Although I’m partial to German engineering when it comes to performance monikers such as BMW’s M cars, Porsche’s Turbos, the Audi S line, and Mercedes-Benz’s AMGs, the Cadillac V-Series has always represented the Americans with respect and dignity. The letter “V” is instilled with vigorous, vital enhancements and vicious styling to differentiate it from the standard models. I have piloted every prior V-Series model on tracks and in the streets, so when the 2020 CT5-V — donned in an Evergreen Metallic hue — rolled up, I was overly excited to connect Cadillac’s past to its present.
The AWD CT5-V craved to be driven; therefore, I immediately took it out for an initial spin after arrival. Its 3-liter twin-turbo V6 (360-horsepower and 405 lb-ft of torque) and 10-speed automatic transmission are always ready for action. I set the gear shifter in manual, switched the modes to Sport, and dropped (downshifted) the magnesium paddle shifters for thrilling acceleration. The acoustic reverberation from the trapezoid quartet of pipes popping as the vehicle moved through gears was sensational. In this sequence, the road disappeared quickly! ZR19 Michelin Pilot Sport 4s performance tires pair with Magnetic Ride Control (interprets road conditions and appropriately adjusts) and an electronic Limited-Slip Rear Differential to offer stellar handling. Front Brembo brakes are assigned stopping duty for the 19″ alloy rims, which are simultaneously classy and sporty, but short of domineering for a sports car. And don’t forget about the V-Mode button that allows for customization of the exhaust, suspension, steering, powertrain, and braking habits.
The current V is not as bulky as I recall and appears to be lean, but chiseled. Think of Black Panther as opposed to Hercules. The vehicle is accentuated by Gloss Black exterior details, a dark V split grille, rear spoiler, rocker molder extensions, and rear lower diffuser. However, my loaner was devoid of the UltraView power sunroof, which is a must for me these days unless I’m rocking a vehicle with a carbon-fiber roof.
Inside the cockpit, envision a marriage between a racecar driver and a Queen. One presents opulence and the other aggression. Carbon fiber panels, Jet Black / Whisper Beige, two-toned chairs with red stitching and huggable sports bolsters, 15-speaker Bose Performance Series audio with metal grilles, and the latest version of the 10” Cadillac User Experience (CUE) enhance the presentation. You also have wireless phone charging, seat leg extenders, a rotary dial, and physical knobs that work well with the touchscreen. In prior times CUE was a headache with its haptic feedback and multiple screens for simple tasks. I’m thrilled to see the user-friendliness of the latest version.
Starting at $47,695 ($58,305 as tested), the CT5-V is joined by the CT4-V and top-of-the-line CT6-V, starting at a whopping $94,895. Cadillac’s goal is to exceed expectations from performance aficionados who typically default to German rides for blood sugar spikes. I’m impressed.