Once known as the ‘Standard of the World,’ Cadillac has slowly been re-establishing its reputation as an American luxury icon. These days, it’s easy to poke fun at its land yachts of the past, as well as its confusing naming system and low sales numbers. But if you drive its cars, Cadillac really can be a genuine competitor to the likes of BMW, Audi, and Mercedes.
In its quest to become the American alternative to BMW, Cadillac has also made sure it sells some seriously quick cars. Below, we present the five quickest Cadillac models ever sold.
Although mostly forgotten nowadays, from 2003 to 2009 the XLR was what you bought if you wanted a luxurious Corvette (the XLR and C6 had a shared platform). And from 2006, there was a V-Series version. Although it wasn’t the first V-Series—that would be the 2004 CTS-V—the XLR-V was the fastest of that first generation. With 440 hp coming from its supercharged V8, the XLR-V could reach 60 mph in 4.6 seconds, faster than its competitor, the Mercedes-Benz SL550.
2014 CTS-V Wagon
If automotive enthusiasts ever complain that GM never caters to them, this is Exhibit A for the rebuttal. This generation CTS-V, featuring the same supercharged V8 (albeit slightly detuned to ‘just’ 556 hp) as the Corvette ZR1 of the time, could be had as a stick-shift wagon. The last one (an automatic) Motor Trend tested went 0-60 in 3.9 seconds, faster than the BMW M4 of the day. Also, in wagon form, it meant you could have both speed and practicality. It’s little wonder these cars command a premium on the used market.
2020 CT6-V Blackwing
The pinnacle of Cadillac’s current lineup, this is a special edition of the flagship CT6 sedan. Only 600 cars will be made equipped with the Blackwing engine, a 550 hp twin-turbocharged V8, which will hurl the sedan to 60 in just 3.8 seconds. Although officially not meant to end production until January 2020, the turmoil surrounding GM’s Detroit-Hamtramck plant makes the fate of the Blackwing engine, and indeed the CT6’s as a whole, uncertain.
2016 ATS-V Sedan
Praised by reviewers more for its chassis than its engine, the ATS-V put its 464 hp, twin-turbocharged V6 to good use. Its 0-60 time of 3.7 seconds isn’t just faster than the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrofoglio but also the contemporary M3. Let’s hope its replacement, the hot-rodded CT4, can live up to the reputation.
2019 CTS-V Sedan
Officially the fastest production Cadillac has ever made (despite its 0-to-60 time of 3.7 seconds being the same as the discontinued ATS-V), thanks to the latter’s lighter weight, the latest CTS-V can do at least one thing the ATS-V couldn’t. By virtue of its 640 hp supercharged V8, the CTS-V could hit 200 mph. Even at almost twice the price, Porsche’s Panamera Turbo can’t hit that trap speed.