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Introduced in 2003, the Cadillac V Series put a high-performance spin on some of America’s best luxury cars. In the 20 years since, Cadillac has taken the V Series to remarkable heights both in racing and on the road. These days, we have the Cadillac CT4 and CT5 V Blackwing models, but there are several great Cadillac V Series models that paved the way for these stunning sports sedans.

2011 Cadillac CTS-V Wagon is the only V Series car with a wagon variant

I’m a sucker for a fast wagon, and the 2011 Cadillac CTS-V Wagon is one of the best. The epitome of a do-anything sports car, the CTS-V Wagon is the lone wagon within the Cadillac V Series lineage. Its status as an outlier is no matter, though, considering the performance and versatility on display here.

Packing a 6.2-liter Supercharged LSA engine, the CTS-V Wagon was the ultimate sleeper sports car of the 2010s. At 556 horsepower and 551 pound-feet of torque, this boisterous barge barrelled to 60 mph in just 4.1 seconds. Even better, it could get to 100 in less than 10 ticks.

Sure, fuel economy sat at just 14 mpg city and 19 mpg highway. But when you can sprint to 60 mph in less than five seconds with an entire apartment packed behind you, does fuel economy matter?

And then there’s the noise. The blown Northstar V8 makes some of the best sounds when pressed to deliver. But at cruising speeds, it’s smooth and unassuming – just what you want from the ultimate sleeper.

2016 Cadillac ATS-V Coupe – The best of the early V Series cars

The Cadillac ATS-V Coupe in white, with bleachers in the background
Cadillac ATS-V Coupe | Cadillac

Cadillac coupes are rare enough, but the ATS-V Coupe might just be the standout of the group. Its bigger brother often gets the lion’s share of attention – and for good reason. But the ATS-V Coupe sits at an intersection of agility and raw power that is hard to ignore.

The 464-horsepower comes from a twin-turbocharged, 3.5-liter V6 and fires through a six-speed manual gearbox on its way to the rear wheels. The power, combined with 445 pound-feet of torque, propels the littlest V to 60 mph in just over four seconds in Car and Driver testing.

At 3,760 pounds, it’s no lightweight. But it is nearly 1,000 pounds lighter than its four-door cousins. That may be why its 0-60 time is just 0.5 seconds slower than the 640-horsepower CTS-V. 

2019 Cadillac CT6-V – The biggest V Series sedan

Cadillac CT6-V Series luxury sedan
Cadillac CT6-V

At the opposite end of the spectrum, the 2019 Cadillac CT6-V is large, luxurious, and life-affirming. The 550-horsepower, twin-turbo V8 heart of this CT6-V takes on the likes of the BMW 7 Series and Mercedes-AMG S-Class and puts them in the rearview mirror.

As one of the few flagship sedans capable of nimble handling, it’s the intersection of engagement and luxury that BMW claims to aim for, but hasn’t attained since the mid-00s.

2004 Cadillac XLR-V – A luxury Corvette

The Cadillac XLR-V is one of the early V Series cars, but it is still the best.
Cadillac XLR | Cadillac

This early Cadillac V Series car was unique as the lone roadster in the Cadillac lineup. The angular design is a signature of Cadillac in this era, and the low-slung profile of the XLR-V is a perfect fit.

Low, wide, and flat, one could argue it looks like a fallen cereal box. But with the long hood and short deck, this Cadillac Roadster has the proportions to pull it off. Powered by a 4.6-liter Northstar V8, the XLR-V delivered 443 horsepower and 414 pound-feet of torque. 

2021 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing – No introduction necessary

Fully loaded 2024 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing luxury compact sport sedan
Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing | Cadillac

Finally, the best Blackwing model is from the current crop, but it’s not the most powerful one of the bunch. Instead, the CT4-V Blackwing takes the top prize for its balance of outright speed and agile handling.

Big, heavy luxury sedans certainly have their place. But for sports sedans, it’s a blend of comfort, handling, and horsepower that makes the ideal formula. The twin-turbocharged V6 underneath the CT4-V Blackwing is good for 472 horsepower and 445 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual gearbox sends that power to the rear wheels. Plus, the shorter wheelbase and steering feel make it feel more alive than the more powerful BMW M5.

Here’s to another 20 years of Cadillac V Series Excellence!

Today, the Cadillac V Series lineup includes two sedans and now, the ultra-luxurious Cadillac Escalade. While the current CT4-V Blackwing will disappear to make way for an electric sports car, we can only hope that the American luxury brand continues to deliver inspiring sports sedans well into the future.

Related Used Cadillac CTS-V Wagon Stick Shifts Show No Signs of Slowing

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