The 2020 Cadillac CT5-V’s Name Lets It Down

Up until now, the V on the back of certain Cadillacs was the equivalent of BMW’s M. It meant not just speed, but handling prowess, too. Unfortunately, much like M itself, some of Cadillac’s latest V models don’t necessarily live up to the badge. The CT4-V is a good example. And although the base CT5 is a good luxury sedan, the Cadillac CT5-V struggles to live up to its name.

2020 Cadillac CT5-V: specs and features

A red 2020 Cadillac CT5-V parked on a mountainside road
2020 Cadillac CT5-V | Cadillac

Like the higher-spec CT5 models, the $48,690 2020 Cadillac CT5-V has a 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V6, Car and Driver reports. But instead of 330 hp, in the CT5-V the V6 makes 360 hp, Motor Trend reports. The torque output’s the same: 406 lb-ft, Road & Track reports. A 10-speed automatic is the only transmission available, but while rear-wheel drive is standard, AWD is an option. With all this, the Cadillac CT5-V can go 0-60 in 4.6 seconds, The Drive reports.

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Unlike other CT5s, the CT5-V has adjustable magnetorheological dampers, a limited-slip differential, Brembo brakes, and Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires, Motor1 reports. It also has the same stability and traction control used in the Corvette and Camaro ZL1 1LE. Plus, the Cadillac CT5-V rides on the same platform as the current Camaro, MT reports.

But just like BMW’s M and Mercedes AMG models, the Cadillac CT5-V is meant as both a performance and a luxury car. It comes standard with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a 10” infotainment touchscreen. The heated and cooled massaging front seats, though, are an optional extra, as is the navigation and Bose audio system.

GM’s Super Cruise ADAS suite isn’t available as of this writing, though it will be for 2021 models, The Drive reports. But the CT5-V does come standard with automatic emergency braking, front and rear traffic alert, and blind-spot monitoring.

Why the CT5-V isn’t quite a Cadillac CTS-V follow-up

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The 2020 Cadillac CT5-V isn’t exactly a poor performance sedan. The brakes are excellent, Car and Driver reports, especially with the optional high-performance pads. The sedan’s steering out-shines BMW’s current best, Automobile reports, in feedback, and weighting. The magnetic suspension is comfortable in Touring Mode, MT reports, but even in Sport Mode, the CT5-V doesn’t beat you up. With that and its chassis, it’s a sedan that out-performs many sports cars in nimbleness and agility, The Drive reports.

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However, it’s not perfect. While the brakes are very effective, the brake-by-wire system is difficult to modulate, Motor1 reports. And the interior is a bit of a mixed-bag, reports. It’s spacious, and arguably better-designed than the current 3 Series’, Car and Driver reports. But there’s nothing to differentiate it from a lower-spec CT5. And some of the plastics feel a bit too cheap for the car’s price tag, Motor1 reports.

However, the biggest issue is the Cadillac CT5-V’s name. It’s not really a ‘proper’ V like the last-gen CTS-V. Instead, it’s more of a replacement for the CTS VSport, R&T explains. Basically, instead of a BMW M3, it’s an M340i. It’s not bad, it’s simply not quite as high-performance as the trunk badge implies.

But there might be hope on the horizon for the CT5-V.

What about the Blackwing model?

White 2011 Cadillac CTS-V Wagon driving on a city bridge
2011 Cadillac CTS-V Wagon | Cadillac

Unfortunately, the upcoming Cadillac CT5-V and CT4-V Blackwing aren’t getting the CT6-V’s Blackwing V8. However, based on what’s currently known, they will be the true successors to the CTS-V and ATS-V, Automobile reports. And in the CT5-V Blackwing’s case, that’s a somewhat literal statement, Car and Driver reports.

Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing prototype
Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing prototype | Cadillac

That’s because the 2021 Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing will use an updated version of the last-gen CTS-V’s 6.2-liter supercharged V8. Allegedly, it will develop 650 hp. And while the 10-speed automatic will be available, the sports sedan will also offer a 6-speed manual.

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