You wait 112 years for a seriously fast Cadillac to show up and then two arrive in the space of a few months.
At the La Auto Show in November, Cadillac launched the 455bhp, 185mph, BMW M4beating ATS-V, and next it's going after pretty much every sporty car to hail from Germany with the ATS-V's big brother, the CTS-V, which will debut in Detroit in January.
And, like the ATS-V, the new car's performance figures are nothing short of blistering. Its 6.2-liter supercharged V8 engine has a top speed of 200mph, a 0-60mph time of 3.7 seconds and can serve up 640hp. All of which means that when Cadillac claims the CTS-V is the most powerful car in its history, it's not hyperbole. It's a luxury sedan that, on paper at least, can run rings around the BMW M5 and M6, the Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG, Audi RS6 and even a Bentley Continental GT.
And as impressive as that is, the best thing about the CTS-V is that it is a promise of what to expect from a new, energized Cadillac. "V-Series represents the very best of the Cadillac brand -- the pinnacle of our design and technical capabilities," said Johan de Nysschen, Cadillac president. "The new CTS-V is the most compelling example of Cadillac's product substance and brand trajectory. The new CTS-V soars into the stratosphere of the most exhilarating luxury cars."
In the past, souped-up US sedans and coupés have been phenomenal in a straight line but disappointing in every other aspect when judged by European criteria. Cabin trim levels leave a lot to be desired, as does ride quality and, as for cornering, the least said, the better.
However, in a concerted effort to take the fight to the European GT car and luxury sedan establishment, US carmakers in general and Cadillac in particular have made huge improvements in every area in an incredibly quick time.
The CTS-V was developed on a racetrack, rather than a drag strip so it should take bends in its stride. It also uses a magnetic damper set-up similar to that used by companies like Ferrari and Mercedes so that a swift change in direction won't result in giving rear passengers motion sickness. The reworked chassis and suspension also mean that when driven gently, the ride will be equally genteel and, thanks to huge Brembo brakes that will come as standard, it should stop as quickly and as surely as it goes.
"With the stronger body structure -- and more than a decade of V-Series production models and the CTS-V racing program experience -- engineers tuned the CTS-V to deliver greater body motion control for a more agile feel, while maintaining excellent ride quality," said David Leone, Cadillac executive chief engineer. "The result is class-leading capability on the highway or track, balanced with luxury and refinement."
The CTS-V will be unveiled at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit on January 17 and will be going on sale in the US this summer. Cadillac is yet to announce if it will be going on sale in Europe.