First, let's look at the cars. The CT4-V will be the base of the V brand, and it's our first look at the small luxury sedan. It has a roofline and window treatment more like past Cadillacs, eschewing the C-pillar garnish of the CT5. It also naturally gets dark trim and headlights, a unique spoiler and quad tailpipes to distinguish it as a V. Under the hood is a turbocharged 2.7-liter four-cylinder that is based on the engine in the new Chevy Silverado. It makes 320 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque, a far cry from the ATS-V's 464 horsepower and 445 pound-feet of torque.
Power goes through a 10-speed automatic transmission only. Both rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive are available. It gets a mechanical limited-slip differential whereas the ATS-V had an electronically controlled limited-slip differential a la Camaro ZL1. The brakes have four-piston calipers at each corner versus six-piston front units and four-piston rear units on the ATS-V, and the rotors are smaller. Magnetic Ride Control remains standard on the rear-drive version, but the all-wheel-driver version sticks with conventional shocks. The new CT4-V is about 200 pounds lighter than the ATS-V, though, and it has 50/50 weight distribution. Additionally, both the CT4-V and the CT5-V have Super Cruise available as an option.
Moving on to the CT5-V, it looks like a regular CT5 but with dark trim and lights, quad tailpipes and a unique rear diffuser. Instead of the CTS-V's 640-horsepower supercharged V8, the CT5-V uses a twin-turbo 3.0-liter V6 making 355 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque. Changes made to the 3.0 for the CT5-V include a new intake system and new exhaust, and it revs higher too. Like the CT4-V, it comes with a 10-speed automatic and either rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. It does get the electronically controlled limited-slip differential.
The CT5-V also gets the latest Magnetic Ride Control suspension system in all versions. The brakes switch to Brembo four-piston units at all four corners. The old CTS-V had six-piston brakes up front and four-piston rear brakes, both with larger rotors than the CT5-V. But like the CT4-V, the CT5-V is lighter than its predecessor. In this case, it's lighter by about 170 pounds.
Some of this seems a little disappointing, but there is good news. Cadillac made it clear that there are more V variants coming, and it sounds as though harder-core versions of these sedans are also coming, but with different, unknown nomenclature. These new V cars are designed to be less hardcore for a broader buyer set. And according to a Cadillac representative, the slightly softer image will make it easier to apply the brand to its crossovers. So to sum up, the new V is a little more like the old V-Sport. It's sporty, but not ultra-hardcore. But there may still be something hardcore for later.
If these new V models appeal to you, they will go on sale this year. We'll also get a look at the regular versions of the CT4 in the next couple of months. Pricing has yet to be announced for either of the V models.