For a Brit, the Cadillac CTS-V is the ultimate piece of super saloon forbidden fruit. How can you not get on board with a car that looks the way it does, while using a 640bhp, 6.2-litre supercharged V8 to exclusively power the rear wheels?
Now, its kinda/sorta replacement is here. It’s called the CT5-V, and - there’s no easy way to say this - it develops not much more than half the output of its predecessor from an engine with two fewer cylinders. Under its highly-sculpted bonnet - sorry, hood - you’ll find a 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 which develops 350bhp.
It’s the same story with the CT4-V (above left), which indirectly replaces the BMW M3-fighting ATS-V. While its older relative churned out 455bhp from a 3.6-litre twin-turbo V6, the CT4-V makes do with a 2.7-litre inline-four turbo which develops a more modest 315bhp.
No performance figures have been given yet, but they will inevitably be much slower than the old ATS-V and CTS-V.
Both models are built on General Motors’ rear-drive Alpha architecture, although there are all-wheel drive versions of each available. The pair use 10-speed automatic gearboxes, and are fitted with the latest version of the MagneRide adaptive dampers.
The CT4-V sends its power through a mechanical limited-slip differential, but the CT5-V has a fancier electronically-controlled unit. And so it goes with the wheels - the smaller car has 18-inch wheels, and the bigger brother has been given a set of 19s, just so the hierarchy is clear. Whichever you go for, the Super Cruise driver assistance system is optional.
They sound like decent performance saloons, but for those wanting a little more shove, it’s not necessarily all bad news. There is still a chance that Cadillac is building faster versions. The intention of these two models is to broaden the appeal of the V brand, in the way that the 43/53 cars have for Mercedes-AMG. This should leave room for something angrier.
“This is only the beginning of the V family. Cadillac’s passion for performance shines on a racetrack. Stay tuned,” hints GM president Mark Reuss. Who knows - perhaps GM is planning on dumping the CT6-V’s twin-turbo V8 into the CT5.
The CT4-V and CT5-V, meanwhile, will go on sale during the early part of 2020. Both will be built at GM’s Lansing Grand River, Michigan plant.