Cadillac: V8 CT5-V and V6 CT4-V Spied Testing on the Public Roads

Camouflaged CT5-V prototype - Source: Cadillac

Between the feeble launch of their new V-series sedans and the phenomenal launch of the mid-engine Corvette, Cadillac took a back seat in conversations about GM performance vehicles.

In an effort to soothe raging fans, GM higher-ups took a couple of high-performance CT4-V and CT5-V prototypes around the track ahead of the 2019 Detroit Grand Prix. However, there has been no information on their powertrain specs and when they might be coming to market.

Well, just a couple of days ago, GM Authority’s spy photographer captured a large convoy of Caddies testing on the public roads.

In the videos, we see at least three camo-wrapped CT5-V models and two CT4-V prototypes, all of which are presumably equipped with high-output V8 and V6 engines, respectively.

There are also the previous generation ATS-V and CTS-V models, as well as a BMW M2 and M5, which are used to benchmark the performance of the upcoming vehicles.

That must have been quite pleasurable to watch in real life, but thankfully, they shot good quality footage for the rest of us.

This time we can clearly hear the rumble of a V8 underneath the hood of the CT5-V sedans, though we still don’t know whether that is Cadillac’s proprietary 4.2-liter, twin-turbo Blackwing V8.

Recently, Road and Track Magazine caught up with Cadillac’s President, Steve Carlisle, to talk about what’s going on in the company and what can we expect from the V-series.

Like every other GM executive, Carlisle is short on details, but he confirmed the V-brand is restructuring to offer something for everybody:

“You can always have steps and gradations in terms of what you offer, and who you make it accessible to, and how… And that’s really where we’re going.”

Camouflaged CT5-V prototype – Source: Cadillac

When asked about the underwhelming reveal of the CT4-V and the CT5-V, Carlisle commented:

“It just tells you how much emotion there is around these performance sedans.”

Cadillac’s President ruled out the possibility of a Blackwing engine finding its place in any other GM brand with absolute certainty. “Over my dead body” he commented.

However, the future of Caddy’s V8 engine is uncertain.

4.2-liter twin-turbo Blackwing V8 engine – Source: Cadillac

The Blackwing engine is only used in the CT6 Platinum and CT6-V models. Both of them will be axed as of January 2020, when the Detroit-Hamtramck plant closes down as part of GM’s major restructuring plans.

So, the Blackwing must either find its way in the new high-performance CT5-V, which everybody is hoping for, or go out of circulation, which would be a real shame for a brand new engine.

Camouflaged CT4-V at 2019 Detroit Grad Prix
Camouflaged CT4-V prototype – Source: Cadillac

As far as the CT4-V, we’re pretty sure what we hear is the sound of a twin-turbo V6. GM Authority claims the long pauses between shifts indicate a manual transmission. The ATS-V does have both a 3.6-liter twin-turbo V6 – the LF4, and a Tremec 6-speed manual gearbox, so what we are seeing may be its true successor.

So what does this all mean for Cadillac?

Well, the brand is looking to diversify its portfolio and include a new range of crossovers and SUVs for the American market, including possibly high-performance V-series models – in line with M-powered and AMG SUVs.

Camouflaged CT4-V prototype – Source: Cadillac

However, Cadillac is still determined to pursue the high-performance sedans, which became the foundation of its reputation in the last decade. We’re still baffled why they decided to shoot themselves in the foot with a such a disappointing reveal, but we’re happy they’re working on the apology.