Every gentleman should know enough about cars to be able to hold up his end of a conversation about this year’s models. So, in order to prepare myself for any car-relate conversations in which I may find myself for the next 12 months, I packed up and headed off to the Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto.
Thanks to the good folks at GM, I was provided with a press pass (for the duration of the auto-show, because, honestly, one day wasn’t long enough to see, learn and experience everything that’s there), a hearty breakfast at the SOCO Kitchen + Bar and a front row seat for the reveals of the 2016 Cadillac ATS-V and CTS-V Series.
Although I’m more likely to find myself daydreaming about a Mercedes S Class than about a Cadillac anything, even I have to say – the stats on these new V-Series cars are staggering. As I stood listening to Cadillac Brand Director Mahmoud Samara and Marketing Manager Jason Sledziewski talk about these cars I found myself mentally behind the wheel, whipping around Moss Corner at Mosport, smelling the burning rubber and listening to the joyful sound of tortured tires.
Mr. Samara explained the philosophy behind the V-Series and it essentially boils down to this: Cadillac wants to be king again, so they’re putting serious time and development money into the V-Series to pull back the drivers who went to BMW or Mercedes. Cadillac is returning to creating true drivers’ cars, not just status symbols driven by the likes of Vanilla Ice and Paul McCartney.
The 2016 V-Series cars are unlike Cadillac’s previous forays into the drivers’ car world. These cars are on the very edge of the cutting edge. Have a look at the specs for yourself…
- ~455 Horsepower
- ~445 foot pounds of torque
- 0–96 KPH in 3.9 seconds
- 300 KPH Top Speed
- Rear-wheel drive
But, won’t that horsepower just throw you sideways if you try and turn at speed? No, the clever gentlemen over at Cadillac thought of that. They increased the structural stiffness of the ATS by 25% to offset some of the physics involved. The equally clever electronic limited-slip rear differential will also make sure that you come around the corner without chewing up any grass of gravel. Quite the car, no? Well, gentlemen, hang on to your hats, because that’s the slow one…
It’s rumoured that at one point Elon Musk thought about saving a few million dollars in his SpaceX program by just putting a CTS-V on its end and firing it into the stratosphere instead of developing his own rocket…
Here are the specs on the 2016 CTS-V…
- 640 horsepower
- 630 foot pounds of torque
- 0-96 KPH in 3.7 seconds
- 320 KPH top speed
- Rear wheel drive
The CTS-V has the same (basically) electronic limited-slip rear differential as the ATS-V (a differential you’ll also find on the Corvette…), so, even when you’re driving fast enough to make your face look like a Bassett hound’s, you’re still going to make that corner without twisting the car in half.
For a number of years now, Cadillac has been that hot but super high maintenance girl you had a crush on in high school. The 2016 V-Series entries though, are like discovering that that girl has a hotter cousin who likes to drink whisky, smoke cigars and watch baseball.
These cars might just be enough to win back the BMW and Mercedes defectors… I know they’ve both certainly made my “must drive” list.