History of the 3rd Generation CTS-V (V3)
Third Generation Cadillac CTS-V (2016-2019)
The third generation of the high-performance CTS variant, the Cadillac V3 CTS-V, would also be the last, as the CTS was discontinued and replaced with the CT5 in 2020. For this generation, the CTS-V continued to be assembled in the Lansing Grand River Plant in Michigan. Unlike the previous generation, the third generation CTS-V was only offered as a four-door sedan. The coupe and wagon versions were discontinued. The manual transmission option was also discontinued, and the third generation of CTS-V was only offered with an eight-speed automatic transmission.
History of the Third Generation CTS-V
The third generation of the Cadillac CTS-V began in 2016. It was slightly delayed from the beginning of the third-generation Cadillac CTS, which started in the 2014 model year. The CTS-V remained unchanged for the first two model years of the third generation CTS. The main reason for the delay in debuting the third generation of CTS-V was to give the CTS-V a new platform in the new GM Alpha and a new supercharged V8 engine in the 6.2-liter LT4 V8. This was the same engine being used in the C7 Z06, but its output was ten less horsepower in the CTS-V compared to the Corvette.
Nevertheless, it was a powerful engine with a 1.7-liter LT4 blower that helped it make 640 horsepower and 630 pound-feet of torque. The top speed for the new 2016 CTS-V was 200 MPH. For 2016, the CTS-V only came in a four-door sedan with an eight-speed automatic transmission. However, the automatic did come with paddle shifters for manual gear changing. There were several limited editions for the 2016 through 2019 model years, including the following
- Crystal White Frost Edition
- Carbon Black Edition
- Championship Edition
- Pedestal Edition
Third Generation CTS-V Evolution and Changes
When the 2016 Cadillac CTS-V came out, it was the most powerful Cadillac ever. As mentioned above, the horsepower output of the 2016 CTS-V was only ten less than the C7 Z06 Corvette. Acceleration from zero to 62 MPH was an incredible 3.7 seconds for the 2016 CTS-V. Inside, the CTS-V differed somewhat from the standard CTS car. The cabin felt more track-oriented, with a heads-up display showing a wide array of vehicle information that you'd need on the track or the road. It also offered plenty of luxuries like heated and ventilated seats, a Bose surround-sound audio system, and built-in Wi-Fi. The CTS-V was equipped only with RWD as befitting a powerful sports sedan.
For 2017, the CTS-V added a Carbon Black Sports package with extra black detailing on the car's exterior, dark wheels, and an optional spoiler and splitter. The only other change was a new rear camera mirror. The engine and power output remained the same for the 2017 CTS-V. The 2016 CTS-V production cars were completely sold out, so it's hardly a surprise that Cadillac didn't feel the need to make any significant changes for 2017.
For 2018, the CTS-V added three new exterior colors in Satin Steel Gray Metallic, Vector Blue Metallic, and Genesis Metallic. Once again, Cadillac did not make any major changes to this model year. Some key features include selectable driving modes for touring, snow, sport, and track, launch control for full-throttle acceleration, available carbon-fiber package, and third-generation Magnetic Ride Control with superior damping response. Two additional USB ports were also added to the rear console. The CTS-V Championship Edition came out in 2018 to commemorate Cadillac winning the 2017 IMSA Manufacturer, Driver, Team, and Endurance Championships. This special edition was available only in Crystal White Tri-coat and Black Raven Gloss. A Cadillac V-Performance graphic was added to the hood and rear spoiler. Three packages were available as well in the Morello Red package, the Carbon Fiber package, and the Luxury package. Only a very limited number of Championship Edition cars were made.
There were a few changes to the 2019 model, which was the final model of the CTS-V. Only five exterior colors were available on this model in Crystal White Tri-coat, Velocity Red, Satin Steel Metallic, Black Raven, and Wave Metallic. Two of the added colors from 2018 were discontinued. The Championship Edition was not continued for this year. Options for the 2019 CTS-V included the Pedestal Package, the Carbon Fiber Package, the Luxury Package, and the Advanced Security Package. Other options included custom brake colors, custom wheel colors, Recaro seats, and a Performance Data Recorder.
Third Generation CTS-V Fun Facts
- The 3rd Gen CTS-V was often called a four-door Corvette due to its supercharged V8 from the C7 Z06
- The V3 CTS-V also shared the LT4 motor and supercharger with the 6th generation Camaro ZL1
- The 3rd Gen CTS-V with the LT4 motor was the most powerful Cadillac car produced to date
- Third-generation CTS-V models were only available as four-door sedans
- The 3rd Gen CTS-V debuted on the then-new GM Alpha platform
- The CTS-V Championship Edition started at $105,730 before options
- Sales for the third generation of CTS-V were extremely slow compared to previous generations
- The 'V' in CTS-V stands for Victory
Legacy of the CTS-V Third Generation
The last CTS-V rolled off the assembly line in early 2019 with the Velocity Red color option. There would be no 2020 CTS or CTS-V as Cadillac replaced the CTS car with the CT5. A high-performance version of the CT5 was dubbed the CT5-V Blackwing, which effectively replaced the CTS-V. The CTS-V was initially indirectly replaced by the CT6-V before the CT5-V was announced. Unlike the CTS and CTS-V, the CT5 and CT5-V were designed in a fastback style with visual cues taken from Cadillac fastback from the 1940s.
Sales for the last generation of CTS-V fell sharply from previous generations (from 10,197 and 19,454 to 4,703), which was likely a big reason that Cadillac decided to discontinue it. Another reason was the brand's shift into making its increasingly popular crossover models. Nevertheless, the Cadillac CTS-V competed with European luxury brands even with base options. Its starting price of around $89,000 made it feel like a steal compared to some of these cars. Options and packages easily boosted the price to over $100,000, but even without those options, you still got the undeniable power of the Corvette engine.
More CTS-V History: 1st Gen (2004 - 2007) · 2nd Gen (2009 - 2015) · CT5-V 4th Gen (2020 - ??) CT5-V/CTS-V