Thursday, April 25, 2024
NewsCadillac's V-Series Turns 20 and it’s Just Getting Started

Cadillac’s V-Series Turns 20 and it’s Just Getting Started

From Bold Beginnings to the Exhilarating CT5 V Blackwing, Cadillac's Back


Cadillac‘s V-Series has been around for far longer than most recall. It’s altogether possible that many of you don’t recall that Cadillac an unidentical Corvette twin called the XLR 20 years ago, but it’s likely you remember something about a V. The period’s CTS helped make V what it is today mostly because it was available in sedan, coupe, and wagon form, the latter being the stuff of legend today. It was also the first-ever V back in 2004.

Cadillac CT5 V Blackwing| Photo: Matt St-Pierre

It’s impossible to say that “V” redefined the landscape of luxury performance vehicles as it tackles with the might of AMG, M, and RS but despite the overwhelming competition, V remains strong. And it’s getting stronger thanks the 2022 introduction of the psychotic Escalade V, one of the loudest SUVs ever assembled, and the birth of Blackwing shortly before it.

 


The Birth of the V-Series:

 

We sat down to chat with Mike Speranzini, Managing Director, Cadillac Canada. The V-Series, call it a bold step, was Cadillac’s declaration of its ambition to infuse high performance into its luxury lineup. “We’ve had 20 years of V-Series… we are seeing that performance is part of Cadillac’s DNA, something meaningful to our consumer,” Speranzini, said, highlighting the longstanding relationship between Cadillac’s brand identity and its performance-oriented V-Series lineup.

2009 Cadillac XLR | Photo: Cadillac

This spirit was further exemplified by the introduction of the V-Series across Cadillac’s car range and eventually on to the flagship Escalade. As the V-Series expanded, it redefined the parameters of Cadillac’s luxury and performance, standing toe-to-toe with giants like AMG and M Series. The V-Series’ unique proposition lies in its ability to offer “the pure raw performance of the power you’re looking but in vehicle experience, it’s extremely comfortable and luxury,” a testament to Cadillac’s dedication to crafting vehicles that offer the best of both worlds.

 

This fusion of luxury and performance has not only captivated traditional luxury buyers but also attracted enthusiasts, positioning Cadillac in a unique spot in the competitive landscape. Though the V Series is the merging of the exhilaration of high-powered engines with the opulence of premium design, many models are “low-fat” versions. A few years ago, V-Series went on transformative journey when they introduced Blackwing, or in short, the pinnacle of ultra-high-performance vehicles.

 


The inimitable CT5 V Blackwing:

Cadillac CT5 V Blackwing| Photo: Matt St-Pierre

The CT5 V Blackwing represents the zenith of Cadillac’s V-Series. More than that, it’s a unique proposition based not on raw numbers alone, but also on its configuration. Available with a manual transmission that sends over 660 horsepower to the rear wheels only, there are in fact no alternatives to the CT5 V Blackwing. When asked “How important is the car? And how difficult will it be to convince the bean counters to keep it going for a little while longer?, Global Chief Engineer, Alex MacDonald, had this to say: “So I think it’s critically important. I think if you look at the demographic, we draw in with the Blackwings, in particular, but also the V series, really both of them in terms of their age cohort, their income, they are really important customers for Cadillac. And we see that when we bring a customer in with a V or Blackwing.”

 

Truly, and based on personal experience having reviewed the CT5 V Blackwing, the car embodies the pinnacle of performance and luxury. “It’s one of the most spectacular cars in the world to drive,” MacDonald confessed, underscoring the Blackwing’s exceptional driving dynamics. The Blackwing’s introduction, for both the CT4 and CT5, has not only solidified Cadillac’s position in the performance segment but also signaled the brand’s readiness for future innovations though not by following established conventions.

Cadillac CT5 V Blackwing| Photo: Matt St-Pierre

Without committing to anything, MacDonald provided an “it’s a good idea,” answer when asked about V badges finding their way on future electric Caddies. He turned my attention to the larger screen now available in the 2025 CT5 as well as mentioned that the brand’s current focus is on the Celestiq, Optic, and Escalade IQ. Our takeaway is that there can be no doubt that there will be a number of future electric V-Series vehicles.

 


Cadillac’s back

 

The insights gleaned from the interviews paint a vivid picture of Cadillac’s strategic evolution committed to luxury and performance. The brand’s ability to seamlessly integrate these core values across its lineup, from the impressive Escalade to the awe-inspiring CT5 V Blackwing, underscores a deep understanding of its consumer base and its competition.

 

Despite changes revisions at GM as a whole, Cadillac maintains its vision for an all-EV future where there will be no compromises, never losing sight of what makes a Cadillac, a Cadillac.

Cadillac CT5 V Blackwing| Photo: Matt St-Pierre

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Matt St-Pierre
Matt St-Pierre
Trained as an Automotive Technician, Matt has two decades of automotive journalism under his belt. He’s done TV, radio, print and this thing called the internet. He’s an avid collector of many 4-wheeled things, all of them under 1,500 kg, holds a recently expired racing license and is a father of two. Life is beautiful. Send Matt an emai

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