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DETROIT -- At the 2014 LA auto show, Cadillac announced the 455-horsepower 2016 ATS-V and said that it was "the closest thing to a true successor to the Cadillac CTS-V ." Today, the automaker announces the true successor: the 640-horsepower 2016 Cadillac CTS-V.
Slotting in above the Vsport model, the CTS-V starts by dropping the supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 from the Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Z06 into the sedan's waiting engine bay. In this incarnation, the direct-injected engine is good for 640 ponies and 630 pound-feet of torque. That power flows through an eight-speed automatic transmission and on to the rear axle where it is divvied up by an electronic limited-slip differential.
The gearbox offers a manual shift mode with steering wheel paddles, but enthusiasts will lament the lack of a truly manual, three-pedal option. That's one purist advantage that the smaller ATS-V has over this model.
Massive Brembo brakes (six-piston units up front, four pots out back) grab at all four corners when it's time to stop, and the automaker's Magnetic Ride Control system works with an adjustable traction management system allows the driver to tweak the car's character for street, sport, snow or track. The CTS-V is wider, lower and generally angrier than the standard CTS; its chassis is also significantly stiffer, giving the engine and suspension upgrades a better platform to work from.
The CTS-V makes use of stiff, lightweight carbon fiber for its hood is standard and an available carbon-fiber package adds the composite material to a more aggressive front splitter and other aerodynamic elements.
Cadillac makes it very clear that the CTS-V is ready for the track. The V hits 60 mph in just 3.7 seconds, has a top speed of 200 mph, and generates nearly 1 lateral G of cornering force.
One of the hallmarks of the CTS-V is that it's still as luxurious as a Cadillac should be on the street and isn't a punishing daily driver. The dashboard is still packed with all of the Cue infotainment tech that you'll find in a modern Cadillac . The V is also available with all of the automaker's safety and parking technologies, including a front curb-view camera, semi-automatic parallel or perpendicular parking assist, blind-spot monitoring, forward-collision alert, lane-keeping assist and rear cross-traffic alert.
Be sure to check out the rest of CNET's coverage of the 2015 Detroit auto show.