Cadillac CTS-V.R: Racing and winning in the Pirelli World Challenge


Lead Photo CTS-Vs 02The Cadillac CTS-V series of vehicles are General Motors’ prestige performance cars that are challenging the best cars the world has to offer. Cadillac has thrown down the gauntlet in the marketplace and they’ve taken the offensive to the racetrack as well. Team Cadillac successfully competes in the Pirelli World Challenge with the CTS-V.R, a special racing version of the CTS-V Coupe. In 2014, Team Cadillac will be defending their manufacturer’s championships and the driver’s championships they won in 2012 and 2013.

Pirelli World Challenge Series

The Pirelli World Challenge (PWC) is a production-based road racing series that provides manufacturers a competitive arena in which to prove their products. PWC races are sprint races of 50 minutes duration. There are no scheduled pit stops, no driver changes and not a lot of racing strategy—if a driver is not starting at the front of the class, he or she has 50 minutes of flat-out driving to get there.

Cadillac CTS-V.R

The Cadillac CTS-V.R is a specially modified version of the CTS-V Coupe. Anything that does not contribute to the CTS-V.R accelerating faster, stopping quicker or handling better has been tossed out. It weighs in about 1,000 pounds lighter that the street-legal Coupe and is powered by a 6.2-liter V8 engine that is restricted by PWC rules to 505 horsepower. Brembo brakes provide enough stopping power to make your eyes bug out and Pirelli racing tires give it plenty of cornering grip.

CTS-V 02Team Cadillac Drivers

The CTS-V.R is undoubtedly a superb race car, but a team doesn’t win consecutive championships in the very competitive PWC without exceptional drivers, and Team Cadillac has two of the best—Johnny O’Connell and Andy Pilgrim. Both are experienced and talented, and both have won multiple drivers championships in the PWC for Cadillac in addition to being successful at Le Mans and Sebring. The competitive fire still burns intensely and once the green flag drops, no quarter is asked or given.

Here’s a video of Team Cadillac in action.

New Players for 2014

Team Cadillac’s quest for a manufacturer’s GT Class championship three-peat this year was thrown a potential stumbling block by a change in the PWC rules allowing FIA-homologated GT3 cars to compete in GT. The CTS-V.R will now have to go head-to-head against some of the best cars in the world—the Audi R8, McLaren 12C, Nissan GTR, Lamborghini Gallardo, Porsche GT3 R, Acura TLX-GT and the Ferrari 458 GT3 Italia.

After four races at three different venues this year, it looks like business as usual—Team Cadillac finds itself in first place in the manufacturer’s points, while Johnny and Andy are second and third in the driver’s standings.

The next race for Team Cadillac will be the V-Series Challenge at Belle Isle, in Detroit Mich. on the weekend of May 30-June 1. NBC Sports Network will broadcast the race on Sunday, June 15 at 2:30 p.m.

Tune in and root for Team Cadillac to extend their lead, and for Johnny and Andy to move up in the driver’s standings.



Pricing the 2014 Cadillac CTS vs CTS Vsport

While I am thinking of it — C&D managed to price out a $65K 3.6L 321 hp CTS.

The 420 hp CTS Vsport starts at $59K. Yes, you can get a Vsport Premium for $69K, but for the money I would take a 420 hp twin-turbo CTS Vsport and $6k back over a 321 hp 3.6L normally aspirated CTS all day long, and you should too.

The Vsport premium highlights are that it adds full leather seats and the driver assist package over the ‘standard’ CTS Vsport. Seems pricey for $10K but when you want luxury…

2014 Cadillac CTS VSport Weighs In #Motorama #GMChat


Cadillac has updated their webpages on the newly designed 2014 Cadillac CTS with a lot of interesting info.  One key detail that we had been missing was weight for the various models — at the reveal Cadillac said the CTS starts at 3,616 lbs, a weight savings over the current model.

2014 Cadillac CTS specs by model including weight

2014 Cadillac CTS specs by model including weight

This table shows the Cadillac CTS 2L Turbo does indeed weigh 3,616 lbs.  The 3.6L normally aspirated model adds 100+ to 3,745 lbs.  Finally, the VSport Twin Turbo 3.6L will hit the scales at 3,952 lbs.

That makes the Cadillac CTS VSport lighter yet than the 2nd Generation Cadillac CTS-V, with a curb weight of 4,253 lbs, or the BMW M5 at 4,387 lbs.

Notionally the 420 hp TTV6 CTS VSport actually ‘lines up’ vs the BMW 550i, with 400 hp TTV8,  at 4,404-4376  lbs.  Even the BMW 528i Automatic at 3,814 lbs just comes under the VSport weight, but around 200 lbs above the 3,616 lbs for the Cadillac CTS 2L Turbo that it competes with.

So for head-to-head testing of the BMW 550i vs the Cadillac CTS VSport the Cadillac should be around 400 lbs lighter than the Bavarian 5er with similar power and gearing (both 8-speed automatics).

It will be interesting to see the vehicle selections the magazines make for testing — often the model and equipment selected predicts the eventual result of the comparisons.  How do you think the competition will go?  Can the new Cadillac CTS VSport take on the challengers?