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.



2014 Cadillac CTS 420 HP TTV6 even Quicker than Predicted?

0-60 mph in 4.6 sec is the spec Cadillac quoted for the TTV6 in the 2014 CTS.

See: Cadillac 3.6L Twin-Turbo V6 Official Info Released!

2014 3.6L V-6 VVT DI Twin Turbo (LF3) for Cadillac CTS

2014 3.6L V-6 VVT DI Twin Turbo (LF3) for Cadillac CTS

We don’t know all the facts on the new 2014 Cadillac CTS until the full announcement on Tuesday.  We do know that it is the next gen CTS and on the Alpha platform.  In other words, it is a longer, larger, up-line model on the same chassis as the new Cadillac ATS.

The ATS famously weighs ~3,400 lbs.  The current CTS weighs 3,860 lbs.  It is logical to expect the new CTS will weigh more than an ATS, because it is larger, and less than a CTS, because it is on the new lighter platform.  So that puts it around 3,600-3,700 lbs?

I put the stats we do know — the engine info, transmission info, and current weight of the CTS at 3,860 into Cartest2000.

Cartest2000 2014 Cadillac CTS TTV6 notional specs

Cartest2000 2014 Cadillac CTS TTV6 notional specs

I then asked for a comparison side by side with a 2009 Cadillac CTS-V supercar — with 556 hp supercharged 6.2L and weighing 4,292 lbs.

Car 1 2014 CTS TTV6 Car 2 2011 CTS-V Coupe

Car 1 2014 CTS TTV6
Car 2 2011 CTS-V Coupe

Cadillac says the 2nd gen CTS-V (2009-current) will hit 0-60 in 3.9 Sec, and the 2014 CTS TTV6 in 4.6 sec. We also know that the CTS-V tests very well — which suggests that the new CTS TTV6 will put up some very good numbers indeed.

Based on the predictions from Cartest I would say the new 2014 CTS TTV6 is going to be a screamer — unless it gains a ton of weight over the current CTS.  Tuesday we’ll see the new look, but I’ll be listening for the new weight!

Why is the Cadillac CTS Coupe important?

Cadillac pointed out earlier this month that the Cadillac CTS Coupe is selling well.  It has a 27% take rate in the CTS Family, which is well above the industry average of 9% for a coupe model.

A Cadillac is a luxury vehicle, but it is also used by people who have practical needs in their choice of transportation.  One might expect that the Cadillac Buyer has a bit more latitude in choices available to them.   I agree however that the higher take rate for the CTS Coupe is remarkable, if not unexpected.  The CTS Coupe is literally rolling art.  If there are compromises in the design, they were taken in the function, not the form.  The dual central rear exhaust is beautiful.  I am sure it is functional as well, but certainly probably not ideal for exhaust flow.  The rear seating comfort suffers dramatically for the Coupe over the CTS Sedan.

But the CTS Coupe is an important vehicle for Cadillac.

The Cadillac CTS Coupe reminds Team Cadillac and we the Cadillac buying public what Cadillac is supposed to be about — what the core values for Cadillac are:  Beauty, Performance, Advanced Technology.    Cadillac models should take your breath away when you see them on the street.   They are premium models carefully engineered to be aspirational and achieve a luxury performance contact and contract with that young entrepreneur, artist, or business person who can afford one.