The Cadillac CTS-V is the premiere “Track Car” for the V-series, having supplanted the STS-V. The M3 is the premiere track car for the BMW M Series. The CTS-V is actually the same size and has luxury fittings similar or exceeding the BMW M5. Cadillac is preparing a new, smaller-than a CTS vehicle called (perhaps) the ATS, which will directly compete with the BMW 3-Series. Nonetheless, for now track car to track car seems a reasonable comparison. So, how can BMW upgrade the next M3 to be able to compete with the current Cadillac CTS-V?
First, the BMW is down by 142hp, but also weighs in at 3,726 lbs, around 500 lbs lighter than the ~4,200 lb CTS-V. Generally speaking, 100 lbs is offset by 5 hp in acceleration times. So that leaves the BMW down by an equivalent 117 hp. The upgraded engine for the next generation M3, now being rushed to market, should put the M3 over 500 hp to catch up, which should make it competitive in performance times.
Confusingly, although the BMW M3 starts at $45K, equivalently equipped to the standard of the Cadillac CTS-V it is slightly more expensive, at $63K.
|Horsepower @ RPM||556@6100||414@8300|
|Torque @ rpm||551@3800||295@3900|
|Final Drive Ratio||3.73||3.85|
|Adaptive Variable Suspension||Standard||Option Added|
|Powertrain Warranty Time (Months)||60||48|
|Powertrain Warranty Miles||100000||50000|
|Head Room (front) (in.)||38.8||38.5|
|Universal Garage Door Opener||Standard||Option Added|
|Front Heated Seats||Standard||Option Added|
|Satellite Radio||Standard||Option Added|
|Surround Sound||Standard||Not Available|
|DVD Player||Standard||Not Available|
|Navigation System||Standard||Option Added|
|Fog Lights||Standard||Not Available|
|Automatic Crash Response||Standard||Not Available|
|Emergency Services||Standard||Option Added|
|Crisis Assist||Standard||Not Available|
|Stolen Vehicle Assistance||Standard||Option Added|
|Remote Door Unlock||Standard||Not Available|
|Roadside Assistance||Standard||Option Added|
|Remote Horn and Lights||Standard||Not Available|
|Turn-by-Turn Navigation||Standard||Not Available|
|Hands-Free Calling||Standard||Not Available|
|Vehicle Diagnostics||Standard||Option Added|
|Low Mileage Discount||Standard||Not Available|
So, the next BMW M3 will have to have improved performance, and cost slightly less than the current model to compete with the current CTS-V. And even at that, BMW will have to hope that Cadillac doesn’t further tune the CTS-V, so the M3 can have a chance to catch up.