Re: 2011 BMW M5 with Twin-Turbocharged V8 – Carscoop has a nice write-up and spy shots on the upcoming BMW M5 update: SPY SHOTS: 2011 BMW M5 with Twin-Turbocharged V8 – Carscoop.

Basically BMW is pumping up the horsepower to try to match the Cadillac CTS-V’s performance.  Testing at the Nurburgring (unreleased times), the next M5 is rumored to use the engine out of the BMW SUVs, a 4.4L Turbocharged V8.  In the BMW X5M and X6M SUVs, the bi-turbocharged V8 produces an output of 555 hp at 6,000 rpm and 501-lbs/ft of peak torque at 1500-5600 rpm.  Very close to the numbers that the mighty 6.2L Supercharged LSA engine in the super sedan CTS-V makes, at 556 hp at 6100 rpm and 551 lb-ft of torque at 3800 rpm.

The whole reason that Cadillac began testing at the Nurburgring with the development of the original 1st generation CTS in 2002 (released in 2003) is that it is one of the ‘home’ tracks for BMW, Mercedes, and Porsche.  Had to be hard for BMW to see the Cadillac CTS-V sedan set a lap time at the ‘Ring in stock production form & tires that none of the BMW sedans could match.

It is a shame that the BMW M5 is losing its current V10 engine.  I understand that such a large, heavy sedan needs an powerplant with more torque, but the BMW M5 at the Cadillac CTS-V Challenge made a nice sound raging down the straight.  I like V-10s, V-12s, and V-16s and wish there were more in production.

2010 6.2L V8 SC LSA LoR

Remains to be seen if the new BMW M5 will just be a ‘catch-up’ effort, or if Cadillac will need to turn the volume on the CTS-V up to ’11’ by putting the hand-built LS9 engine from the Corvette ZR1 in their flagship sedan.  That engine makes 638 hp at 6500 rpm, and 604 ft-lb at 3800 rpm.  Besides a larger supercharger, it has forged internals and other go-fast aids.

Competition is good; it improves the breed.  Nobody is better at a HP race than GM, if no holds are barred and power adders & displacement are allowed.

As I mentioned on Twitter, the CTS-V Sport Wagon may actually corner better than the Sedan, because of the weight distribution although at the cost of another 200 lbs.  It will be really fun to see the CTS-V Sport Wagon put up an amazing time at the Nurburgring.

How BMW Can Improve the M3 to compete with the Cadillac CTS-V

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.





Equipped Price Advantage Cadillac $62,845 $63,520
Horsepower @ RPM Advantage Cadillac 556@6100 414@8300
Torque @ rpm Advantage Cadillac 551@3800 295@3900
Final Drive Ratio Advantage Cadillac 3.73 3.85
Fuel Capacity Advantage Cadillac 18.0 16.6
Adaptive Variable Suspension Advantage Cadillac Standard Option Added
Powertrain Warranty Time (Months) Advantage Cadillac 60 48
Powertrain Warranty Miles Advantage Cadillac 100000 50000
Wheelbase (in.) Advantage Cadillac 113.4 108.7
Length (in.) Advantage Cadillac 191.6 180.4
Width (in.) Advantage Cadillac 72.5 71.5
Head Room (front) (in.) Advantage Cadillac 38.8 38.5
Universal Garage Door Opener Advantage Cadillac Standard Option Added
Front Heated Seats Advantage Cadillac Standard Option Added
Satellite Radio Advantage Cadillac Standard Option Added
Surround Sound Advantage Cadillac Standard Not Available
DVD Player Advantage Cadillac Standard Not Available
Navigation System Advantage Cadillac Standard Option Added
Fog Lights Advantage Cadillac Standard Not Available
Automatic Crash Response Advantage Cadillac Standard Not Available
Emergency Services Advantage Cadillac Standard Option Added
Crisis Assist Advantage Cadillac Standard Not Available
Stolen Vehicle Assistance Advantage Cadillac Standard Option Added
Remote Door Unlock Advantage Cadillac Standard Not Available
Roadside Assistance Advantage Cadillac Standard Option Added
Remote Horn and Lights Advantage Cadillac Standard Not Available
Turn-by-Turn Navigation Advantage Cadillac Standard Not Available
Hands-Free Calling Advantage Cadillac Standard Not Available
Vehicle Diagnostics Advantage Cadillac Standard Option Added
Low Mileage Discount Advantage Cadillac 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.

How can Cadillac Succeed at Marketing the new Smaller-than-a-CTS?

With the success in sales of the Cadillac CTS from 2003 forward, Cadillac has slowly moved this model upstream.  Although originally entry level CTS models sold for just under US$30K, most examples on Dealer lots now are in the high 30s to mid 40s.    Cadillac plans to slide in a new car in 2010 that is a bit smaller than the CTS, and a bit less pricey.  To make room for the new line, the price of the CTS has gone up a bit.  The new Cadillac has not been publicly named yet.  I am voting for it to be called the Cadillac αTS, for Alpha Touring Sedan.  I would make the A a Greek Alpha to signify that this is a special car.

When the Automotive press thinks of an inexpensive Cadillac, especially perhaps one with a 4-cylinder engine, they immediately yell CIMARRON!!!  The Cimarron basis was a Chevrolet Citation that was optioned up and rebadged as a  Cadillac.  It was not an inspiring car to begin with, and it was not a great car with a Cadillac badge on it.

Okay, so we have a business story on how not to execute the design and marketing for the new car.  But where is a good plan for how TO do it?  I suggest that Cadillac should consider the BMW 135i.    It continues to suffer from Bangle design, but look at other facets of the model.    As the top of the 1-line, it got the same 3L 300hp twin-turbo engine as the 335i.  The interior is high quality and well laid out.   From the driver’s seat of a 135i one can not tell that you are not in a 335i or 5, 6, or 7 series BMW.  The 135 FEELS like a BMW and shares a lot of interior styling cues with the rest of the line.  The 135i has full entertainment, leather, and navigation features of the larger BMWs.

How does the 135i fall down?  It is pricey, at $35k.  The 128i is the price leader for this model, so okay I guess.  Also, $35K is not as much as it used to be.  Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but I feel the small BMW is challenged there.  The small size may have contributed to it looking like it does, but ugly is also something I hope Cadillac avoids in the new model.  Especially since the Cadillac will actually be the size of the larger 335i and not the 135i.

So what is the message?  Sure, bring us an alpha-chasis Cadillac that is lighter and more agile.  Offer it with a 4-cylinder turbo that gets good performance and mileage (a la 128i).  But give us the option of the big engines in the small car if that’s what we want, full boat interior touches, and autocross capabilities.  If the new CTS-V is the M5 matchup, please make the new Cadillac αTS the 335i matchup.   Yes, sure, bring high MPG lower performance option models along or along later, but show performance and luxury up front.  Those are what Cadillac is about.