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.



Cadillac CTS Coupe options mirror how I would market the CTS Sedan

I like the way Cadillac plans to equip and market the new Cadillac CTS Coupe and CTS-V Couple.  The two will arrive in Cadillac show rooms this summer.

Where the CTS Sedan is offered with 3L V6 as the base model, and 3.6L V6 in the Premium or Performance models, the CTS Coupe comes only with the 3.6L in Performance or Premium, and then the CTS-V model.  One can select rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive in either Performance or Premium.

I appreciate that Cadillac wants a range for the CTS, but the 3.0L offers NO appreciable fuel economy difference, and must cost Cadillac the same amount to manufacture as the 3.6L.  I would prefer to see the CTS drop the 3L altogether, and offer the 3.6L throughout the range.  This would simplify the CTS Sedan order book to match the CTS Coupe selections.

For suspension options the CTS coupe offers the FE2 “Suspension, Sport”, with 18″ wheels, or the FE3 “Suspension, Performance” suspension tune, with 19″ wheels.  Both are good selections.  The CTS-V Coupe of course will get the FE4 “Suspension, Performance, with MR”, with 19″ wheels.  The MR suspension of course is a world-class magnetic suspension that is ideal in almost any application.

I wondered if we might see a bit more hp from Powertrain for the CTS Coupe.  But the engine outputs showing so far are identical to previous models:

  • CTS Coupe Engine, 3.6L Variable Valve Timing V6 DI Direct Injection (304 hp [226.7 kW] @ 6400 rpm, 273 lb-ft of torque [368.6 N-m] @ 5200 rpm)
  • CTS-V Coupe Engine, 6.2L supercharged V8 (556 hp [414.6 kW] @ 6100 rpm, 551 lb-ft of torque [734.9 N-m] @ 3800 rpm)

All CTS Coupe models will come with limited slip differential.  The CTS Coupe will receive a slightly more aggressive final drive ratio, which should improve acceleration.

Cadillac has not yet announced the CTS Coupe pricing, but one can expect it to be above the CTS Sedan 3.6L Performance Model at $43K and CTS Sedan Permium Model  at $49K.  I of course recommend that Cadillac re-price the entire line, dropping the 3L option for the Sedan and holding prices across the Sedan to $35K-45K.  I would also price the Coupe in the $40K-45K range, but I suspect that Cadillac will price it in the $48K-55K range, filling the gap between the CTS 3.6L Premium Sedan at $49K and the CTS-V Sedan at $62K.

Saffron CTS-V Coupe Interior #Cadillac

One feature the CTS-V Coupe will have the Sedan does not offer (so far) is a two-tone Saffron colored interior.

Nick Twork, head of Cadillac PR shared this pic last night from the Detroit Auto Show:

The 2011 CTS-V Coupe begins production in the summer of 2010 as Cadillac’s most dramatic statement of design and performance.

Interior amenities

Recaro performance driving seats are optional in the CTS-V Coupe and provide excellent support for spirited driving. These 14-way adjustable performance seats include pneumatic bolster controls in the seat cushions and backrests.

The CTS-V Coupe also includes an exclusive new Saffron color option for the interior, providing a contrasting color accent carried on the seat inserts, door trim, as well as the stitching, which highlights the craftsmanship of the instrument panel, center console, door trim and seats.

The steering wheel, seat inserts and shifter are covered in microfiber, providing the luxurious character of suede without suede’s inherent drawbacks of difficult care and moisture sensitivity. These accents are elegant to the touch and help support high-performance driving.

The car’s integrated center stack is trimmed in Obsidian black material that is also applied to the center console and door trim. Just like every CTS, the V-Series includes a hand-stitched instrument panel, door trim and center console. Leading-edge infotainment features extend to the V-Series. They include a 40-gigabyte hard drive, advanced navigation system with a deployable screen and Bose digital surround audio, as well as factory-installed Bluetooth phone integration, all standard features on the V-Series.

Click on the pic to enlarge; the color of the stitching along the dash matches the saffron inserts.