All hail the v-Series

CTSV GrillCadillac has decided that, at long last, it is going to compete on the global stage with such luxury heavyweights as Mercedes, BMW, Audi, Jaguar, etc. This is a good thing. It promises a Cadillac that uses the latest technology and rear-wheel and all-wheel drive to provide a rewarding driving experience for demanding luxury drivers. Even better, though, is Cadillac's decision to compete against these makers in all ways (except the recent fascination by Mercedes and BMW to go down-market). What this means is that Cadillac will expend resources to compete against the M cars of BMW, the AMG models of Mercedes, the S and RS cars of Audi, and the R cars of Jaguar. These are ultra-performance, razor sharp handling, low volume, and exotic variants of these makers? standard sedans. With high horsepower and sports car handling, these cars often compare favorably with exotic sports cars except for their comfortable accommodations for four. Cadillac will compete with versions of their cars collectively known as the 'v-Series.' Expect the first of this new series, the CTSv to bow late this year with a 5.7l, 350+hp V-8 replacing the standard 220hp 3.2l V-6. The car will also include a 6-speed manual transmission, unique bodywork, larger wheels and custom suspension tuning. It will compare nicely with BMW's M3 (333hp), Mercedes' AMG C32 (349hp), Audi's S4 (340hp), etc. Look for several of Cadillac's newest cars to get the v-Series treatment. Rumors have the XLR, SRX, and Seville's 2005 replacement getting the treatment, possibly with supercharged V-8's. Obviously, we won't know how successful Cadillac is at matching the driving experience that customers have come to expect from cars competing in this demanding niche of the luxury market until the CTS' V-series model hits the market, but the potential is certainly there.