I know V-Series and you, sir, are no V-Series…
We have a theory…
Without adequately communicating what is going on with model designations, Cadillac unveiled new “V-Series” trims of the CT5 and the, previously unannounced, CT4 sedans. These are what Cadillac would have previously called “V-Sport” due to their relatively minor upgrades above their respective sport trim. Additionally, the previously announced CT6 V-Sport has unceremoniously been re-labeled the CT6 V-Series.
Cadillac representatives mentioned to press at the unveiling that there would be further V models of the CT4 and CT5 revealed later.
The collective automotive press and Cadillac enthusiast community lost their minds about the new “V-Series” models being pale comparisons to the models they replaced.
On Saturday, Cadillac brought disguised models to the Detroit Grand Prix. These were significantly hotter than the pseudo-V models shown earlier in the week. Which, besides being a ham-fisted launch of a new vision for the V-Series, food for thought about what Cadillac is up to.
Let’s look at the competition for some indication of a direction Cadillac could take.
In BMW-land, the performance trims bring with them names that contain ‘M’. The top models are an M followed by a digit to represent the family of the model. So a 3-series is topped by the M3.
Additionally, a hot model that falls short of the top M# model gets an M Sport badge. This is the inspiration that Cadillac took when they began using V-Sport badging for hot models that were short of the beastly V-Series offerings.
In the land of Mercedes, performance models all are badged AMG instead of Mercedes…which is somewhat unusual. But the models all come with a letter designation for the model family and a two-digit number to denote how high a performance the model offers. For instance the C-class gets both an AMG C43 or AMG C63 performance trims. This deviates from the C300 naming for standard models.
Looking at this for inspiration, we think Cadillac may have decided to diverge from V-Series as a performance flagship name…possibly because it might be viewed as confusing. It is possible that V-Series truly replaces the V-Sport name (which is, itself, confusing for those of us that understood the old naming). But, to top the range, Cadillac may be deciding to simplify the naming significantly. Instead of a CT4-V, what if Cadillac decides to call that new sedan the V4. This would continue to emphasize V as a performance monicker while still telling the world which model the performance trim is based upon. It would also resonate with BMW buyers that expect a performance model to have a short, punchy name like M3 and M5.
This doesn’t get Cadillac off the hook for a ham-fisted way they’ve handled the launch/re-branding…but starts to make a tiny bit of sense.
Here are a few pictures of what we are thinking may be the V4 and V5 models from their time at the Detroit Grand Prix this weekend: