GM High-Tech Performance Blogs
Last month, GMHTP told you about the wicked new 550-plus HP, supercharged LSA engine slated for the new CTS-V. This time, you'll get the great news about the V itself. Caddy has set its sights on some of the world's best luxury performers, and when this car gets screwed together and released into not only the US, but Europe, the Middle East, and Asia, you can bet that such alphanumeric wunder-rides as the M5 and S 63 AMG will be feeling the heat.
Based on the new CTS' solid foundation, the '09 CTS-V takes the already well-rounded performance of the first-generation Vs and says "More". The biggest number smacking you in the face is 550-plus, as in horses from the LSA. That's a ridiculous 150 horsepower more than the last CTS-V!
The new TR6060 trans, based on the proven T56 six-speed but upgraded to handle the torque increase, is shifted smoothly via a dual-disc clutch system with a dual-mass flywheel; This setup allows big clamping power with a manageable pedal feel. If an auto trans is your thing, the 6L90 six-speed automatic features steering-wheel- and console-shifter-activated tap up/tap down gear control, as well as driver-selectable modes. Performance Algorithm Shifting is part of the 6L90’s controller programming and provides a performance-oriented shift pattern during sustained high-performance driving. A twin-plate torque converter clutch is used with the 6L90 transmission to match the torque output of the LSA engine – the first twin-plate configuration used with GM’s 300mm torque converter. Like the dual-disc clutch of the six-speed manual transmission, the twin-plate converter clutch provides exceptional clamping power. However, with asymmetric halfshafts said to combat the dreaded wheelhop, hopefully this means that new CTS-Vs won't be getting clamped onto flatbeds with broken diff assemblies.
No punches were pulled in the braking and traction areas. Enormous 6-piston Brembos are mounted up front, while the rear wheels get 4-piston examples. Summer high-performance Michelin PS2 tires were specially engineered for this application, but the traction tricks don't end there. The V utilizes the Performance Traction Management system, which uses electronics to manage engine torque for optimal traction during acceleration for the best launch or corner exit.
The suspension features Magnetic Ride Control (MRC). This system uses electromagnetically-controlled shocks for lightning-quick response time, and electronic sensors at all four wheels that make constant adjustments to damping to create nearly instantaneous and precise control of body motions.
Wrap all of that technology in striking, sexy bodywork (raised hood, new front/rear fascias, new grille) and throw in a smashing interior (Recaros, hand-stitched panels, special accents), and it's clear that GM is taking the luxury performance market seriously. Though it is estimated to tip the scales over 4,200 pounds, a couple hundred more than the old V, this kind of firepower should allow low 12-second quarter-miles. In other words, the kind of stones needed to whip up on just about any other luxury performer, and in some cases, for half the price.
However, our two biggest questions are: one, even with the electronic launch nanny and redesigned halfshafts, can the drivetrain survive 550 foot-pounds of supercharged torque? When the old CTS-V--especially 2004 models--were tossing 'shafts and diff pieces, it was because of an LS6 or LS2 with horsepower/torque ratings around 400. Add 150 to both of these, and let's hope that new PTM system is a good one.
And two, for owners of the previous CTS-V who did suffer diff problems, how has GM's response to your drivetrain issues affected whether or not you would consider a new V?