Cadillac has been BMW hunting for some time now, and with the 2014 CTS that’s debuting next week in New York, the luxury brand isn’t backing down. The 2014 Cadillac CTS will be offered with a range-topping twin-turbocharged V-6 engine, pumping out 420 horsepower and topping all but the mighty BMW M5 in its rival’s stable.
Moving up in both size and scale, the 2014 Cadillac CTS will clear room for the ATS as a true one-two punch. The midsize Cadillac CTS will come standard with the same 272 horsepower, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that’s available in the ATS. Likewise, it will also have the 321-horsepower, 3.6-liter V-6 at its disposal. Both will come paired to a six-speed automatic transmission, channeling power to either the rear wheels or all-wheel drive.
Sitting atop the lineup–until a rumored V-8 Cadillac CTS-V re-emerges–will be the twin-turbocharged 3.6-liter V-6 engine, sending its 420 horses exclusively to the rear wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission. Cadillac says the engine will be enough to motivate what’s expected to be a larger car than the current CTS to 60 mph in 4.6 seconds from standstill on up to a top speed of 170 mph. Fuel economy is rated at 17 mpg city/25 mpg highway.
Cadillac is comparing it to BMW’s twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V-8 engine, and with every right, might we add. The BMW 550i runs from 0 to 60 in 5.0 seconds, tops out at an electronically limited 155 mph, and has a fuel economy rating of 15 mpg city/23 mpg highway when optioned with an eight-speed automatic. The all-wheel-drive-only 2013 Mercedes-Benz E550 has a twin-turbocharged 4.6-liter V-8 with 402 horsepower. Mercedes says it can hit 60 mph in 5.2 seconds–which is wildly conservative–and is rated at 16 mpg city/25 mpg highway. It should be a good race between the three.
To date, the new twin-turbocharged engine available in the 2014 Cadillac CTS will be the most powerful non-CTS-V engine since the first CTS debuted for the 2003 model year. It will borrow much of the engineering from the non-turbo V-6, as well as the top-mounted intercooler design derived from the CTS-V’s–but it’ll have its own block, designed to house the two small turbochargers and intercooler required. Cadillac says it went with two turbos instead of one because they spool up faster, making peak torque–pulling force–available from a low 2,500 rpm to 5,500 rpm.
Long thought in the luxury game that automakers had to have V-8 engines, Cadillac went against convention, following in the footsteps of European makes and Ford–with EcoBoost–of using a forced-induction engine to pound out the horsepower and preserve fuel economy. We’ll tell you more about it when the 2014 Cadillac CTS debuts at the New York Auto Show, and we should have driving impressions of it later this year to tell you how it fares in the real world.