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      06-20-2012, 07:11 PM   #1
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Post 2013 F10 M5 vs Cadillac CTS-V by Road and Track (with Video)

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Forced-induction fisticuffs, with combatants from America and Germany.

http://www.roadandtrack.com/tests/co...cadillac-cts-v

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It’s tough to be the king. Sit upon a throne long enough and someone’s bound to come along and try to knock you off—as was the case in the summer of 2008 when Cadillac released its all-new CTS-V to challenge the nearly 4-year-old sports sedan king, the BMW M5 (2009 Cadillac CTS-V vs. 2008 BMW M5 SMG). It was a historic moment that has helped to redefine Cadillac’s image. GM’s luxury division made no bones about it in 2008, as it specifically developed the CTS-V to knock the 2005–2010 E60 M5 off its pedestal. BMW graciously rose to the challenge and fought it out with the upstart on the racetrack, the BMW driven by Bill Auberlen and the CTS-V by John Heinricy. Not surprisingly, the CTS-V narrowly edged out the M5. If it hadn’t, we suspect someone in Cadillac’s engineering department would have been fired. Fast forward and BMW is now ready for some payback with its new F10 M5.




This time, however, we’ve skipped inviting the pro drivers in favor of driving ourselves. We wrangled up the first manual-transmission BMW M5 in the U.S. and took it to Spring Mountain Motorsports Ranch in Pahrump, Nevada, where the CTS-V—now in its fourth year—stoically waited to get its clock cleaned. Turnabout is fair play, and the boys at Cadillac know it; it’s put up or shut up with these two. As icing on the cake, we did some back-road driving and then performed acceleration testing on the 7-speed MDCT-equipped M5 for good measure. On track, it’s all about the 6-speed manuals and an apples-to-apples comparison brawl that left these two blacker and bluer than when they arrived.


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Just like the last go-around, the CTS-V is black and little has changed in the time since its introduction. Nothing, at least, that should significantly affect its track performance. It’s a seductive devil with a roaring supercharged 6.2-liter pushrod V-8 combined with the conventional luxury trappings of any modern Cadillac. In short, it’s a 4-door Corvette with ventilated bucket seats.

A quick scan of the data reveals that the M5 has smacked the CTS-V over the head and retaken the throne with a lap time that bettered the CTS-V’s by 1.43 seconds. A crushing blow for sure, and if you’ve already skipped ahead to evaluate the points, something might seem amiss since the point split between these two is less than one. It’s because of the subjective metrics where we rated the Cadillac higher primarily because it remains truer to the concept of a spirited sports sedan.

Having been created specifically to rival the previous-generation BMW M5, the Cadillac CTS-V shares many of that car’s fundamental qualities, but wherever possible the Cadillac team tried to improve the total package. This is particularly evident in our test car, which is a top-of-the-line specimen. Loaded with Black Diamond Tricoat paint, Recaro seats and suede steering wheel and shift knob, it’s ready to strut its 556 bhp and demonstrate what 551 lb.-ft. of torque can do to some unsuspecting Michelin Pilot Sport tires. It’s a sedan that tries hard to drive like a smaller and lighter car. For the most part, it succeeds, splitting the difference between comfort and sport well.



Without driver restraint, the tires can vaporize in an instant. The V is just so eager to run, it’s hard to drive it in a civil manner. Even on back roads, it begs to let its supercharger sing. The manual transmission welcomes high-revving downshift blips and allows for no-lift up-shifts that not only provide superb forward thrust, but wow passengers with sheer brutality. There’s a race car under this mass of leather, wood and steel eager to be let out. Executive Editor Patrick Hong particularly likes the brakes that are superbly responsive lap after lap, imparting the utmost in confidence.

If you’ve been keeping tabs you may have realized that Tommy Milner in the base 425-bhp Corvette Coupe from our February Corvette Fever test posted a 1:23.50 lap time at this same track, and that’s 1 full second slower than the CTS-V we just ran, and I’m not Tommy, underscoring the comment that this is a 4-door Corvette.



The Cadillac CTS-V is fabulous, performing like a sports car while purporting to be a luxury sedan. Does it have shortcomings? Yes, we found the navigation system to be showing its age and the wheels could be shod with better rubber. The tires were superb at the time of introduction; in fact, they matched what the BMW M5 rolled on. But BMW has upped the ante with Michelin Pilot Super Sports, a sticky new tire that clearly has given the performance edge to the new M5. Nevertheless, the Bavarian is numb and quiet in comparison to the verve and vigor that is the CTS-V. If you secretly want a Corvette, but need a sedan, the Cadillac CTS-V is your car.


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When you get right down to it, the M5 isn’t what it used to be, and that’s immediately clear when you open the trunk. You’ll need spelunking gear to explore its depths. The new M5 is longer, wider and heavier, but amazingly, it performs better too. That performance is achieved with uncharacteristic isolation. The world is tuned out from the inside of the new M5, to the point that even engine noise must be enhanced with the audio system. It all makes for an uncomfortable silence.





After the initial hot laps in the M5, we were unimpressed. It feels ponderous in tight corners and the chassis only provides a modicum of communication, but surprise, the very first lap time in the M5 demolished the CTS-V’s. Feeling fast is truly not the same as being fast. The best example of exactly how isolated the driver is from the road are the brakes. Massive calipers clamp on floating rotors when decelerating from 110 mph down the back straight, the ABS is fully invoked and there is nothing felt. No pulsations in the brake pedal, no yaw resistance in the superbly thick steering wheel, and only a hint at the tires’ grip limit coming through the seat of the pants. To drive the M5 fast requires trust in the electronics and being sensitive to the gentlest of feedback in the steering wheel and chassis. Where the CTS-V does little to hide its performance-car roots, the M5 buries them under a mound of opulent isolation. We didn’t know it was possible to do that!





Outside of the track, the M5 was heavenly. Its 560-bhp twin-turbo V-8 packs a walloping 500 lb.-ft. of torque that starts at an amazingly low 1500 rpm. It dices traffic better than a Ginsu at work on a boiled carrot. The numbers don’t show it, but the CTS-V simply can’t compete with that broad torque curve.

As has become the M way, there are myriad adjustments to change the dampers, the steering effort and throttle response, so why not one to turn up the engine noise inside the car? In contrast, the CTS-V is simplicity itself with its 2-mode Magnetic Ride Control suspension and 3-mode stability system. Thankfully, in the BMW you can call up all your preset preferences on two steering-wheel-mounted M buttons. I naturally set one for full race, with the stability disabled, and everything set to max performance, including the head-up display that showed a full-color set of shift lights—a beautiful thing, if not as Knight Rider-themed as the trick light tracers on the CTS-V’s analog tachometer.





We’re ignoring the 7-speed dual-clutch transmission in our analysis. It’s a no-cost option and only makes the M5 better. As much as we like manual transmissions, it’s hard to argue with the MDCT and its blistering acceleration numbers. We can only theorize how much quicker it would make the M5 on the track, maybe a half-second or more. But for the purist, the 6-speed is the thing of dreams. These traditional gearboxes work equally well in both cars, yet like most things in the M5, it feels a little softer than you might want for an M model.

And that pretty much sums up the M5: It’s been refined. And for that we’re thankful for the CTS-V and its uncouth raucousness. However, if luxury sport sedan means quiet, comfortable and fast, then the M5 is an absolute must. The M5 has begun a new era of performance that refuses to sacrifice comfort. Long live the king.







Sometimes a car is slower than it feels, and other times it’s faster. This is one of the latter. The CTS-V is immensely capable and provides the feedback we’ve come to expect from a sports sedan. But we’ve learned what a superb sports sedan should feel like from the BMW M5. So here’s the monkey wrench that BMW has hit us over the head with: The newest M5 has lost much of that feel as it has been made more comfortable. But in the process of isolating the driver from the road, BMW engineers have made the car much quicker. Take a look at the data and see how they did it.


A - For starters, the M5 powers across the starting line and achieves a 5-mph advantage into the first corner. This is partly due to the CTS-V’s hitting the top of 3rd and needing a shift to 4th briefly.

B - The difference in this off-camber corner is grip. The M5, with its custom Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires, provided 0.07g more lateral grip than the CTS-V could on its older, smaller and less tacky Michelin Pilot Sports. We can guess that the next evolution of the CTS-V will include updated rubber.

C - A long 2-3 shift in the M5 delays entry to the tightest corner of the track; however, it stops quicker and pulls harder out of the corner than the CTS-V. From the driver’s seat, the M5 pushes through the corner while the CTS-V cuts a balanced slice through the apex. Thus, it’s a surprise that the M5 is so much quicker. We’ll chalk it up to the BMW’s Active M differential and tires.

D - A short shift here before a gut-checking dip is necessary. Each sedan takes it well, with their respective electronically adjustable dampers stabilizing the landing. But it’s the M5’s stability that allows it to carry more speed into this fast right-hander with a rise to the apex at the crest.

E - At the crest, the M5 is pulling 1.05g, a significant 0.10g more than the CTS-V. This allowed the BMW to open up a big gap. Here, even though the M5 feels stable, the CTS-V isn’t afraid to yaw, and requires its driver to keep hands at the ready for when it does.

F - With similar speeds down the straight, it’s no surprise that braking is important. The nod here goes to the CTS-V with more predictable braking manners. The decreasing-radius turn that follows is notoriously unfriendly to a car that understeers. The M5 requires its driver to be painfully patient, while the CTS-V can get on the gas much earlier. But the grip of the M5 keeps the fight close, only yielding a hundredth of second.

G - The CTS-V is able to eke out an extra 2.5 mph down the short chute thanks to its advantage in segment F. When it gets to the tight left, though, the BMW pulls a surprisingly high 1.11g, which is again 0.10g higher than the CTS-V. Are we sensing a pattern here?

H - Just as these cars have different levels of grip, they also require different racing lines. The CTS-V prefers the tighter line, with emphasis on its ability to shorten distances with tidy steering. The M5 is all about opening up a corner and late apexing. Patience is hugely rewarded once the go pedal hits the floor.

I - The tighter corner doesn’t favor the M5’s extra grip as much as we’d have thought. It has only a 0.03g advantage, and that lets the CTS-V keep pace.

J - The Cadillac navigates this high-speed right-hander better than the M5, but can’t keep the lead due to the overwhelmingly wide torque curve of the M5. The BMW just pulls amazingly hard from any rpm.

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      06-22-2012, 09:52 AM   #2
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Road & Track--2013 BMW M5 vs. 2012 Cadillac CTS-V

http://www.roadandtrack.com/tests/co...cadillac-cts-v

It's a very good comparison. And, of course, it's closer than many here would have been willing to admit. The CTS-V's simpler, less sophisticated approach makes an excellent contrast--spotlighting all the strengths and weaknesses of the F10 M5.

I will note that R&T's decision to obtain the rarest of rare M5s with a manual transmission in order to go manual to manual with the almost equally rare Cadillac Tremec TR-6060 six-speed appears to be an attempt to skew the results. A comparison of the M5's 7-speed MDCT with the V's ancient (and achingly slow) GML80 6-speed automatic would have resulted in a far greater point total for the M5.

Now before you all go leaping to the defense of the M5, let me tell you that my 2010 CTS-V is essentially identical to the 2012 CTS-V test vehicle (with the exception of the aforementioned manual transmission) and I've had a deposit down and been waiting for a production number on an M5 since April. Why did I do that when I already own a car that's 95% of what the M5 is with an interest free loan courtesy of the American taxpayer? Simple, because I can afford the best, and the M5 is that. As a day-to-day driver and an incredibly sophisticated luxury sedan that also happens to double as a close to full-tilt race car when I get bored, there is no comparison--the M5 is the King.

I love what the V stands for as GM's last desperate attempt to take on the world's best prior to bankruptcy and somehow pulling it off, and I still get a big grin on my face when I put my foot down in the V. But I can't wait to trade in my V and drive off in my new M5.
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      06-22-2012, 10:08 AM   #3
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I don't view the decision to pair the manual to manual as one of trying to skew the results. They clearly prefer the manual car (it's mentioned a half dozen times in the video) and that's the car they want to drive. They admit that the DCT would be quicker, so what's the big deal?
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      06-22-2012, 11:29 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Needsdecaf View Post
I don't view the decision to pair the manual to manual as one of trying to skew the results. They clearly prefer the manual car (it's mentioned a half dozen times in the video) and that's the car they want to drive. They admit that the DCT would be quicker, so what's the big deal?
My complaint is that it jettisons one of the M5's top three features and allows the CTS-V to avoid displaying what is unarguably its worst feature. If you've ever tried to manually shift the GML80 on the track using either the finger triggers on the back of the V's steering wheel or the gear selector, you'd see how profoundly that ancient transmission hobbles the V. As I said, I think R&T went manual to manual just to keep it interesting. That's all well and good, but the percentage of manuals versus dual clutch/automatics sold in both cars worldwide is astonishingly small and makes the test results less applicable for 95% of the people cross-shopping both cars.
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      06-22-2012, 04:13 PM   #5
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Oh yeah M5
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      06-22-2012, 04:25 PM   #6
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It seems like, though, the M5 performance output is enhanced over the previous generation, the experience is more muted as a turbo-ed V8. The CTS-V seemed to drive with more drama from the point of view of the driver.

That drama would be more important to me than the M5's capacity for duality to "yacht" luxury ride. I'm not saying I'd kick the M5 out of bed for a Caddy today, but if I were GM, I'd work on making the next generation CTS-V sharper and harder. That would better differentiate it from the M5 and close the gap on the performance side.
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      06-22-2012, 04:39 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James T. Kirk View Post
It seems like, though, the M5 performance output is enhanced over the previous generation, the experience is more muted as a turbo-ed V8. The CTS-V seemed to drive with more drama from the point of view of the driver.

That drama would be more important to me than the M5's capacity for duality to "yacht" luxury ride. I'm not saying I'd kick the M5 out of bed for a Caddy today, but if I were GM, I'd work on making the next generation CTS-V sharper and harder. That would better differentiate it from the M5 and close the gap on the performance side.
.
The ATS will be a good indication of where the CTS-V might/could go. If the ATS really does emulate the E46 like they planned, the CTS-V could have the feel the current M5 is missing.

I don't have a problem with BMW offering different dampers if they do it right but it seems as a car on it's own, it's a masterpiece but when compared to other cars in the class, it's just not quite there and I think having to do the whole comfort/sport/sport+ is really affecting BMW.
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      06-22-2012, 04:39 PM   #8
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      06-22-2012, 05:08 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James T. Kirk View Post
It seems like, though, the M5 performance output is enhanced over the previous generation, the experience is more muted as a turbo-ed V8. The CTS-V seemed to drive with more drama from the point of view of the driver.

That drama would be more important to me than the M5's capacity for duality to "yacht" luxury ride. I'm not saying I'd kick the M5 out of bed for a Caddy today, but if I were GM, I'd work on making the next generation CTS-V sharper and harder. That would better differentiate it from the M5 and close the gap on the performance side.
.
Does anyone know how to reprogram the ECU so the sound pumped in can sound like a Formula 1 car? Looking forward to the M, but not when your next door neighbor has a Shelby and starts up compared to what my startup will be. I do enjoy asking him if his car has Nav or ventilated seats. His reply, no but it's fast. Cool, is that a Ford?
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      06-22-2012, 05:13 PM   #10
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Forgive me for being a snob, but it's a fucking Cadillac. It looks like the vomit of the lovechild of a 90s rapper and a geometry teacher. Developed dynamically at the Nürburgring, it is decidedly a German car in the ugliest and gaudiest clothing. Calling it an American car is a disgrace to the German engineering that designed that track. It only speaks to the fact that there isn't a place in America that can develop such a dynamically proficient car.

Its target buyers are wannabe Mercedes owners who are chained to patriotism (and therefore ultimate stupidity) by their "great-great-grandpapi's" contribution to the Confederate Army during the Civil War.

It doesn't matter that it can compete dynamically, because if you buy one, you probably can't compete with a book.
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      06-22-2012, 05:13 PM   #11
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Look at that price point! The E39 M5 was priced around that area when new and to be honest, I'd rather pay $71,000 for a new E39 M5 if I could find one today.
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      06-22-2012, 05:14 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SleepTight View Post
My complaint is that it jettisons one of the M5's top three features and allows the CTS-V to avoid displaying what is unarguably its worst feature. If you've ever tried to manually shift the GML80 on the track using either the finger triggers on the back of the V's steering wheel or the gear selector, you'd see how profoundly that ancient transmission hobbles the V. As I said, I think R&T went manual to manual just to keep it interesting. That's all well and good, but the percentage of manuals versus dual clutch/automatics sold in both cars worldwide is astonishingly small and makes the test results less applicable for 95% of the people cross-shopping both cars.
I totally agree. Anyone who actually has the money to afford an M5 or CTS-V is most likely looking at the MDCT and the 6AT. This comparison is useless to those people who are actually trying to cross shop and purchase the cars.
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      06-22-2012, 05:27 PM   #13
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      06-22-2012, 05:55 PM   #14
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Wow the new CTS-V is most impressive. Still, give me the bimmer.
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      06-22-2012, 05:59 PM   #15
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Good read.
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      06-22-2012, 06:02 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by juddholland View Post
Forgive me for being a snob, but it's a fucking Cadillac. It looks like the vomit of the lovechild of a 90s rapper and a geometry teacher. Developed dynamically at the Nürburgring, it is decidedly a German car in the ugliest and gaudiest clothing. Calling it an American car is a disgrace to the German engineering that designed that track. It only speaks to the fact that there isn't a place in America that can develop such a dynamically proficient car.

Its target buyers are wannabe Mercedes owners who are chained to patriotism (and therefore ultimate stupidity) by their "great-great-grandpapi's" contribution to the Confederate Army during the Civil War.

It doesn't matter that it can compete dynamically, because if you buy one, you probably can't compete with a book.
Wait, wait... why don't you tell us how you really feel.
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      06-22-2012, 06:32 PM   #17
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can't wait to review this in detail in the upcoming issue.
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      06-22-2012, 06:36 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by juddholland View Post
Forgive me for being a snob, but it's a fucking Cadillac. It looks like the vomit of the lovechild of a 90s rapper and a geometry teacher. Developed dynamically at the Nürburgring, it is decidedly a German car in the ugliest and gaudiest clothing. Calling it an American car is a disgrace to the German engineering that designed that track. It only speaks to the fact that there isn't a place in America that can develop such a dynamically proficient car.

Its target buyers are wannabe Mercedes owners who are chained to patriotism (and therefore ultimate stupidity) by their "great-great-grandpapi's" contribution to the Confederate Army during the Civil War.

It doesn't matter that it can compete dynamically, because if you buy one, you probably can't compete with a book.
Keep going, don't stop now!
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      06-22-2012, 06:54 PM   #19
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Only in USA you can find someone to buy some large sedans with manuals! It's a nonsense because the new MDCT is much better than the manual transmission and by far better than a classic old style 6AT from the Caddy!

And if you compare these cars equipped with the proper transmissions Caddy can be considered a bad joke

Let's not speak about the options and the quality of the interior
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      06-22-2012, 07:19 PM   #20
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M5 is looking good, but not the win I expected after a rematch 4 later. Really thought the M5 would demolish the Caddy. Still remember reading the issue on the toilet thinking that the E60 M5 has done well for being a 4 year old car. Looks like I'll be doing the same, but for the CTS-V
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      06-22-2012, 07:40 PM   #21
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Not as impressive as I thought it would. New caddy cts-v is just around the corner
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      06-22-2012, 07:54 PM   #22
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Join Date: May 2011
Location: Colorado Springs

Posts: 1,936
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I would have expected the CTS o beat the E60, that's the worst handling M BMW has made in a long time.
An M5 equipped with DCT would be much better. Since the car was originally designed that way, that's how it should be tested. It's not BMW's fault Caddy can't make a double clutch setup. It's still a GM bottom line!
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