Fun-size and rear-wheel-drive
As the established compact sports sedans move further upmarket in sizing and pricing, the new breed of entry-level premium sedans seems to be lacking RWD options. Thankfully, there’s now a four-door RWD entry-level option that, oddly enough, comes from Cadillac. The 2020 CT4-V.
While the CT4-V looks like a facelifted ATS, the newness goes fairly deep. Outside, the only unchanged dimension is the wheelbase. The front fascia adopts the latest revision of Cadillac’s new family face while the new rear end is sure to stir up some controversy with its slab-like Bangle-influenced styling. The roofline remains fairly conventional while 18-inch wheels look appropriately-sized for the CT4-V’s size. Overall, the CT4-V’s styling is cohesive and likely to be a hit with buyers.
Inside, the latest iteration of the Cadillac User Experience (CUE) infotainment system is a prominent feature, as is the availability of Cadillac’s hands-free Super Cruise semi-autonomous driving assist function. The general design of the dashboard is somewhat busy, with lots of different shapes, materials and surfaces appearing to clash together. Luckily, the layout of primary and secondary controls seems quite logical, there is pleasing emphasis on hard buttons and the cupholder placement shouldn’t stop the driver from comfortably using the armrest when the cupholders are in use. Given the shared wheelbase with the ATS, front seat head- and leg-room is expected to be good although rear seat room is expected to be a little on the tight side.
Powering the CT4-V is the 2.7-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine with variable timing, variable valve lift and cylinder deactivation first seen in the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra. With a promised 320-horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque on tap, the CT4-V manages to outgun competitors like the Audi S3 and the Mercedes-AMG A35. Putting that power to use is GM’s 10-speed automatic transmission. American CT4-Vs will be available in rear-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive although there’s no word yet on Canadian-market RWD availability. Regardless, both drivetrains include a limited-slip differential on the rear axle to help put the power down. Stopping the CT4-V are six-piston fixed Brembo calipers up front and four-piston sliding calipers out back which should provide plenty of braking power for a car this size. In terms of handling, the CT4-V has a near-perfect 50:50 front to rear weight distribution, Magnetic Ride Control 4.0 on rear-wheel-drive models and ZF MVS dampers on all-wheel-drive models.
Pricing has not yet been announced for the Cadillac CT4-V, although it’s expected to compete with the Audi S3 and Mercedes-AMG A35 so that might give a rough ballpark on pricing. We’ll know for sure closer to the CT4-V’s on-sale date early next year.