10 things to know about the Cadillac CTS-V

Can you believe it’s been nearly 20 years since the CTS-V debuted? It was a great 90s muscle car, and Cadillac did it right, they switched the Corvette’s LS6 and a Tremec six-speed manual. They gave people the opportunity to have a practical grocery store that could smoke well sports cars off the line.



It was and still is one of the most exciting sedans to ever hit the market. Today we’re going to take a trip down memory lane to visit a modern classic and reminisce about the good old days of Cadillac’s first-generation CTS-V. There are many reasons we miss the Cadillac CTS-V, one of which is that it was a real supercar killer of its time. Reach deep into your pockets and make room in the garage because you may want to buy one after reading this list.

10 LS6 5.7 Liter V8

At a time when Cadillac was still known for making big land yachts for your grandparents, they decided to make something cool. In 2004 they went in a completely different direction and released a car with the same engine as the Corvette! When you opened the hood, a gigantic LS6 5.7 liter V8 was ready to greet you. It pumped 400 horsepower and would go from 0-60 in just 4.6 seconds.

Meanwhile, the two-seat Corvette was able to go from 0 to 60 in a very similar 4.5 seconds. It was not uncommon for owners to swap the Cadillac valve cover for the Corvette version. It had a more aggressive style and of course who wouldn’t want to advertise that their four door Cadillac has a Corvette engine when the hood was on a car show.

Related: This Callaway Tuned Corvette With Rare AeroBody Pack Can Be Yours

9 Tremec T-56

While the regular Cadillac CTS was available with an automatic or manual transmission, the first generation CTS-V was only available with a manual – Cadillac created an enthusiast’s dream when they announced it. It was a huge deal, as one of its main competitors, the Mercedes-AMG E63, was only available with an automatic. The BMW M5 had a manual gearbox, but was also available with an automatic transmission.

A manual gearbox makes you one with the car. Anyone can get into a car with an automatic transmission and drive, but what’s the fun in that? People who drive manual transmission have a relationship with their car and the road. Driving is not a transport, but rather an activity for enthusiasts.

8 It is rare

How rare is the Cadillac CTS-V anyway? In a world where sedans were still roaming the roads in large numbers and crossovers were just beginning to make their mark, it doesn’t seem like the CTS-V should be a rare car. Like the Pontiac GTO, it was never intended to be produced in large numbers. Cadillac V Net has released production figures. In 2004 Cadillac made 2,509 of them. They made the most in 2005 with 4,194, and then production dropped to 1,201 in 2006. For the final year of production, 2007, they only produced 898.

Related: These German Sports Cars Are Extremely Rare

Cadillac initially only sold the car in two colors. This practice was common in the 1950s, when most cars were available in limited color options. You had the option to choose between Black Raven or Light Platinum. In 2005, they added Red Line and Stealth Gray to the list. It’s hard to decipher how many of each color are sold each year, but based on the models seen on the road, it’s safe to say most buyers opted for the black or silver variants.

7 Aftermarket Parts

The CTS-V still has plenty of available parts for modification. Whether you want to work on cosmetics, performance or suspension, the possibilities are endless. Entry level changes such as performance exhausts can be found on all top manufacturers. Borla, Magnaflow and Flowmaster all offer a variety depending on what you are looking for.

Related: 10 Iconic Aftermarket Wheel Designs

If you really want to add some power, Boost District offers an LSA supercharger kit that puts the CTS-V in an all-new racing class. For $4,530 plus a few nights in the garage, you can have a CTS-V ready to take on anything on the track. Please note that other adjustments are required to make this possible. The fine print states that cutting the hood or purchasing a hood will be necessary to make it fit.

6 It’s affordable

When it comes to buying a car on a budget with a manual transmission, V8, and 400 horsepower, the choices are limited. Keep in mind that this is also a luxury car. It is possible to buy one with fairly low miles for under $20,000. For those who don’t mind having more than 100,000 miles on the odometer, options are available around $15,000 or less. Keep in mind how fast this car is, even by 2021 standards.

Related: You Can Buy These Incredible V8 Cars For Under $15,000

Not all cheap CTS-Vs will be a good deal. These cars were probably hard driven by their previous owners. As with any other car purchase, the more documentation available, the better. What seems cheap at first glance can cost thousands of repairs to keep it working properly. However, there is a good chance that if you find the right one in the near future, it will be a good investment.

5 Collectability

It is unlikely that the first generation CTS-V will be much cheaper. There was a time when you could get a first-generation low-mileage Porsche Boxster for about $10,000. Those days are over, and soon the days of cheap CTS-Vs will be over too. They’re still a bargain now when you consider that the 2022 CT5-V Blackwing starts at $83,995. The price of the first generation will continue to rise as it now evolves into the era of a modern classic.

Find a low mileage CTS-V from one owner and lots of documentation, and that car is guaranteed to gain value as a stock in the NYSE. Cars can be great investments as long as you buy the right ones. The first generation CTS-V was only produced between 2004-2007. It had low production numbers and high performance. These aspects are almost mandatory when it comes to selecting the right car to collect.

4 They are reliable

You might not associate a powerhouse like the CTS-V with reliability, but this car has proven to stand the test of time. There are examples with nearly 200,000 miles for sale. The LS6 was a well-built bike and parts abound. This engine was used in several cars and was made to take a beating. Of course gasoline can be expensive if you drive it every day, but where else are you going to have so much fun?

Compared to today’s state-of-the-art cars, the first-generation CTS-V may seem like a walk in the park when it comes to difficulty to work on. Pull out some YouTube videos and you’ll be on your way to becoming your own mechanic. Continue to build your relationship with the CTS-V by working on it yourself and taking pride in what you have accomplished. The competitors it had in 2004 weren’t as reliable or as easy to work on.

3 The competition

One of Cadillac’s main competitors when it launched the hardcore CTS-V was the Mercedes E63 AMG. It had a 6.2 liter V8 with 507 hp. It ran a slightly faster 0-60 of 4.5 seconds and could cover a quarter of a mile in 12.5 seconds. This car weighed over four thousand pounds, but it smoked just about every Mercedes for its time. The main drawback was the price. This Mercedes cost about $82,000 when it was new. That was a lot of money in 2004.

The BMW M5 came lurching in front of the gates. The 2004 M5 was actually the world’s first production sedan to use a V10. Known as the S85, the engine reached a peak power of 500 horsepower at 7,750 rpm. Some reports of this car had a 0-60 time of just 4.1 seconds. It was originally only available with an automatic transmission, but a six-speed manual transmission became available in 2006. Keep in mind that this car was also much more expensive than a CTS-V when it was released.

2 It still looks modern

When you’re trying to impress your friends or the girl next door, it won’t be difficult in the CTS-V. There are not many other 17 year old cars that have reached that age. Cadillac had a timeless design and still uses similar edgy techniques on the new CT5-V Blackwing. A lot of people will be fooled if you put it in and can’t guess what year it was made.

If it has matured this well already, it will only get better with time. Think of a classic Eldorado, Deville or Fleetwood. These are all desirable Cadillacs that everyone would love to have in their garage. This is a car you won’t regret or will regret. It will be a great icebreaker for when new neighbors move in or the first time you meet a fellow enthusiast at a car show.

1 It created a legacy

Over the years, Cadillac has not held back. The CTS-V was available for three generations with three body styles. The sedan was always available, but in the second generation, a coupe and a station wagon became options. Cadillac made it possible to own this car at any stage of your life. It even made room for your family and luggage. Who wouldn’t want to drive one of the fastest production station wagons ever made?

In just the past few months, Cadillac debuted their 2022 CT5-V Blackwing. They stuck to their roots when designing this car. It has a 6.2 liter V8 with 668 hp. It also comes with a six-speed manual transmission! It will be difficult for any competition to match the numbers this car will make on the track. Reserve one now before dealers start jacking up the price on top of the regular sticker.

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