Cadillac added a whole new generation of customers when it created the CTS-V in 2004. Available as a four door sedan, the sleek Cadillac body was host to a Corvette LS6 engine, six-speed transmission and an upgraded performance suspension. This was not your grandpa’s Cadillac, but if grandpa did own one, he would have blown your doors off on his way to the golf course. The 2005 and 2006 CTS-Vs had a few changes between the model years, even though they were both first-generation models.
The competitors for the CTS-V were high-performance, luxury sedans like the Mercedes E63 AMG, the BMW M5, Jaguar XFR and the Audi RS6. Yes, American luxury could finally compete with (and beat) these popular European models.
The major difference between the 2005 and 2006 Cadillac CTS-V was the engine. The 2005 used the 5.7 liter pushrod OHV LS6 V8 from the Corvette Z06. This engine produced 400 hp at 6,000 rpm and 395 lb ft of torque at 4,800 rpm. The 2006 CTS-V had the 6.0 liter OHV LS2 V8 engine. The output numbers were the same, though the LS2 had more displacement so its torque band was wider.
Along with the different engines, the strut tower brace in the 2006 CTS-V was taller to accommodate the larger sized engine.
The transmission for both year models was a six-speed Tremec T56. This transmission used a skip-shift feature, which skips third and fourth gear to conserve fuel when under light loads. The transmission was the same for both years, but a few changes were made to the 2006 edition. The shift lever was redesigned and the gear set was reinforced with carbon gears for first, second and third. This improved upon the previous model with a smoother feel and crisper shifts.
Features and options changed from the 2005 and 2006 year model CTS-Vs. The sunroof was an option for the 2005, but came standard on the 2006 model. The 2005 got Goodyear F1 Runflats while the 2006 came with Goodyear RS-All season tires. The Runflats were available as an option. The 2005 had a gas guzzler tax while that tax was removed for the 2006. A small detail on the wheels most won’t notice is the centercaps were silver on the 2006, but changed to black on the 2006 cars.
A color change in the paint for the 2005 and 2006 CTS-V was in 2005 the red paint was called Infrared and in 2006 this was changed to RedLine.
The changes that were made between the years didn’t make much of a difference to owners or professional drivers testing the cars. Even with the changes in the engine, the output of horsepower and torque were identical.
Both cars achieved 0-60 in 4.6 seconds and covered the quarter mile in 13.1 seconds. Braking from 60mph was 110 feet, easily done with 14-inch Brembo brakes at each corner.