Detroit Sprinters: Cadillacs Capable of Driving 300 KM/H

Eights Cadillac models for which speed is more important than luxury.

Cadillac continues to tease with the new CT4-V Blackwing and CT5-V Blackwing that can accelerate to 200 mph, or 320 km/h. However, this pair is not the first cars in the company’s history that are able to demonstrate such speed. Let’s remember 8 more cars of the American brand, which also have such a high maximum speed.

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Mosler TwinStar — 320 km/h

In fact, the Mosler TwinStar is not a Cadillac, but technically, it is. You can even say that it is twice Cadillacish than the twelfth-generation Eldorado, which it is based on.

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The TwinStar was Mosler Automotive’s desperate attempt to attract new customers after the controversial Consulier GTP. It was also an attempt to flirt with the elderly but well-to-do owners of pre-war Cadillacs who remembered the days of the brand's 16-cylinder limousines. So, the TwinStar was also a sixteen-cylinder car.

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Mosler Automotive managed to double the number of cylinders by installing another V8 Northstar engine in the trunk of the Eldorado. The coupe was not only twice as powerful (a power output was increased from 300 hp to 600 hp) but also got a four-wheel drive system. Dynamic indicators, despite the increased weight, were also improved.

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According to Mosler, the Twin Star accelerated to 97 km/h in 4.6 seconds, and reached a top speed of 320 km/h. These indicators were very good for the early 2000s. But the public was not very interested in the redesigned Eldorado with two dashboards and an official consumption of 25 liters per 100 km. Therefore, Mosler Automotive managed to sell only five TwinStars.

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Cadillac LMP Northstar — 322 km/h

In the late ‘90s, the management of General Motors decided to return the Cadillac brand to Le Mans. The first attempt made with Le Monstre in 1950 was unsuccessful: the car was in an accident on the second lap; it passed the rest of the distance with a dying gearbox and finished the marathon only eleventh.

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With the help of Riley & Scott, a well-known motorsport team, Cadillac created an open-top prototype of the LMP Northstar. As the name suggests, the car was equipped with a 4.0-liter V8 Northstar, which produced 650 hp after a number of modifications and the installation of two turbochargers.

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Over the course of three years, the LMP Northstar was continuously modified to improve its lame reliability and inefficient aerodynamics. However, the prototype did not achieve much success in motorsport: the best result was ninth and twelfth places (in 2002) at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and the most successful race was a race on the streets of Miami in 2002 (second place). After 2002, the project was canceled.

However, the 2002 LMP Northstar in could accelerate up to 322 km/h on straight sections. Perhaps, it could have been more, but the length of straight tracks did not allow doing this.

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Cadillac Cien — 350 km/h

We would not mention the Cadillac Cien if it were just an exhibition toy with great specifications. Unlike many similar “supercars”, the Cien was fully functional. Cadillac did not just have the courage and money to launch it in the series.

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The car was introduced in 2002. It was developed by the European office of General Motors with the participation of Prodrive, the same motorsport team that built the champion Subaru for rally and Aston Martin for Le Mans. That is why the Cien was packed with racing technologies: it had a carbon monocoque body and a circular double wishbone suspension.

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The main highlight of the Cien was the engine, namely the experimental 7.5-liter XV12 Northstar, which not only developed impressive 750 hp and 610 Nm but also was equipped with cylinder deactivation technology that had a positive effect on efficiency.

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Since the car was handled by very serious people, we have no reason not to believe in the declared specifications: a 0-100 km/h time — 3.5 seconds; a top speed — 350 km/h.

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Cadillac Sixteen — about 370 km/h

Another concept Cadillac with an incredible engine that was completely viable. The Sixteen was featured in one of the episodes of Top Gear. It also starred in “Click” and “Real Steel” but, alas, did not get to the conveyor. Cadillac and General Motors opted for a more conservative development strategy.

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The name Sixteen indicates the number of cylinders in the engine: like the flagship Cadillac models of the pre-war period, the prototype was equipped with a V16 engine. In this case, it was a 13.6-liter monster with two valves per cylinder, which developed about 1,000 hp and 1,350 Nm (the exact specifications are unknown). The experimental motor has never been tested at full power, so all its characteristics are approximate and based on computer simulations.

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The same applies to its maximum speed. If all calculations are correct, the Sixteen could reach 370 km/h, even though it weighed 2.3 tons and only had four gears. However, the Sixteen never accelerated more than 65 km/h: Cadillac assumed that the car would be widely used in movies and prudently limited the speed of the experimental car at 40 mph.

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Cadillac CTS-V — up to 322 km/h

The 300+ hp club includes two generations of the CTS-V — the second and third. Station wagons, sedans and coupes can all reach a similar speed.

The second-generation CTS-V was produced from 2008 to 2014 and was powered by an archaic 6.2-liter V8 LSA that, despite pushrods in the valve drive, developed 564 hp and 747 Nm. According to official data, the model, depending on the version, accelerated to 100 km/h in 4.1–4.2 seconds and reached a top speed of about 306-311 km/h. The coupe version showed, of course, the best results.

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However, some tuning studios could make the CTS-V even faster. The Hennessey VR1200 Twin Turbo was the most high-profile project presented in 2012. It was based on the CTS-V coupe. The infernal 1200-hp car shot up to 100 km/h in 3 seconds and reached a maximum speed of 390 km/h. And this is the hypercar league, just for a second.

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The third-generation CTS-V also did not hit the dirt, having become the fastest and most powerful production Cadillac in history. The more modern 6.2-liter L4 equipped with a compressor produced 649 hp and 854 Nm. Therefore, the rear-wheel drive sedan easily scored 100 km/h in 3.9 seconds, and its top speed was 322 km/h.

The production of the CTS-V was completed in early 2019. The announced CS5-V Blackwing will take its place, since the usual CS5-V with a 3-liter V6 is frankly weak.

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Cadillac CTS-V Coupe Race Car — 300 km/h

It would seem that there is no need to build a racing car. After all, if the passenger CTS-V Coupe reaches 311 km/h, then, presumably, the racing version can do this too. But not everything is so simple. After all, no one has canceled regulations and restrictions.

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For example, the CTS-V Coupe, which competed in the SCCA World Challenge from 2011 to 2014, lost its supercharger due to regulations. And the power of the 6.2-liter V8 dropped to 460 hp. Will it be enough to accelerate to 300 km/h, considering that the coupe has got a huge wing?

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It turned out that yes. The 1,450-kg coupe accelerated just to 300 km/h: the transmission did not allow doing more. However, even this speed was enough to win the Formula One World Constructors' Championship in 2012 and 2013.

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Cadillac ATS-V — 304 km/h

The racing CTS-V was replaced by the ATS-V.R. in 2015. Although the new model was lighter (1,315 kg) and more powerful (its biturbo V6 produced 600 hp and 705 Nm) due to a more aggressive aerodynamic body kit, a top speed fell to 275-290 km/h. That is what the GT3 regulations do to cars.

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Fortunately, the serial ATS-V was not affected by this trend. Although the six-cylinder LF4 engine of the passenger version developed only 470 hp and 603 Nm, a maximum speed of the car was decent 304 km/h. It accelerated to 97 km/h in 3.7 seconds.

The ATS-V was produced from 2016 to 2019 and was offered in both sedan and coupe versions. It was in good demand in the US: it was both more dynamic and cheaper than the BMW M3 and the Mercedes-AMG C63.

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Cadillac DPi-V.R —330+ km/h

The DPi-V.R was Cadillac's third attempt to conquer the top echelons of the endurance championships. Using the Dallara GP2’s chassis as the base, Cadillac, together with the Earnhardt Childress Racing, built a crazy prototype that could go far beyond 300 km/h.

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During the first two years of its career (in 2017 and 2018), the DPi-V.R was equipped with a 6.2-liter naturally aspirated V8, which had a lot in common with the CTS-V’s engines. The engine developed 640 hp by default, but the restrictor plate reduced power to 600 hp. However, the DPi-V.R has been equipped with a 5.5-liter engine due to changes in regulations since 2018. The unit does not make it noticeably slower.

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Unlike its predecessors, this 970-kg prototype was very successful. It won the 24 Hours of Daytona 4 times.

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