With sedans struggling for their very survival, and manual transmissions officially less popular than electric cars, the last thing anyone would expect an automaker to do in the 2020s would be taking its manual sports sedan and turning it into a still lower-volume product: a station wagon. And yet, Cadillac's top engineer said on Thursday night that General Motors' luxury brand "continu[es] to study" the feasibility of a CT5-V-based wagon to follow up its cult classic CTS-V longroofs from the early 2010s.
Appearing on the Autoline After Hours podcast this week, Cadillac Chief Engineer Brandon Vivian was asked by a listener if the automaker was able to make a business case for a wagon version of the 2020 Cadillac CT5-V, its new midsize performance saloon. This kind of question is usually answered with a paragraph of purposefully non-committal buzzwords about "enthusiasm" and "branding." But surprisingly, Vivian didn't totally rule it out.
"So I will tell you, I've been looking at that many, many, many times... nothing to announce right now, but certainly, when you see the enthusiasm of our customers, and when I'm out there talking to our customers, to our V-Lab—to our V-Club members—there is an absolute fanaticism around the V wagons, and wagons in general. So because of that, we continue to study a future variant."
The fanaticism is certainly there. The discontinued 2010-2014 Cadillac CTS-V wagon, with its 6.2-liter supercharged V8 and available manual transmission, sometimes fetches prices on the used market near its original MSRP—and Vivian's saying that's reason enough to keep the possibility of a CT5-V longroof on the table. After all, Cadillac managed to sell around 7,000 CTS stations wagons (including an estimated 1,200 V wagons) during the original production run. Not terrible numbers, all things considered.
As the direct replacement for the CTS in Cadillac's lineup, the CT5's potential V wagon derivative would be more than a spiritual successor to the five-door CTS-V. It would likely be a worthy heir to the crown, as Cadillac promised earlier this week that the performance-maximizing Blackwing variants of the CT4-V and CT5-V (named for an engine that won't power them) will be the fastest vehicles it has ever produced and available with a manual transmission. Granted, the XLR-V and CTS-V didn't set the bar that high, but that shouldn't dampen the promise here.
Unfortunately, pandemic-induced delays impacting almost every sector of the economy have forced GM to postpone the hairy CT5-V's reveal to the first quarter of 2021, and its launch til the summer thereafter. When it does arrive, expect it to carry an MSRP approaching that of the last CTS-V, which started a hair less than $87,000. If that kind of money counts you out of the CT5-V's customer base, then you had best start praying Genesis's G70 wagon concept becomes a reality, manual box and all.
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