I think the point of all of this should be brand loyalist facing the truth.
Huh? Facing what truth? That GM may have finally come up with a road vehicle competitive with what BMW's been doing for twenty-five years? Hey, competition is a good thing. The more the better. If GM's finally serious about this, great, especially since BMW's decided to start answering questions I never asked with things like iDrive and Active Steering. I'd love to see some of the Japanese makes get into this mix as well, a 400+HP version of the next Lexus GS and a decently modern replacement for the Infiniti M45 would be good for everyone. Ford and GM have absolute world-beaters in Australia that are pretty much in the M5/CTS-V class, but they won't sell them here.
No one's ever suggested GM is lying. GM's official numbers are 4.6 0-60 and [email protected]
, go to the Cadillac website, click on V-Series, then click on the Engine link in the Features list. Perfectly decent numbers. A tenth or two one way or the other matters not a bit - differences in road surface, ambient air temperature, fuel quality, tire pressure, or the driver's footwork can make more difference than that.
What class a car RACES in, should someone decide to go racing, depends on (a) what car you have to race (b) what sanctioning body and class offers the best market visibility (c) whether you can make your vehicle competitive within the size/weight/engine constraints that class' rules allow.
In BMW's case they have a number of different vehicles to choose from, and because they've positioned the M3 as the hard-core sportster they race it, and not the heavier, bulkier, M5 (on track smaller and lighter is better) which is now out of production anyway. In GM's case, if they want to showcase Cadillac the only option they've got is a CTS.
As a road car, the CTS-V sells at near-M3 pricing, but it's identical to the M5, Jag S-Type R, E55, RS6, etc. in size and similar to those vehicles in overall capabilities. Each of those vehicles has its own niche, its own specialty.
The only potential M3 buyers that the CTS-V will snag are those who want the four-door model BMW won't build anymore (there was a four-door M3 back in the E36 days, but the '99 was the last one) and even the press (who usually makes their comparisons on price) hasn't been pushing the M3-competitor line.
The CTS-V's most direct new competitor is probably the Audi S4, which is a little smaller, a little slower, about the same price, and offers a manual transmission. The closest-priced new competitor of similar size is the Jag S-Type R, which doesn't offer a manual and isn't quite the hard-core road-burner the CTS-V or M5 is. The CTS-V's most direct competitor, IMO - for now at least - is a used M5.