2013 BMW M5 vs. 2012 Cadillac CTS-V

BMW M5 | June 23rd, 2012 by 21
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Road and Track takes the new 2013 BMW M5 and pits it against a similar offering from Cadillac, the super sporty CTS-V. The powerplant in …

Road and Track takes the new 2013 BMW M5 and pits it against a similar offering from Cadillac, the super sporty CTS-V. The powerplant in the CTS-V is a supercharged OHV 6.2 liter LSA V8, based on the LS9 V8 from the recently released Chevrolet Corvette C6 ZR1. It produces 556 hp and 551 lb-ft of torque. The choice to use an Overhead valve (OHV) arrangement (also known as a pushrod engine) is unique in the luxury performance sedan market where competitors typically use dual overhead camshaft (DOHC) engines.

With the new F10 M5, BMW has moved on from from naturally aspirated engines to a TwinPower turbocharged V8. The high-revving 4.4-liter (4395cc) turbocharged uses the BMW M TwinPower Turbo technology, twin-scroll turbochargers, high-precision direct fuel injection, VALVETRONIC variable valve control and a cross-bank exhaust manifold that guarantees legendary BMW M-car thrust with seamless lag-free power delivery from just off idle.

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The engine outputs 560 horsepower from 5,750-7,000 rpm and 680Nm (502 lb-ft) of torque from only 1500rpm.

Here is an excerpt from their review, along with the comparison video:

We wrangled up the first manual-transmission BMW M5 in the U.S. and took it to Spring Mountain Motorsports Ranch in Pahrump, Nevada, where the CTS-V—now in its fourth year—stoically waited to get its clock cleaned. Turnabout is fair play, and the boys at Cadillac know it; it’s put up or shut up with these two. As icing on the cake, we did some back-road driving and then performed acceleration testing on the 7-speed MDCT-equipped M5 for good measure. On track, it’s all about the 6-speed manuals and an apples-to-apples comparison brawl that left these two blacker and bluer than when they arrived.

2013 BMW M5

After the initial hot laps in the M5, we were unimpressed. It feels ponderous in tight corners and the chassis only provides a modicum of communication, but surprise, the very first lap time in the M5 demolished the CTS-V’s. Feeling fast is truly not the same as being fast. The best example of exactly how isolated the driver is from the road are the brakes. Massive calipers clamp on floating rotors when decelerating from 110 mph down the back straight, the ABS is fully invoked and there is nothing felt. No pulsations in the brake pedal, no yaw resistance in the superbly thick steering wheel, and only a hint at the tires’ grip limit coming through the seat of the pants. To drive the M5 fast requires trust in the electronics and being sensitive to the gentlest of feedback in the steering wheel and chassis. Where the CTS-V does little to hide its performance-car roots, the M5 buries them under a mound of opulent isolation. We didn’t know it was possible to do that!
Outside of the track, the M5 was heavenly. Its 560-bhp twin-turbo V-8 packs a walloping 500 lb.-ft. of torque that starts at an amazingly low 1500 rpm. It dices traffic better than a Ginsu at work on a boiled carrot. The numbers don’t show it, but the CTS-V simply can’t compete with that broad torque curve.

And some of Road and Track’s conclusion, full review can be found here.

Sometimes a car is slower than it feels, and other times it’s faster. This is one of the latter. The CTS-V is immensely capable and provides the feedback we’ve come to expect from a sports sedan. But we’ve learned what a superb sports sedan should feel like from the BMW M5. So here’s the monkey wrench that BMW has hit us over the head with: The newest M5 has lost much of that feel as it has been made more comfortable. But in the process of isolating the driver from the road, BMW engineers have made the car much quicker. Take a look at the data and see how they did it.

A – For starters, the M5 powers across the starting line and achieves a 5-mph advantage into the first corner. This is partly due to the CTS-V’s hitting the top of 3rd and needing a shift to 4th briefly.

B – The difference in this off-camber corner is grip. The M5, with its custom Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires, provided 0.07g more lateral grip than the CTS-V could on its older, smaller and less tacky Michelin Pilot Sports. We can guess that the next evolution of the CTS-V will include updated rubber.

C – A long 2-3 shift in the M5 delays entry to the tightest corner of the track; however, it stops quicker and pulls harder out of the corner than the CTS-V. From the driver’s seat, the M5 pushes through the corner while the CTS-V cuts a balanced slice through the apex. Thus, it’s a surprise that the M5 is so much quicker. We’ll chalk it up to the BMW’s Active M differential and tires.

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