PHOTOS COURTESY CADILLAC

SAN DIEGO — Just a few years in the past, I went on an epic highway journey. I’ve been on a number of epic highway journeys, however this one was proper there on the prime.

First, I flew into Paris, which isn’t too unhealthy at any time of 12 months however was notably pretty in mid-June. I drove south to Le Mans for the world’s most well-known 24-hour endurance race, then headed north to the Bugatti atelier in Molsheim. Lastly, I turned west to Calais and took the Chunnel practice to England earlier than ending my journey on the famed Manufacturers Hatch circuit for a day on the monitor.

It was ridiculously great — and making it extra ridiculously great was the automobile I used to be driving: the 2016 Cadillac CTS-V, a giant American sedan with an excellent greater engine fitted to it. Cadillac engineers took the 640-horsepower 6.2-liter supercharged V8 straight out of a Corvette and stuffed it underneath the hood of their largest sedan. It roared and launched and slid sideways and was typically superb.

On the slightest provocation, it will chirp the rear wheels earlier than they connected and launched the automobile ahead at an impossibly prodigious speeds due to 630 lb-ft of torque. It’s greater than a bit bonkers to place a 640-horsepower engine in a giant govt sedan, nevertheless it simply labored within the CTS-V — and the Europeans liked it. I didn’t love the apocalyptically unhealthy gas economic system from the (premium-required) V8, particularly with Europe gas costs, however that’s what occurs while you’re producing extra horsepower than a Lamborghini Huracan.

Maybe one of the best factor about it was that it gave the impression to be a very regular Cadillac at first look: simply one other four-door sedan. However look nearer and also you’d spot the big quad-exhausts, carbon fiber rear spoiler and — oh my — a hood coated in hood vents and extra carbon fiber bits suggesting there was far more to this sleeper than meets the attention.

It’s not a automobile one sees fairly often in France or (particularly) England. Or wherever, sadly. The CTS-V isn’t precisely uncommon right here within the US, however there aren’t a ton of them floating round. That’s a disgrace, however we’ll at all times have Paris.

All this was in my thoughts once I slipped behind the wheel of one other Cadillac V-Collection, the 2020 CT4-V. It’s a lot smaller than the CTS that I drove, extra akin to a BMW 3-series or Mercedes C-Class. Like that previous CTS, it appears wonderful on the skin. Cadillac’s design language for the previous decade or so has been heavy on sharp angles, and it’s immediately recognizable as a Cadillac.

There are further aero bits entrance and rear, with a tasteful rear spoiler and a modest rear diffuser across the quad-barreled exhaust pipes. It appears muscular and able to race.

However the madness of the CTS-V is gone. Whereas its predecessor ATS-V sported 464 horsepower from a twin-turbo V6, the CT4-V has a turbocharged four-cylinder with simply 325 horsepower. Sure, that’s a great chunk of energy, nevertheless it’s not mind-blowing — the CT4-V is simply quick. 

It’s bought the look, nevertheless it doesn’t have the velocity to again it up. That is perhaps sufficient for many patrons to be trustworthy, however after my adventures within the CTS-V I needed extra. It does drive properly, with agency steering and a sport-focused experience, and I think most folk searching for a sporty sedan could be slightly happy.

The inside was normal GM fare, with nicer leather-based and different contact factors as a result of it’s a Cadillac. It felt a bit tight on the within (which appears to be a Cadillac pattern as of late), particularly the aspect bolstering, and the gear shift is mildly annoying (push ahead to reverse and again to go ahead).

However the true disappointment is within the lack of preposterous energy for a luxurious sedan that was within the V-Collection sedans that got here earlier than it. Don’t get me fallacious — the CT4-V is a stunning automobile, and it makes loads of energy. It’ll run from 0-to-60 mph in 4.5 seconds in any case, which was supercar territory — nevertheless it doesn’t have that rip-your-face-off-if-you-don’t-pay-attention madness that I liked a lot within the CTS-V.

There’s one other CT4-V coming although — a particular, even-crazier “Blackwing” mannequin that may deliver again the twin-turbo V6 and even a handbook transmission. I simply marvel why they wanted a particular designator for it when it may have simply been the CT4-V, protecting that -V as a signifier for these within the know. That is only a sporty Cadillac as an alternative of being The Sporty Cadillac.

I can’t wait to attempt that Blackwing although and the identify is cool as hell — and, if I’m trustworthy, it’ll most likely be the V to get.