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Technology Transfer Transforms Production Cadillac CTS-V into Championship-Winning Race Car


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[This is an article from the GM 2007 Racing Press Kit, but I thought you might enjoy it

as much as I do - Bruce]

The pursuit of an “unfair advantage” – a decisive edge on the competition – is a time-honored tradition in auto racing. Team Cadillac’s unfair advantage in the SCCA SPEED World Challenge GT road racing series is the immensely capable production CTS-V performance luxury sedan that provides the foundation for the CTS-V race cars. With GM small-block V-8 power, a world-class chassis and Cadillac’s commitment to performance, the CTS-V has the right stuff for the road and the race track.

The CTS-V sedans that compete in the GT class of the SPEED World Challenge are the first race cars developed by GM Racing in conjunction with Cadillac and GM Performance Division, an in-house center of expertise that creates enthusiast-oriented versions of production models. The CTS-V, the first of a family of vehicles that wear the high-performance V-Series badge, expresses Cadillac’s focus on performance and luxury.

“The rear-wheel-drive production CTS-V provided both the inspiration and the hardware for the racing version," said Steve Wesoloski, GM Racing Road Racing Group manager. “Many of the same GM components, technologies, processes, people and facilities were used in the development of the production CTS-V and the CTS-V race cars.”

Technology transfer is a two-way street. Lessons learned on the track have benefited production Cadillacs, just as GM’s vast technical resources enriched the CTS-V race car. Moreover, the rules of the SPEED GT series require that the production-based CTS-V race cars retain strong links with their showroom counterparts.

The production and race-prepared versions of CTS-V share common technology that’s embodied in an all-aluminum GM small-block V-8 engine, body structure, front and rear suspensions, steering system, differential and half-shafts. They also share talent, as GM engineers who conceived the CTS-V for street use were directly involved in creating the race car.

The CTS-V race car has significant connections to the production CTS-V in three categories: parts, people and facilities. The CTS-V race cars begin life at the GM Lansing (Mich.) Grand River assembly plant, the facility that builds every CTS-V. By weight, 55 percent of the race car is stock or derived from production parts, including the engine, gearbox, differential, suspension and many other key components.”

"The ability to take such a high level of hardware directly from the street car to the race car speaks volumes about the performance potential of the street version of the Cadillac CTS-V," said GM Racing director Mark Kent. "The engineers who were responsible for bringing the CTS-V to the street also had a hand in bringing the racing version of the CTS-V to the race track."

GM’s legendary small-block V-8 engine powers both the production and racing CTS-Vs. This remarkable motor, which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2005, has won more races and more championships than any other production engine. Now a new generation of production-based engines is continuing the small-block’s winning tradition in road racing. SCCA, the sanctioning body for the SPEED World Challenge, has mandated that all GM-powered entries use the same engine specification to simplify technical inspection and to ensure a level playing field.

“We used GM facilities extensively during the development of the CTS-V race car,” Wesoloski noted. “These included the GM Aerodynamics Laboratory and seven-post chassis rig at the GM Tech Center in Warren, Mich., and the Vehicle Handling Facility at the GM Proving Ground in Milford, Mich. We employed a range of advanced tools such as FEA (finite element analysis), modal analysis and CAD (computer-aided design) in the project."

While created for distinctly different environments, the production CTS-V and its racing siblings are the products of this two-way exchange between the realms of production and motorsports. Both are infused with Cadillac’s distinctive style and standing as one of the world’s great marques.

“We are racing to help sell cars and change the image of Cadillac,” said Jim Taylor, Cadillac general manager. “With the knowledge generated throughout our racing program, we have made tangible improvements in our production products. Our success on the race track has also built enthusiasm for Cadillac among our dealers, employees and customers.”

Is it an unfair advantage to race a four-door performance luxury sedan against purpose-built two-seat sports cars? In the case of Team Cadillac’s CTS-V race cars, it just might be.

Bruce

2016 Cadillac ATS-V gray/black

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