Super Sedan Showdown: 2016 CTS-V vs. Charger Hellcat vs. M5 vs. E63 S AMG

Christmas arrived early this year as Cadillac unveiled the all-new 2016 CTS-V. According to the latest release, the monstrous Caddy boasts a staggering 640hp and 630 lb.-ft. of torque. To put this in perspective, the CTS-V is merely down 10hp and 20 lb.-ft. of torque compared to the mighty Chevy Corvette Z06. However, how does the CTS-V compare to the German rivals BMW M5 and Mercedes E63 AMG?

First off, the 2016 Cadillac CTS-V swallowed the thumping LT4 6.2 liter supercharged V8 engine that was originally found in the 2015 Corvette Z06. However, the key difference that caused a slight drop in power is the CTS-V’s use of wet sump lubrication rather than the dry-sump arrangement in the Z06. The CTS-V is still allegedly capable of launching from 0-60 mph (96km/h) in just 3.7 seconds. What’s more, the CTS-V also claims that it will reach a staggering top-speed of 200 mph (322km/h).

Recount all the times an automaker asserted that its latest product will finally have the guts to take on the German rivals and fell just short of actually living up to the claim. This time, it looks like the new CTS-V has finally accomplished the deed: at 640hp, the Caddy’s power output absolutely towers over the BMW M5 and Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG. Even in top-if-the-line BMW M5 Competition Package and Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG S trim, it’s almost a joke to say that the German brutes “only” offer 575hp and 577hp (585PS), respectively, which is at least 63hp less than the new CTS-V. It looks like the good old American supercharged pushrod V8 out-muscled the German twin-turbocharged V8 power units. However, the comparison isn’t just about what’s underneath the hood.

Much of the 2016 CTS-V is enhanced and redesigned. In fact, Cadillac stated that torsional rigidity in the new Cadillac is improved by 25 percent over the standard CTS. That said, the brand also promises that the new model is more than 50 pounds (23 kg) lighter than the predecessor for a total curb weight of 4,145 pounds (1,880 kg). Most of the weight has been shed from where it matters most: sticky Michelin Pilot Super Sport summer tires wrap a new set of staggered 19-inch lightweight forged aluminum wheels, measuring 9.5-inches wide in the front and 10-inches wide in the rear, which possess significantly reduced unsprung mass to make the CTS-V even more responsive to steering inputs.

Lastly, a sophisticated suspension system puts it all together for the 2016 CTS-V. The third-generation Magnetic Ride Control magnetorheological dampers (also found in the hardcore 2015 Camaro Z/28) are uniquely capable of reading road surfaces to modulate damping forces. The dampers also work with stiffer bushings, new anti-roll bars, a quicker steering-ratio, and a set of high-rate springs to deliver extraordinary road feel. Finally, 15.4-inch and 14.4-inch Brembo brakes for the front and rear makes sure the 2016 CTS-V can stop as well as it goes. However, GM points out that the CTS-V will not come available with carbon-ceramic brake rotors as the CTS-V would have required larger carbon rotors for acceptable operation and that would have dictated larger wheels and a complete re-engineering of the suspension setup.

Despite all this massive hardware, the 2016 CTS-V’s claimed 4,145-pound weight is actually less than the 4,380-pound 2015 BMW M5 and the 4,500-pound Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG S. While the BMW should be suffering both power and weight disadvantages, the M5’s impressive launch control can produce a 0-60 mph time of 3.7-seconds, which match the new 2016 CTS-V. However, the Mercedes-Benz brings power down to all four wheels, giving it superior traction off the line for an astonishing 0-60 mph time of 3.4 seconds.

While the Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG has got the new 2016 CTS-V covered in acceleration, the BMW M5 Competition package clearly delivers the better brake hardware. Massive $9,200 carbon-ceramic discs assure that the M5 will come to a standstill from 60 mph in just 106 feet. Unfortunately, braking distance has yet to be rated on the CTS-V at this time.

Obviously, fending off the German heavyweights is more than enough work for the Cadillac CTS-V. However, the 2016 CTS-V sedan will encounter serious competition from its compatriot 2015 Charger SRT Hellcat as well. This unreal 4-door Dodge is equipped with a supercharged 6.2-liter HEMI V8 engine that delivers 707hp and 650 lb.-ft. of torque.

With a total power output that is more than 60hp over the CTS-V, the Charger Hellcat boasts a top speed of 204 mph (328 km/h). The extra 4 mph may seem marginal, but amid the current horsepower battle, a 4 mph (6 km/h) gap is the difference between a winner and a loser.

Heftier than the Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG S, the Charger Hellcat weighs 4,560 pounds (2,068 kg) and is the heaviest of the four cars mentioned here. From a numbers standpoint, the weight may prove to be the Charger’s Achilles’ heel. However, Dodge addressed the potential weakness with a three-mode Bilstein suspension setup that tunes the Charger Hellcat for “track,” “sport,” and “street” settings. Old-school hydraulic steering also stands to give the Hellcat better steering feel than the electric steering offered in the CTS-V, M5, and E63 AMG. Finally, enormous six-piston Brembo brake calipers bites down on 15.4-inch rotors in the front, while a four-piston setup grabs 13.8 inch rotors in the rear.

While the Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat is arguably the most raw and brutish of the four vehicles, its $62,295 price tag also makes it the most affordable. The Germans cost significantly more: the BMW M5 Competition package starts at $90,900 while the Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG S starts at $100,600. As for the new CTS-V, pricing hasn’t been announced, but it will surely cost more than the $60k 420hp CTS V Sport.

Now it’s your turn! Take your pick and let us know which car you’d like to see in your driveway!

By Danny Choy

Poll: Which super-saloon would you take?


  • Missing Something?

    As much as I loathe the Tesla fanboys, Tesla’s newest AWD model should have been included.

    • Six Thousand Times

      It’s impressive but I wonder how fast it drains your batteries with two motors. You’d hate to go somewhere really fast and then have to spend the night.

  • Evan McMaster

    The M5 is a boring ugly car with fake engine noise. E63 all the way.

    • An Existing Person

      What saddens me is that 6 people so far have actually liked that comment. I think you’re just biased, as I have seen from previous posts before. Styling is subjective, and it is definitely not a boring car. The only “fake” noise going on is within the interior. It’s been tuned to sound like that. On the exterior, it truly sounds like a V8. Please, inform yourself and actually experience a car before you talk trash about it.

      • Evan McMaster

        I have informed myself and experienced the car, and I was referring to the interior with the fake engine noise comment.

        • Bo Hanan

          Girl please.

      • green

        ^BMW fanboy alert

        • An Existing Person

          Actually, of the Germans, I prefer Audi, Porsche, and Mercedes over BMW, in that order. You really should not make assumptions, especially if they are not true.

          • Alex

            Why do you not pick BMW

        • MultiKdizzle

          I’m a BMW fanboy, and yet, despite how the M5 drives, it looks absolutely utilitarian! The E60 has aged well, but the current 5 series doesn’t look the price.

      • Psuwacz

        Being polish translates into having the opportunity to “grope” a lot of that german Vorsprung durch Technik – thus being able to make an informed choice. Completely uninformed, just by the looks (and specs) of it, I’d grope (and massage if needed) that Caddy at any given time over those german (no matter how insane) fuhrerbunkers. And would not for a second consider dodgy plasticky Dodge to be a contender.

        • Also being Polish, I’d steer clear of the Huns and – even though I despise General Malfunctions – I’d grope, massage and perform some other indecent acts on the Caddy. The reason is simple: everybody loves German cars and I strongly distrust popular choices. Plus nowadays “Vorsprung durch Technik” means “we have the most sophisticated and efficient self-destruct module in the wold – it’ll never fail to engage one day after the warranty’s expired”.

      • Parker Police

        It has the fake BMW V8 speaker that lies under the hood and they use on all M cars to enhance exhaust note on the inside and out.

  • An Existing Person

    I’m torn between the M5 and the E63!

    • HotnCool

      me too…

  • Six Thousand Times

    I think I go M5 but I’d have to see how much Caddy wants for that CTS-V. It’s lighter and there’s just something about a good old “small block” I never really got on with the styling of this version of the E; maybe I just find a clean W211 E63 and call ‘er a day. I could never honestly spend my own money on a Chrysler product but if I were to be given that Hellcat then maybe…

  • MarketAndChurch

    The front end I find most attractive is a tie between the E-class and the Cadillac. The body I most find attractive is the Cadillac, followed by the M5, and overall, I think the CTS is the best looking car of the bunch. The car I’m most eager to get behind the seat of is the Hellcat, would love to see how easy it would be to live with a 700hp car. My mind tells me to go with the 5-series because it would resonate better with a certain audience or to go with the E-class because of AWD for the winter. But my heart tells me to go with the hellcat. They’re all really great choices, I don’t know, this is one of those things where someone else might have to choose for me because I can’t.

  • Shobin Drogan

    The cts v is not even supposed to compete with the M5 but its here anyway lol and yes i took the one with 640hp

    • donald seymour

      Then who is it suppose to compete with?

      • Shobin Drogan

        M3/RS4 competitor

        • idoitforv

          Wrong year bro, 2015 CTS grew in wheelbase and is now a direct competition to 5-series, e-class, a/s6

          • Shobin Drogan

            Ah i didnt know that, thanks for pointing it out.

    • Parker Police

      The CTS-V was purpose built to crush the M5 E63 and SRT hellcat. Do you even know what Cadillac’s goal for the past near 20 years has been. To beat the Germans.

  • What’s the point of winning a horsepower war if you have no way of putting it to the ground? Mercedes is the winner here for being able to translate power into the fastest 0-60 time.

    • aurther

      It’s not all about horsepower like everyone thinks. And having a faster acceleration is because of torque, not horsepower. Also just because you can get 0-60 the fastest doesn’t mean you will get 0-150 the fastest. It’s all in the gearing. Shows how much people know

  • TheBelltower

    Will be interesting to see an actual readiest between these cars. This was just a comparison of supplied specs.

  • HotnCool

    i love M5 Exterior but i also love E63 AMG Engine

  • dinn

    Too heavy cars. Good for motorway, but not much fun on a twisty roads. Fantastic performances and versatility, but they are just too brush.

  • dedi221

    Lexus Gs-f

    • Parker Police

      The only good lexus ever has been the LFA

  • fabri99

    When Beemer brings back the V10, I’ll vote for them, but now CTS-V all day…

  • fabri99

    Where’s the not perfect but still pretty exciting Jaguar XFR-S?
    And, although it’s a wagon, the RS6 should be there as well…

    • Kash

      if not the RS6 avant then the RS7, it’s pretty much a 6 lift back

      • fabri99


  • Craig

    Hellcat for me. No question about it. And not just because of the power advantage or price advantage. [which is ‘buy yourself an additional car’ significant] Chrysler UConnect is far better than Cadillac’s CUE. Or the system BMW and MB uses. [so I’ve heard] And that’s a BIG deal to me. Plus – that Hellcat engine you’re hearing really is the Hellcat engine. [Did you hear that M5?]

  • Kash

    Out of these 4? E63 because there’s no Audi representation.

  • Kiyoshi Manabe

    Indeed, the Dodge Charger Hellcat by Chrysler(FCA) seems great, yet her reliability? I suspect it.

    • Six Thousand Times

      You’re correct in doing so. Everyone I’ve known who has bought any Chrysler seems to end up regretting it. The newer ones might be better but friends of ours have had to take their Grand Cherokee back for repairs on many occasions – though they do still like it a lot.

      • Psuwacz

        Because of your opinion, some rude and mean readers across the ocean will still consider american muscle to be a wheelbarrow with a V8 installed. But that Caddy is appealing to me right now. And, again, Hellcat is somewhat problematic in this comparison.

        • Six Thousand Times

          I feel very powerful, then, that my opinion (actually, my recollection of anecdotal evidence) can sink the reputation of Chrysler products forevermore. Boo yah!

    • Craig

      SRT’s are very reliable.

  • s

    Caddy looks already dated just like the m5… Btw, the new m and e63 will be changed during the next year, while this caddy will stay for the couple of years with us. So its bad for cadillac.It wuld be good if it was revealed in 2009 just like the rivals, and now we would be waiting for the next gen cts.

    • donald seymour

      Not actually, this a fresh design so in respect to the competition.

  • JaredTheGeek

    The difference is that you can fit 5 adults in the Charger Hellcat and the M5 but not the other cars.

  • BlackPegasus

    If I had to choose one of these brutes, I’d go with the CTS-V. Even though I’d much prefer the V-sport grill intead of the cheap looking mesh.

    • Ray

      I just want to remove the mesh from the lower grill so it’s all egg crate across the bottom. I think it’d look even more sinister that way.

  • donald seymour

    Blank it, Hellcat for me.

  • Bo Hanan

    Titles like this are titillating but don’t tell the whole story. I mean Caddy’s just learned how to go around corners 4 years ago. The M5 invented the corner. I hope any group test includes a full test of all capabilities and not just “good-old-boy” stop-light antics. It’s sad when the German’s have to remind, (not prove) they’re superior.

    • Six Thousand Times

      That will be an interesting proposition as the M5 is a bit portly and the Cad has more power. You might see a different result than the one you are probably expecting.

      • Bo Hanan

        If there’s a full capabilities test, the M5 will ascend her thrown like always…

        • Six Thousand Times

          That’s likely but if the same chassis engineers who did the Z28 have been at the CTS-V, I wouldn’t bet the ranch.

        • TheBelltower

          Like always? Try again. The M5 has been garbage since the E39. The RS7 has eaten the M5’s lunch. The Tesla S will spank it also. Cadillac has been wise to move past the M5 as the benchmark.

          • Alex

            The M5 is a great car you should not make it bad the BMW is at the top
            Every other car eats it’s dust because always wins

  • javier

    ats v coupe w/ awd,- why no awd with cadilac? With that in mind i would take something like an rs7 in this fantasy game as merc styling doesn’t do it for me

  • What about this car I just made up online? Introducing, the Ford Performance-tuned ‘Concierge’s Devil’ Lincoln MKZ Black Label! Over 645 hp, 0-60 in less than 3.5 seconds, and top speed of over 200 mph

    You should as well include the Tesla P85D. It’s not fake at all, with 691 hp, 0-60 in 3.2, and a top speed of 155 mph.

  • Cobrajet

    Why isn’t Ford making cars like this.

    • What about a Ford Taurus SHObeast (SHO + EcoBeast)? That’d be incredible!

  • infinity

    Where is the Jaguar XFR-S? And since the RS6 is not out yet for the current generation, they could and should have thrown in the RS7!

  • kenny sauray

    The E63s trashed the M5 in the latest MT comparo in every segment. The CTS-V will be a good close one, but the quality of the Mercedes is unmatchable.

  • milanyftw

    e63 looking very bad & super super ugly. But it’s very very fast and expensive. you don’t want to spend more than 100k $ on ugly fast car. m6 looking better than AMG but it’s only 2 seats on back-side. If you are looking for good performance and have nice budget, you would take e63 or m6. If you can’t afford it, then you will have to take CTS-v. Caddilic is calm car and it’s more comfortable while driving. forget about the dodge.e63 will change at 2017 with more power than CTS-V. German are smart in manufacturing the materials which last longer and good quality.

  • Vojt Barys

    This article has plenty of information on the CTS-V, but not so much on the other amazing cars. Good article nonetheless.

  • Bo Hanan

    They can use the new Lexus GS-F, (with 467HP) as the rabbit for these real super-sedans.

  • rob

    If I HAD to pick one, money no object, be the Merc. Then dump it once the warranty runs out.

    Now if I had to spend my own money, it’d be the Hellcat. I don’t need to spend $100k on a car that will depreciate to $50k in two years. Plus, once the car goes out of warranty, do you really want to own those expensive German cars? The Hellcat will be the most reliable and troublefree IMHO after 5+ years.

    With the $40k saved from buying the Hellcat, can go nicely towards a remodeled kitchen or a car for the wife, like a Mustang GT.

  • John Smith

    as much as i like the hellcat, i’d much rather have the cts-v. i love the aggressive yet beautiful and luxurious styling. you also can’t go wrong with the new lt4, it’s incredible. i wouldn’t even look twice at the m5 or the e63, the price tag alone is a huge turn off, but there’s really not much i find to be outstanding about them.

  • Tre Deuce

    The CTS-V has already been tested at over 217mph.

  • Parker Police

    The Cadillac CTS-V of all generations is my favorite car. I also hik that the Tesla Model S P85D should have been included because it is one serious super American sedan

  • Craig Ricks

    I’ve managed to drive all of these cars except the up and coming CTS-V.

    I would never own the Dodge. It feels put together in somebodies garage with an adjustable wrench and a hammer.

    The Mercedes is nice but it falls short of giving me the Luxury that I want with the fun driving dynamic. It is more suited to a fellow that want to look fast than one that actually wants to go fast. A German Hot Rod.

    I did drive the last model of the CTS-V and owned a CTS-V Mallet. These cars both had great performance but left a lot to be desired in build quality. It just feels like your sitting in a piece of plastic with leather glued on.

    I own a new model M5 Dinan and a 2011 Z4 Dinan. I would choose the M5 over all of these. The combination of raw performance (675HP) is insane and combined with the refinement of ride when in comfort mode it makes this car the best all around. I added a few carbon fiber components to improve the look and lighten the weight also.