Photo & Specs Comparison: 2011 Cadillac CTS-V vs 2012 BMW M5


It’s the comparison that started in 2009: The Cadillac CTS-V versus the then amazing BMW M5.

With a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 making 556 hp and 550 lb-ft of torque, the Cadillac CTS-V could easily trample on the E60 BMW M5’s 5.0-liter V10 with a measly 500 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque (measly by no real standard, just that it had less than the CTS-V). And in fact, it indeed did.

A Road & Track piece at the then not-yet-completed Monticello Motor Club in New York told an all-new story we’d never seen: the M5 lost (barely. But lost) to a new challenger. One that hailed from Detroit that turned corners very quickly, oh, and just so happened to go real fast in a straight line.

The older E60 BMW M5 certainly had trouble keeping up with the new hot standard from Cadillac. Now, however, we have a totally new M5 based on the current F10 5-Series.

Both cars look rather equal on paper, but how comparable will they be once they hit the drag strips and road courses? For that, we’ll have to wait and see. We won’t see the M5 on our shores until next spring. European car mags will begin testing the hot sedan probably starting late summer to early fall.

Here is a spec to spec comparison between both cars:

2011 Cadillac CTS-V

  • 6.2-liter/376 cu-in. supercharged V8
  • 556 horsepower at 6100 RPM
  • 551 lb-ft of torque at 3800 RPM
  • 6-speed manual or old-school automatic
  • 4,222 (manual)/4,255 (auto) lbs
  • 0-60: 3.9 seconds
  • MSRP (after gas tax & destination fee): $63,235
  • Sedan, coupe and potentially convertible, available
  • 7.6 lbs/hp
  • The 6.2-liter V8 used is a derivative of the 638 hp ZR1 motor
  • Compression ratio 9.1:1
  • Limited-slip differential standard on all models
  • Brembo 6 piston calipers up front with 4 pistons in the rear with vented rotors
  • Brake size front/rear: 15 in/14.7 in
  • Tires front/rear: 255/40 R19 – 285/35 R19
  • 113.4 inch wheelbase
  • Trunk capacity: 13.6 cubic feet
  • Suspension front: independent SLA; 29-mm hollow stabilizer bar; elastomeric handling and ride bushings; 65-N/mm spring rate; Magnetic Ride Control with electro-magnetically controlled shocks
  • Suspension rear: independent SLA; 25.4-mm solid stabilizer bar; elastomeric trailing arm bushing; 90-N/mm spring rate; Magnetic Ride Control with electro-magnetically controlled shocks

2012 BMW M5

  • 4.4-liter/268 cu-in. “TwinPower Turbo” V8
  • 560 hp at 5750 RPM
  • 502 lb-ft of torque at 1500 RPM
  • 6-speed manual or 7-speed M-DCT
  • Est. weight: 4100-4300 lbs
  • 7.3 lb/hp
  • BMW 0-62: 4.4 seconds/RawAutos 0-60 est.: 3.5-3.7 seconds
  • Est. MSRP: $105,000
  • Sedan only
  • The engine on the 2012 M5 has a twin-scroll single turbocharger, which BMW calls TwinPower
  • Compression ratio 10.0:1
  • M Differential linking to Integrated Chassis Management (ICM)
  • 6 piston front and rear brake calipers with vented and cross-drilled rotors
  • Brake size front/rear: 15.7 in/15.6 in
  • Tires front/rear: 265/40 R19 – 295/35 R19
  • 116.7 inch wheelbase
  • Trunk capacity: 18.4 cubic feet
  • Suspension front: Double track control arm with M-specific elastokinematics, small, negative steering roll radius, anti-dive
  • Suspension rear: Integral-V multi-arm axle with M-specific elastokinematics, spatial suspension with anti-squat and anti-dive
  • The BMW M5 will also come with power regenerative braking, one of the first non-hybrid/electric cars to do so, as well as auto start/stop, and reduced rolling resistant tires

Those are the numbers. Looking about equal, right? I do believe the BMW M5, with its newer and more advanced technologies, will have the initial jump on the CTS-V until the next CTS-V comes out to play.

Now let’s take a look at some pictures, shall we?

Head on over to the RawAutos forum to discuss/debate this topic of the Cadillac CTS-V versus the BMW M5 further. C’mon, it’ll be fun!



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  • Joseph

    Even if the M5 comes out slightly better, it won’t come close to being $40K better.

  • Joseph

    Even if the M5 comes out slightly better, it won’t come close to being $40K better.

  • Eljodaho

    Why pay 40k more for the bmw?
     It’s got the same performance numbers in acceleration and top speed.
     It handles about the same as the Cadi.(Cadi invented the  proprietary magnaride that ferrari and porsche recently adopted)
    The interior looks more plain and generic.

    The cost of ownership is twice as much.
    Dont believe me? Google “bmw sucks” just to see how many websites and forums are from the millions of owners that feel cheated by this overrated, overpriced, and unreliable company. Trust me i WAS one of them.

     A non-proven first time turbocharger that will give owners headaches until the kinks are worked out.

     And to top it off, u will look like every other douche on the road who drives the same old kidney grill krautmobile.
     Except this one looks like a large mouth bass with the huge rounded fishlipped air sucker up front. Wow that front end is hideous looking!!

     The only good thing about the bmw is the large trunk that owners will have to live in after spending all their money on the car and subsequent repairs.

     Oh, and if you like to mod, forget about it with the m5 unless you got another 100k to drop.
    Smart enthusiasts will buy the cadi for 60k put 30k into it and have a 1000hp beast that will walk all over this pretender that bmw rushed out to try  compete with the CTS-V. CTS-V’s have tons of room for tuning with lots of capable companies doing it at reasonable prices.You can either be smart or be a douche. Take your pick.

  • Blob

    Wait, i can have a cts-v and use the leftover 40k to buy a mansion in detriot, or the BMW and live in the huge trunk? Hmmm hows the nieghborhoods in detroit?

  • Importeater

    M-5 dashbord looks like a rental. But console and seats look nicer.

  • Shawn

    I’ll take the Caddy and keep the change. :)

  • JBsC5

    I understand the value of the BMW M5 and why it costs 40 grand more than the CTS V …Interesting comparision and worthy of both brand enthusiasts…Thanks for your efforts..

  • Anonymous

    No offense, but I think you’ve got a screw loose. Here’s why: BMW’s new 4 yr/50,000 mile warranty will cover ANY issues with the car. I’ve had three BMWs and haven’t had any real issues. Sure, I’ve heard of many people having problems with their BMWs, but that’s the same for Ford, GM, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Hyundai, Toyota/Lexus, Nissan/Infiniti, and the like.

    Now your personal opinion for liking the V is fine. However, your personal attack on BMW is unwarranted by giving little truth on what BMW you actually owned. Did you own an 1998-2000 E39 5-Series by chance? Maybe an early E38 7? Hell, maybe you owned an E46 323 or 328..? What I’m getting at here is, those cars, in used condition, have tons of known issues. If you purchased a used BMW and had problems, that’s your problem for not looking into it further. However, if it were a BRAND NEW BMW, then I’d understand your haste. But it would still be a little stupid to say BMW sucks because they paid for all of the problems that your car had while it was still under their warranty.

    Oh, and Google anything sucks, and I promise you’ll find all the reason to hate something. How about Googling Cadillac sucks? Oh wait, that would hurt your argument, wouldn’t it? Well, maybe you’ll actually use the skills that obviously don’t pay your bills.

    You can buy a CTS-V and be happy with it all you’d like, I don’t mind. I currently own a 2009 E90 M3, while my father owns a 2011 CTS-V sedan. He loves his car and despises mine. I love my car and think his car is just good enough. Have fun modding your car, I don’t see a need nor a point to do so. I’m happy with the excellence the car company put in to making a car. If you have a hard time accepting it, that’s your deal, and more power to ya.

    I’m no douche for buying a BMW. However, some are. Just like I’ve met some incredibly douchy people who purchased Cadillacs, Benzes, Porsches, Audis, Corvettes, Vipers, Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Bugattis, any modern Chevy SS vehicle, any Ford, GM or Chrysler product, etc.

    My point is, you’re not a douche for what you buy; you’re an asshole for how you act as an owner. Always remember, assumptions are the mother of all fuck-ups. And you, sir, have just made a dumb assumption.

  • Anonymous

    40-grand for a mansion in Detroit sounds about right. I think you could own a the mayor’s mansion for that price… But which would you rather live in, the M5’s trunk, or Detroit? Both have poor air quality…

  • Anonymous

    Oh, and I forgot to say: You’re a moron… BMW, Porsche, Mercedes-Benz, Ferrari, etc. have all had magnaride type suspension for YEARS. So do your homework before you start commenting.

  • Importeater

    MagneRide was first used by General Motors in the Cadillac Seville STS (2002) and is now used as a standard suspension or an option in many models for Cadillac, Buick, Chevrolet, and other GM vehicles. It can also be found on some non-US vehicles such as: Holden Special Vehicles, Ferrari, and Audi.
    Please show me a BMW that has MagneRide. And if you do happen to show one it only proves my point that Cadillac invented that  technology, it is superior to what bmw is using and has been copied from Cadillac by automotive greats Ferrari and Porsche.
    And you are an illiterate moran who fails reading comprehension because i did mention Ferrari and Porsche.

    Let me help you: BMW M5 suspension:
    Suspension front: Double track control arm with M-specific elastokinematics, small, negative steering roll radius, anti-dive
    Suspension rear: Integral-V multi-arm axle with M-specific elastokinematics, spatial suspension with anti-squat and anti-dive

    Nothing says magnaride here you moran.

    And thanks for arguing a minor point. It shows that you have no argument and agree with the major point of the bmw being overpriced and underperforming compared to the value of a CTS-V. Thank you  for validating my points.

  • Importeater

    You sound like a douche.

  • Anonymous

    You should read my reply below, the original reply where I forgot to mention the suspension. That’s why I started a new comment…

    Anyway, I never said that those car companies have MagneRide, I said they’ve all had something like it for years before and after Delphi, not GM, created it. Let’s clue you in on something amazing: Delphi, a company once owned by GM -no longer the case- created the MagneRide technology. Delphi themselves no longer own the technology either. It was sold to a Chinese company called BWI in 2009. The fact that Delphi created it is common knowledge, just not to you.

    Also, it’s spelled moron, not moran. Thanks, though.

    Once again, BMW does not use MagneRide, only their own damping controls. In fact, amazingly enough, I have a special damping control button on my M3, weird, huh?

    Read my main comment below. Oh, and stop spelling BMW in all lower case and Cadillac in proper case. It only makes you look like someone who just has a bone to pick with BMW without relying on actual facts.

  • Anonymous

    Nope, just someone giving you all the reasons why you have no facts to back up your opinions or claims. Oh, and please, keep commenting here on RawAutos. I love it. In fact, I read your comments on my radio show the other night. They’re fantastic and our listeners and the readers here really enjoy them. I’ve already gotten multiple e-mails from people believing you need to give information on why you hate BMW so much. And without saying, “I owned one.” Maybe you should give a make and a model, a year would be nice, too.

    Have fun reading We look forward to disappointing you more and more in the future. Comment other posts, too, while you’re at it.

  • Nolimitsean

    One u drive a BMW u can’t go to a Cadillac. It’s like going from eating filet minion to eating shit.

  • Marc

    I think BMW

  • Marc

    What I meant here was I think I like the BMW’s styling more than the Caddy’s styling

  • Anonymous

    Gotta go with the Caddy.  Gottal love the look of the Cad, and with just a few minor tweaks with the 43,000 dollars you save (like 5k) , the old reliable push-rod GM V8 will absolutely scream horsepower and torque.   If you have never experience GM’s magnetic ride shocks, they are truly amazing technology that provides incredible performance in less than the blink of an eye, yet still gives you that sweet Cadillac ride when you just want to cruise….even in the Corvette!

    I’m sorry, the BMW is simply not worth an extra 43K      

  • fastdriver06

    True indeed… i think the caddy is a great auto and definitely a value relative to the M5.  However, people that generally have 100k to spend on a auto, don’t drive caddys.  Think of it this way.  There are tons of other vehicles that are manufactured with extreme performance in mind – like Merc’s AMG brand, Jag’s XFR, and Audi’s RS vehicles – which cost much more than caddy’s V vehicle.  The type of people shopping for these vehicles, probably don’t have value in mind..prestige I bet is more of a factor.

     I own an 2006 M5 – bought it used for a little less than a brand new caddy a few years ago.  Haven’t had many problems with the vehicle at all.  Its a great car!!!  Any way, if value is what you are interested in then the caddy is the way to go… plain and simple.  But if money is not a problem I would go with the M5 or the CL63S AMG…sorry!!!

  • Millmarble

    Very interesting…but I have owned a 2003 x5 3.0 liter and 1992 325i and they had rough rides almost the same electrical problems and suspension problems not to mention I have owned well over 20 decent other makes, toy, chrys, niss, Honda, Hyundai, Isuzu and now I have finally tried GM….Cadillac,….CTS……and I like the ride and handling of the Cadillac……..Benz is on the list……good luck to you all choosing your vehicles…..quiet try the Chrysler 300c……I had a 07…….put 50000 miles on it …….3 years….never had a problem…loved it ……..but decided to go with a different look…….be opened minded and talk to a source not trying to make a buck…….and get real answers…..

  • Millmarble

    And if money ain’t a thang and you want a fast car invest in the GTR and witness real power…….sorry BMW is not the ultimate driving machine…they lied…..the AMG is by Benz…..see you in the fast lane……awd rules……

  • BMW fanboy

    BMWs quality build is one of the reasons why it costs more, I own a 2008 550i and I even take it to the track, do you want to know my complaint to bmw? Well its that I have bought an expensive car and bought the right insurance from BMW to cover the whole car so that if worst comes to worst the repairs are covered by BMW if the car fails because of its parts, and you know what I have never had to use it. See its the owners choice of how it is taken care of, for instance you could buy a BMW and not get the right coverage and I might be smart enough to buy the right coverage.

    Another thing is the innovation that has come from German companies such as: BMW, Mercedes, porche, etc. See Cadillac has come out with one thing which has benifited the performance of cars and Caddilac lovers brag that they are the best, look at German cars they have had things like active steering, road tracking head lights, night vision, the BMW 7 series even had a small camera on the front of the car that enables the driver to see around blind corners.

    Not all BMW drivers are douches just like how not all caddilac drivers are 70 years or older. I know that you have to be responsible on the road so i take mine to a track. Anybody could steriotype like how I could call you an explicit  70 year old who does not believe that anything foreign could beat American products.

    One of my main questions though is have you ever been in the new CTS-V and/or the new BMW 5 series, because I have been in both and unless you have had a good look in real life you really can not comment about it. The Caddilac is not very classy on the inside I just think that whoever designed the interior was going for the cheepest materials he could find and then used them. Yet another problem is that the display has no need to dissapear partially into the dash, especially right above the big, taky looking clock. Comfort is also important because even though performance is the goal it should be able to drive you home in comfort, after all BMWs and Caddilacs are ment to be luxury cars. Since I have not dirven a CTS-V i can not comment however i have driven the F10 and its ride is pretty good .

    If you want to go as far as assaulting BMW just make sure that the “shark fin” antenna is not off of the BMW 5 series before you start talking about “innovation”. Another thing you may notice is the bottom half of the bumper, its structure is similar to some of BMWs older cars which has stuck around for another series of BMWs. Also take another look infront of the mirror, that vent was also off of BMW cars. The headlights on the Caddilac look strangely familiar… oh wait their Xenon headlights, my 2008 550i has those!

    As much as we are talking about new cars may I remind you that the past affects the future, and may I also remind you that the M5 was named the most fun to drive sedan in 2008. BMW has a serious race pedigree, where as Caddilacs will not be remembered for its pedigree but for being an old persons car.

  • The Truth

    What a joke GM is these days touting that fugly cadillac POS as some kind of inspiration to Ferrari, the company with more F1 championships than any team and a long history in racing. All because they used some dampers/shocks before them which they didn’t even invent or own; they are owned by Beijing West Industries. GM is essentially doing what the Japanese companies figured out a while ago: let the Germans do the R&D and develop a car and set the standards, then wait a few years until its at the final years of that chassis and then come out with something better in one performance figure for cheaper and claim superiority. Notice this is the life story of the CTS-V claiming to be better than the M5 5 years after the E60 M5 has been out. Why won’t GM just die already, and same with Chrysler.

  • JBsC5

    The CTS V sedan coupe and wagon are excellent performance vehicles.  I look forward to the ATS V coupe and sedan as a further expansion of the performance lineup at cadillac.

    There can definitely be more than just one excellent sports sedan and coupe in the marketplace.