The Cadillac Le Mans prototype program concluded its three-year run after the 2002 racing season. But the company has been busy. Cadillac racing wasn’t idle in 2003, though it was invisible to the public. Just as the American Le Mans Series season was getting under way at Sebring in April, the team was starting to test its 2004 entry in the SCCA World Challenge GT series. The CTS-V had a full-season’s worth of testing under its belt before the company ’fessed up and showed it to the press in November. Taking a page from the company’s more successful Corvette racing program, the CTS-V is being built by Pratt and Miller and even uses the same 5.7-liter V8. The LS6 Gen IV makes more than 500 hp, revs to 7600 rpm and uses dry sump lubrication. It’s mounted so far back and so low in the chassis that there’s more empty space under the hood in front of the engine than in a ’67 DeVille. By weight, more than 70 percent of the race car is based on the street model, including the engine (with a bigger bore and shorter stroke to displace 5725 cc), differential, driveshafts, wheel uprights and floorpan. The two cars in the team started as production models that failed the quality control paint inspection. The most significant element of the new program is that Pratt and Miller is working hand in hand with in-house GM engineers. Already, feedback from the race program has influenced suspension design on the street-model CTS-V, a product of the GM Performance Division. There’s a computer link between the Performance Division and Pratt and Miller’s facility, and GM’s own internal engineers will be involved in the program on race weekends as part of their day jobs, not just as enthusiasts on their own time. GM designer Kip Wasenko designed the car, as he did the Cadillac LMP, and devised a paint scheme patterned after the “V” logo that designates Cadillac performance models. The car makes its public debut at the Detroit auto show and begins its competition life at Sebring in April, where it will square off against the likes of the Audi RS6, BMW M3, Ford Mustang, Dodge Viper and Chevrolet Corvette in the top World Challenge class, GT.