How to Increase the Horsepower in a CTS Cadillac

by Luther BlissettUpdated November 07, 2017

Items you will need

  • Aftermarket exhaust system

  • Performance chip

  • Air intake system

While the CTS differs visually from many of the larger and more traditionally styled models in the Cadillac lineup, the CTS has the same high level of performance expected from all Cadillacs. Since its introduction in 2003, the CTS has been paired with a number of different engines, ranging from a 210-horsepower, 2.8-liter V6 to a 304-horsepower, 3.6-liter V6. Regardless of the engine, the addition of a new exhaust system, air intake system and changes to the vehicle's electronic control unit can lead to noticeable horsepower gains.

Replace the factory exhaust system with a more performance-oriented aftermarket system. The wider diameter of the aftermarket exhaust piping will allow for an easier flow of the exhaust gases and will help the engine to produce more horsepower. In addition to increasing the horsepower output, the aftermarket system will produce a more aggressive exhaust note. Professional installation is recommended as access to a lift is necessary.

Upgrade the vehicle's air intake system with an aftermarket system designed to increase the flow of air into the engine. Aftermarket air intake systems increase horsepower and fuel economy by increasing the flow of cool air into the engine. This is accomplished by shortening the path of the air into the engine and through using less restrictive air filters.

Install an aftermarket performance chip into the vehicle's electronic control unit. The performance chip will alter the engine's computer management software to produce not only more horsepower but also improve the overall performance of the vehicle.


The vehicle's fuel economy may suffer as a result of the changes to the electronic control unit.

More Articles

article divider