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Cadillac CTS-V delivers performance

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Cadillac CTS-V delivers performance

Scott Burgess / The Detroit News

Anyone looking for an infusion of confidence should see how it feels to rope 556 horses with their right foot. Rodeos don't even have this many ponies.

But the high performance 2011 Cadillac CTS-V sedan does.

This is not merely a car, it's a rocket ship. Want to know how Slim Pickens felt riding a nuclear bomb in Dr. Strangelove, then strap yourself into a CTS-V and hit the gas.

The supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 has two settings: fast and hyper drive. There's a brief pause between the two -- but it's very short and is punctuated by a high-pitched whine that says "look out." And then, thunder, space and time slow around you, as if other cars are standing still.

The engine, which includes a specially made 1.9-liter intercooled Eaton Twin Vortices Series supercharger, creates 556 horsepower and 551 pound-feet of torque. Those are mind-boggling kinds of numbers. Then tack on the fact that it's a Cadillac sedan with room for five adults and a foursome's set of clubs in the trunk and everything feels upside down.

Better yet is the delicious sound that erupts from this engine. I literally took every exit on my 20-mile drive to work one morning just so I could accelerate onto the highway a dozen times and listen to this block of aluminum purr. I laughed every time I hit the accelerator, quashing that lump of fear collecting in my throat as the torque held me down in the seat like the hand of the Almighty.

As prophesized in the Book of Revelations, when He returns, it will be in a white CTS-V (which model year remains unclear).

CTS-V is responsive

The CTS-V was designed with one thing in mind: Performance. And it excels there. It comes with a bigger grille, bigger Brembo brakes, bigger wheels and a bigger suspension, which includes the Magnetic Ride Control.

The system uses sensors to evaluate the road conditions every millisecond and then adjusts dampening almost instantly. This also allows the driver to set the suspension at the push of a button, providing a softer touring mode or stiffer sport mode.

And sport mode is what you want when you're driving this car -- it keeps the body taut and cuts down on body roll as much as possible. Even in the more aggressive suspension setting, the CTS-V offers a very compliant ride. Nothing feels over the top when carving up corners or flying down the highway.

As you manually click through the six-speed on the automatic transmission, there's never a severe up shift of lurching down shift. The CTS-V responds gently and quickly.

The power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering feels firm but well centered. Look, point, turn. It's that kind of responsiveness you want to feel behind the wheel of this kind of car.

Interior speaks luxury

You also want to feel the luxury side.

Some sports sedans push the sport part so much, luxury feels bypassed. Cadillac has done a nice job making sure the car maintains its luxury sedan features. There are hand-cut leather accents throughout the cabin, and the nicely stitched dash takes on a handmade look. Additionally, the CTS-V keeps the pop-up navigation screen, which can stay set in the dash when not in use.

The instrument panel includes big gauges that are easy to read and sweep across the face every time you turn the car on. Those are some of the little delights I never tire of. Things like LCD interior lighting that makes the CTS-V really shine at night. Or the V badging throughout the cabin that reminds the driver how special this car really is.

The optional Recaro performance driving seats hold you snuggly into place but not too much. This is important for a car that took less than eight minutes to perform a lap at the legendary Nürburgring in Germany. (This was the first sedan with street tires on it to break eight minutes.)

There also is lots of space for the front passengers. The second row passengers, however, don't have nearly as much space, with only 35.9 inches of leg room compared to 42.4 up front.

However, the tighter space is not unbearable. What would be worse is riding back there as the driver has too much fun around a freeway exit ramp.

As for its looks, it looks like the CTS, which means it looks like a Cadillac. The CTS is the pumping heart for the design of Cadillac. That long hood and sparkling gear. All the cars share a distinct look that people are starting to recognize as just Cadillac. The edges are sharp but polished. It's bejeweled but understated. It's a combination of contradictions that feels surprisingly balanced.

This is truly the Cadillac of sports sedans.

From The Detroit News: http://www.detnews.com/article/20100911/AUTO03/9110329/1148/auto01/Cadillac-CTS-V-delivers-performance#ixzz0zQCFaNnE

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The shape of the 'V' Coupe , the high back, the twin center exhaust, has grown on me over the past several months.

Regardless, the power of this machine presents a daunting challenge. I've driven a 'V' sedan and I admire the proportions of it as well though I did not put the hammer down on it fully. To do so seemed to be inviting something as-yet unnamed. Whoosh. That's about it. The 'V' moves out smartly and accelerates [we took it out on The Garden State Parkway for a 45 mile round-trip away from; back-to the dealership] as though one were being ushered down the highway by something with the strength of a fallen angel. The Nav and Bluetooth are gee-whiz synchronicity and the interior's well thought out from my point of view. Everything seems to work in concert with the theme of the vehicle. The vehicle, while amazing, does not seem "practical". [that's the feedback which I typically receive when the subject of buying one comes up] The Cadillac CTS-V, in any form, is what Bob Lutz was fond of calling a "gotta have it" item. So true. I guess that I am just putting myself up to it in print while soliciting feedback.

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Hey longtooth, long time no see. Don't be a stranger. :)

Thanks, 'Dodge. I have been busy beyond the usual over the past six-months or so, 'retired' in name only. I hope that things are going well for you in your life. I'll make an effort to stop by, especially on weekends though weekends have been busy too.

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Longtooth-good to see you...

And having ridden in a Z06 driven in anger...GM isn't kidding around with these supercharged drive trains...

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I had a friend who got to drive the coupe and sedan at Warren a month ago. She is well versed in performance cars and was very very impressed with these cars. The term used was "Oh My God" to discribe the car.

I have seen the coupe now on the road and it really stands out in a good way. It has a luxury and exotic look about it since there really is nothing else like it on the road.

Edited by hyperv6

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