2008 cadillac cts v motorauthority 001
The CTS-V offers a remarkable value in the high-performance luxury sedan segmentEnlarge Photo
Sales of the all-new 556hp (414kW) supercharged 6.2L V8 CTS-V kick off on November 1 in the U.S., but excited customers have likely already reserved their place in line. Production volume figures for the CTS-V haven't been announced yet, but GM is likely planning a flexible production run depending on demand. It will be interesting to see if the CTS-V generates enough cachet to be a 'recession-proof' car like so many high-end luxury and sports cars, or if its affordable pricing will actually make sales harder in the short run. At any rate, the 'new factor' should drive initial sales well.
At just under $60,000, the CTS-V is priced along the lines of a very well-outfitted BMW 335i, and about $5-10,000 below a typical BMW M3 or Lexus IS F. Mercedes-Benz's E63 AMG, the carmaker's true competition for the CTS-V, starts at $88,575, though the C63 AMG falls closer at $57,175. And since it's about even with the 5-series on size, ahead of it in performance, and priced around $25,000 below, it's hard to imagine a good reason not to choose the CTS-V if you're in the market for such a car.
In June, Cadillac announced the CTS-V's official power figures to the world. The car gets a Society of Automotive Engineer's certification of 556hp (414kW) and 551lb-ft (746Nm) of torque at the crank. The top power figure arrives at 6,100rpm and maximum torque comes at a pleasantly mid-range 3,800rpm.
That much power is enough to move the big sedan to 60mph in just 3.9 seconds and to complete the quarter-mile in an even 12 seconds with a trap speed of 118mph (189km/h). Those numbers are enough to wilt even the impressive BMW M5's figures put down with the aid of its 505hp (376kW) V10. Combined with a full complement of luxury features, paddle-shifted automatic transmission, adjustable magnetic suspension and its record-breaking 7m59s Nurburgring lap time, the American sedan is headed straight to the front of the luxury sport sedan class.
BMW and Mercedes both have updates due to debut at next year's March Geneva Motor Show however. The new 5-series and E-Class are expected to debut along side their high-performance M and AMG variants, so the Cadillac super-sedan should soon have some company, though it appears to be a step ahead at the present.
The newest CTS has won accolades from the automotive press for its looks, its performance and its comfort. The first thing that grabs the eye when you look at the CTS-V is the gaping maw of the mesh grille. Once you break your eyes from its grasp, the bulging hood and angular headlights are the next things to steal some attention. The front splitter and aero package are also new, but other than that, there’s not much to distinguish the CTS-V from the regular CTS - but considering the CTS’s already charming good looks, that’s not a bad thing.
The LSA engine, while not quite as highly tuned as the LS9 powering the Corvette ZR-1 to 638hp (476kW), is still a mammoth for the performance sedan ranks, outstripping even the V10 in the BMW M5. Two six-speed transmissions are available, one manual, the other a paddle-shifted Hydramatic automatic - a first for the CTS-V. The manual is a dual-disc clutch equipped Tremec TR6060.
The CTS-V’s Magnetic Ride Control makes the suspension in the CTS-V so quick reacting that Cadillac claims it’s the world’s fastest. Featuring two modes (Tour and Sport) that can be selected on the fly, the CTS-V can be adjusted to suit the driving style and conditions at hand. Massive Brembo six-piston calipers up front and four piston calipers in the rear ensure the big sedan can come to a stop in a serious hurry. The rotors (of undisclosed diameter) are slotted and vented to resist fade.
A sophisticated traction control system is also fitted to the car, which is a good thing when you have so much power on tap - no one wants to pay complete attention all the time, and the CTS-V can considered as a daily driver. Although considering the Performance Traction Management system in the CTS-V is derived from the CTS-V racecar, you won’t be giving up all that much in terms of performance even with it engaged - it’s actually designed to ensure the greatest possible traction while still delivering great performance, not to slow the car and regain traction like most other traction control systems.