And with the traction control switch set to "off," the sensation of power-sliding a car with 556 horsepower of supercharged V-8 is addictive.
Despite our lack of track familiarity, we never once felt nervous in the big beast. It's that much fun.
Surprisingly, the ride quality is very good, courtesy of Cadillac's unique magnetic ride control suspension. It uses electric current to change the consistency of magnetorheological fluid in the shock absorbers multiple times a second, permitting independent control of each shock's compliance rate depending on driving conditions.
COMING SOON: Video of Cadillac powertrain engineer explaining the CTS-V's unique features
The engine is smooth and unobtrusive--Ireson called it "docile"--until it's unleashed. We wonder if the CTS-V Coupe might not be a handful around town due to such easy power availability, but we'll wait for our own road test before we render judgment.
The CTS-V is hardly a subtle car on the outside, with wider fenders, an aggressive metal mesh grille and air intake, and of course a splendid burble of an engine note. Which rises to a howl toward the redline.
The interior is fantastic, with its hand-finished cut-and-sew leather surfaces and chrome accents. It's a bold design, brasher than its German counterparts, but everything works together.
Quibbles? The coupe's rearward visibility isn't the greatest, though with cars carefully spaced out for individual laps, we had no need of rear-view mirrors at Monticello. And, yeah, with the Recaro front seats, rear seat room may not be what a six-foot man might like. So?
As British auto writers used to say, the shifter "falls readily to hand," making the six-speed manual our favorite for track time over the six-speed automatic. The manual might be tedious around town, but it all depends how you might think you'll use your CTS-V.
We suspect that if you're one of the lucky owners--Cadillac says demand for their "V" models is running above projections--you'll be highly tempted to find out where you can put on some track time.
It's that much fun.
High Gear Media drove a manufacturer-provided vehicle to produce this hands-on road test.