First Ride: 2011 Cadillac CTS-V CoupeEnlarge Photo
Drag racing is a staple in American motorsports. When most people talk about performance tests, it comes down to four figures: 0-60 time, quarter mile time, quarter mile speed, and top speed. So when Road & Track decided to compare two, modern American muscle cars buy testing their straight line performance.
The 2011 Ford Shelby GT500 is the classic hopped up factory Mustang. For 2011 the car gained an all aluminum block, decreasing the weight over the nose by 102 pounds, aiding handling. But in this test, what matters is power and the 5.4L Supercharged V-8 produces 550 horsepower and 510 lbs-ft of torque. Traction shouldn’t be a problem as the Shelby GT500 keeps the live axle with well sorted out suspension that most professional drag-racers prefer.
The 2011 CTS-V doesn’t have that much new going on except for two new body styles, the versatile wagon and in this test, the sportier coupe. Since 2009 the car uses a 6.2L Supercharged LSA V-8, which is essentially a detuned LS9. Horsepower comes up to 556 horsepower and 551 lbs-ft of torque, trumping the GT500 for power bragging rights. However, traction might be a problem thanks to the “European” independent rear suspension.
From the start, the CTS-V destroys the GT500, gaining a half-car length lead from the launch alone. The GT500 gets to 60 in 4.4 seconds, but the CTS-V takes 4.1 seconds. Quarter-mile times are close, 12.3 seconds at 116.6 mph for the Cadillac, and 12.6 at 118.6 mph for the Ford.
But when the smoke clears, one can’t help but see a factor that probably tilted the results—While the Cadillac CTS-V Coupe is available with a six speed manual, the car tested is equipped with the paddle-shift six-speed auto. The Shelby GT500 is only available with a manual. The results might be a bit different if both cars had similar transmissions.
[Source: Road & Track via Youtube]