556 Horses - Cadillac style! (2011 Cadillac CTS-V)

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556 Horses - Cadillac style! (2011 Cadillac CTS-V)

Postby camera_man » Fri Jan 13, 2012 8:00 pm

2011 Cadillac CTS-V

Couple weeks ago I got to take home a Cadillac CTS-V for a week. This is the first time I've had the chance to drive this car for any decent amount of time. It's also the one car (apart from the Corvette ZR-1) that I have been unable to properly drive since I began working for GM. Here are my thoughts, in no particular order... Let's start with pictures!

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Don't mind the smudges on the center stack - this car have been around the block a few times, and the interior kind of showed it...

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Performance

Let's start off with the biggest draw to this vehicle - the monster under the hood. Powering the CTS-V is a supercharged V8, pushing 556 hp and 551 ft-lbs. This thing is an absolute beast. The acceleration is unlike anything I've driven before (with the exception of the Corvette Z06, which had very similar abilities to exceed the speed limit with nothing more than a sneeze). Paired to the engine is a 6 speed, short(ish) throw manual transmission. I'm still not a huge fan of the manual transmissions that they put in the CTS series. They just feel, off... but I can't quite put my finger on it. I did get used to it after a week, at which point it didn't become as much of an issue. The throws on the trans are precise, and pretty short. There is a good deal of mechanical feedback through the system, which I liked, because it provided needed assurance the correct gear had been selected. Miss-shifts (especially down shifting) tend to break the tires free, which is scary if you're not expecting it. The car goes like hell - no problems getting to speeds that will easily get you in trouble. At about 4000 RPM, the exhaust note becomes significantly more aggressive, and all hell breaks loose. Making a perfectly rev-matched 6-3 downshift can lead to a permanent smile on your face. Under normal highway driving, there's no need to take it out of sixth - ever. All of this is pretty much what you'd expect from this car. Massive power leading to massive speed.

The handling on this is just as incredible. The suspension if firm, no doubt about it. However, combine that with the fact that it's wearing 285 series Michelin Pilot Sport PS2 summer tires, and this car will devour any corner you throw it at. Most of the week presented damp road conditions, so the general shenanigans were kept to a minimum, but when the limit is passes, the car likes to snap. I imagine it would be fairly easy to control, but dance around the limit, and it can be twitchy and catch the unassuming driver off guard. I would love to take this to a track and see what it can really do. The suspension has a touring mode, and a sport mode. On the road, all I could really tell by selecting sport mode was the ride got a little harsher. I wasn't able to drive anywhere that the benefits of sport mode could be seen.

Braking was also awesome. In each of the four corners are large Brembo rotors with equally large calipers. This car stops - fast. This came in handy when a lady decided that red lights don't apply to her, and turned in front of me.

Style

The new direction that Cadillac has been going with their styling seems to be met with mixed reviews. Some love it, some hate it. I'm in the love it camp. The harsh angles and aggressiveness really add to what the CTS-V is all about. The big wheels and tires, and flared wheel arches give it a wider stance that makes it look a bit pissed off. I'm not a huge fan of the mesh grill - I much prefer the large slats of the standard CTS. Personal choice.

The interior is on par with the rest of the CTS line-up. No much difference there. I believe there is a bit more faux-suede, along with the option of Recaro racing seats (which this one didn't have). Other than that, it's standard Cadillac kit. I like it.

Comfort

This is where my biggest gripe comes in. If I'm gonna buy a Cadillac, I want it to ride nicer than this. Yes, yes, I know, fastest production sedan in the world... blah, blah, blah. It's not supposed to be as comfortable. But I want it to be. It performs great in every way, but I don't want to feel every little bump while driving a Caddy. Yes, I'm being pedantic here, but I'm just being honest. The seats were very comfortable, but could have used a bit more side-bolstering. The back seats, however, are disappointingly cramped. Ride and handling is about compromises. This one sways towards handling. It's not terribly firm, but grandpa with the bad back might have a thing or two to say about it.

The interior is also very well-equipped. It has pretty much everything you would expect to find on a Cadillac. One of my personal favorites is the dual moon roof!

Practicality

When all is said and done, it's a 4-door sedan. It behaves as such. I went to the grocery store with it, everything fit. There are no compromises on usability. Plenty of storage space in the cabin, and plenty of room in the trunk. It's as practical as a sports sedan can be.

Fuel Economy

It has none. This is what comes to mind... (sorry about this)

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FOSE?

Chicks dig superchargers.

Conclusion

For $70k you can have a well-equipped, 4-door, ridiculously fast Cadillac. For what it is, I think it's fantastic. However, I'm not sure I'd buy one. I just can't get over the fact that it's a Cadillac. I'm not saying Cadillac is bad - I love them, I just expect a Cadillac to be more luxury and less savagery. This absolutely delivers on what it was designed to do, but it's not what I want a Cadillac to be. If I'm going to buy something that is stupid fast, I'm gonna buy something that is supposed to be stupid fast. If I want luxury, I'll buy luxury. I feel this blurs the edges too much. Plus, I think the same amount of fast fun can be had for a lot cheaper.
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Re: 556 Horses - Cadillac style! (2011 Cadillac CTS-V)

Postby theholycow » Fri Jan 13, 2012 8:42 pm

Does nobody even take a swipe at the smudge with a sleeve before turning the car over to the next driver?

That's disappointing about the comfort. I would expect that Cadillac and $70,000 would mean the utmost in research and technology thrown at maximizing the sum of ride and handling, not maximizing handling only.

No need to apologize for the "all the things" meme, IMO. Great meme.

I guess leaving luxo-soft ride behind is part of what GM thinks Cadillac needs to gain the younger, more hip image it reportedly needs.
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Re: 556 Horses - Cadillac style! (2011 Cadillac CTS-V)

Postby Rope-Pusher » Fri Jan 13, 2012 8:49 pm

FOSE?

Chicks dig scars.
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Re: 556 Horses - Cadillac style! (2011 Cadillac CTS-V)

Postby six » Fri Jan 13, 2012 10:12 pm

SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO JELLLLYYYY!!!!!!!!! :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry:

I want this car so bad, I'm literally tearing up right now on account of your experiences. :cry:

This is what my CTS-V will look like:
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- White Diamond Tricoat
- 19" Satin Graphite wheels
- 6-speed, of course
- RECARO seats, Ebony interior
- Midnight Sapele wood trim
- Ultraview Roof
- Sueded steering wheel & shift knob

:cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: BAWL!!!!!
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Re: 556 Horses - Cadillac style! (2011 Cadillac CTS-V)

Postby potownrob » Sat Jan 14, 2012 1:35 am

nice ride!! :)

the thing must ride AND handle 20 times better than what i got, so i'd take it (if i had money) :lol:
BUT DEM FAHGLEITZ!! :shock:

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Re: 556 Horses - Cadillac style! (2011 Cadillac CTS-V)

Postby Shadow » Sat Jan 14, 2012 1:51 am

It's like a Corvette with four doors. The big problem is that I don't like the styling at all. Far too edgy looking and weirdly proportioned. I'd take an M5 over that car any day of the week, based upon looks alone.
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Re: 556 Horses - Cadillac style! (2011 Cadillac CTS-V)

Postby camera_man » Sat Jan 14, 2012 11:28 am

Shadow wrote:It's like a Corvette with four doors. The big problem is that I don't like the styling at all. Far too edgy looking and weirdly proportioned. I'd take an M5 over that car any day of the week, based upon looks alone.

Calling it a 4-door Corvette pretty much sums it up. Again, the styling is really a love it or hate it thing. I don't think I've met many folks who say, "Meh, it looks alright." Granted I've never driven an M5 before, but I would presume that it does a better job of doing double duty as a sports car and family sedan.
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Re: 556 Horses - Cadillac style! (2011 Cadillac CTS-V)

Postby AHTOXA » Sat Jan 14, 2012 12:31 pm

I guess I'm one of those folks, then. Meh, it looks alright. By that I mean that I do like the styling but I'm not crazy about it.

The above points are something to think about. The question that's raised, is whether the V has something to set it apart. Meaing, if I wanted a Corvette, I'd just get a Corvette. But if I also wanted 4 doors, are there any benefits to the V over the M5 or the like?
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Re: 556 Horses - Cadillac style! (2011 Cadillac CTS-V)

Postby theholycow » Sat Jan 14, 2012 4:22 pm

AHTOXA wrote:I guess I'm one of those folks, then. Meh, it looks alright. By that I mean that I do like the styling but I'm not crazy about it.

This cow too. It's really not that polarizing of a look, it fits right in with everything else on the market.
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Re: 556 Horses - Cadillac style! (2011 Cadillac CTS-V)

Postby six » Sat Jan 14, 2012 5:08 pm

You didn't happen to try out the audio system, did you? How is it? Typical BOSE or is this an exception?
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Re: 556 Horses - Cadillac style! (2011 Cadillac CTS-V)

Postby camera_man » Sun Jan 15, 2012 11:55 pm

AHTOXA wrote:The above points are something to think about. The question that's raised, is whether the V has something to set it apart. Meaing, if I wanted a Corvette, I'd just get a Corvette. But if I also wanted 4 doors, are there any benefits to the V over the M5 or the like?

It's hard to say, since I haven't really driven much else that fits into the V category. It does great as a sports sedan, but I think it would do better overall if it was just a bit more comfortable as a daily cruiser.

Regarding the stereo... It was pretty good. Not anything I'd get overly excited about, but it sounded nice. I much prefer the Harmon Kardon systems that are found in some of the Buicks.
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Re: 556 Horses - Cadillac style! (2011 Cadillac CTS-V)

Postby LynnF1 » Tue Mar 20, 2012 1:55 pm

Amazing car - congrats on the seat time!
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Re: 556 Horses - Cadillac style! (2011 Cadillac CTS-V)

Postby camera_man » Wed Jul 25, 2012 6:00 pm

six wrote:SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO JELLLLYYYY!!!!!!!!! :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry:

I want this car so bad, I'm literally tearing up right now on account of your experiences. :cry:

This is what my CTS-V will look like:
Image

- White Diamond Tricoat
- 19" Satin Graphite wheels
- 6-speed, of course
- RECARO seats, Ebony interior
- Midnight Sapele wood trim
- Ultraview Roof
- Sueded steering wheel & shift knob

:cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: BAWL!!!!!

Well six, I came closer to your dream car this week. All of the above, except it's the wagon (which I prefer over the sedan, to be honest):

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Of course, the above review still applies in every way. This thing is a MONSTER! :twisted:
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Re: 556 Horses - Cadillac style! (2011 Cadillac CTS-V)

Postby six » Thu Jul 26, 2012 12:24 am

WHY YOU GOTTA DO THIS TO ME?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry:

BAWLLLLL

Anyway, super cool 8) . The wagon is pretty cool, but I don't like wagons, so it's the sedan for me. WANT :D :D :D :D :D
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Re: 556 Horses - Cadillac style! (2011 Cadillac CTS-V)

Postby Squint » Thu Jul 26, 2012 1:11 pm

six wrote:WHY YOU GOTTA DO THIS TO ME?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry:

BAWLLLLL

Anyway, super cool 8) . The wagon is pretty cool, but I don't like wagons, so it's the sedan for me. WANT :D :D :D :D :D

I just want his job where he gets to drive random cars. I work at a dealership and we're specifically forbidden for driving company cars for anything personal. Grounds for dismissal on the spot.
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