Car of the Year 2011: No. 13 Cadillac CTS-V Coupe

Motown Hit
Kudos to Cadillac for having the chutzpah to go head-to-head with Europe’s most formidable sport coupes, and in measurable ways, trouncing them on their own tracks. The CTS-V sedan is a little monster with a giant engine; the Coupe ditches two doors, piles on extra style and even more attitude, and makes a strong case for buying American. When everything good about the Corvette is mated to the best-built American brand, the Cadillac CTS series is the result. Not subtle, the Coupe makes all the noises expected from a car equipped with a potent, supercharged mill. The power is forcefully delivered through an optional 6-speed manual gearbox that had us cackling with delight. This is a car some of us would gladly own. —Robert Ross

 

Smiles Per Gallon
Car buyers seeking an alternative to the BMW M3 should not look to the CTS-V Coupe. The M3 is a fine-tuned sports car built to tackle the autobahn, while the CTS-V is a monster engineered to lay rubber all the way through third gear. Fortunately, Cadillac, the only American automaker represented at this year’s Car of the Year competition, delivered the coupe with a 6-speed manual transmission, enabling the judges to test all 556 horses the old-fashioned way. Many returned from their 30-minute evaluation drives smiling from ear to ear, a testament to the car’s fun factor. But the Coupe’s lack of refinement, epitomized by mustard yellow interior components, caused it to finish near the bottom of the list. —Paul Meyers

SPECIFICATIONS
Configuration Front-engine, rear-wheel-drive coupe Engine 6.2-liter supercharged V-8 Transmission 6-speed automated manual Power 556 hp at 6,100 rpm Torque 551 ft lbs at 3,800 rpm Curb weight 4,208 pounds Zero to 60 3.9 seconds Top speed 191 mph Base price $63,000 Cadillac, www.cadillac.com

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