Over the speed limit, under the radar
The judges reached a consensus about the Cadillac CTS-V. “This is not your father’s Cadillac,” proclaimed Lee Applbaum, Faheem Hasnain, Dick Johnson, Jeremy Mancheski, Don Quigley, and Gary Sekulow. Nor is it “your grandfather’s” (Jonathan Ko), “your sister’s” (Tom Mantione), or “your grandmother’s” (Mike Karns and Larry Mueller). The CTS-V is the fastest production car Cadillac has ever built. Powered by a 640 hp supercharged V-8 engine, it dashes from zero to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds.
Functional design elements such as a hood bulge and larger air intakes give the CTS-V a more aggressive look than the standard CTS. Although Steve Levine dismissed the car as “a souped-up Chevy with bad plastic surgery,” Wayne Mailloux said it “drives over the speed limit, under the radar.”
Three drive modes adjust the shift points on the 8-speed automatic transmission, the throttle and steering responses, and the ride quality. The car is also equipped with Magnetic Ride Control, General Motors’ adaptive suspension system that uses sensors to read the road conditions and instantly adjust the damping. “It’s the first Cadillac I would consider buying,” said Roy Arnold. “It’s surprisingly good.”
“Awesome power, torque, and world-class dynamics in a thrilling rear-wheel-drive sedan. Interior is the compromise, like a McMansion compared to authentic architecture.” —Robert Ross, Robb Report automotive consultant