2009 Cadillac CTS-V - Life. Liberty. And The Pursuit (Of Perfection)

We Examine Two Distinct And Different Approaches To Modifying The Mighty CTS-V, Each Of Which Results In 10-Seconds Of Perfection

Justin Cesler Dec 2, 2010 0 Comment(s)
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Whether you are one of the lucky few capable of owning a new Cadillac, an admirer of new technology, or just an all-around GM junky, you have to tip your hat to the Cadillac engineering team. A brand long known for setting the standard of luxury and performance, Cadillac has never let us down in terms of style, elegance, or technology. In fact, in 1908, just 6 years after Cadillac was founded, the brand took home the prestigious Dewar Trophy from the Royal Automobile Club of England, the first American car to ever win the award and forever adopted a policy of building excellent cars based on new technology, precision, and quality craftsmanship. Fast-forward 102 years and Cadillac still remains one of the greatest manufacturers in the world. With an entire century of innovation and experience, each new Cadillac model represents the best the brand has to offer and the best that modern engineers can produce.

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Standing atop that exclusive pile is one car in particular, the Cadillac CTS-V. Upon the release of the new V, Jim Taylor, general manager of Cadillac, told us "The CTS-V represents the full extension of our design, technology, and performance capabilities. The V-series takes the award-winning CTS sport sedan and elevates it to a position within the club of the world's most exclusive and capable cars." And when we drove one, we fully believed that nothing else could have been done to produce a better factory vehicle. If you haven't had the luxury of riding in a modern CTS-V, you should head to your local dealer today and drive one. They are truly amazing machines. From the 556hp supercharged 6.2-liter LSA engine to the magnetic ride control; the CTS-V does everything you could ever ask of a modern supercar, and then some.

Of course, for certain people, having "the best" just isn't enough. Enter D3 Research and Development, a company founded on the belief that "greatness cannot be achieved merely by high horsepower statements, but through the dynamic balance of performance fused with cutting edge technology and design." With over 40 years of engineering, racing, and production experience, D3 mimics the Cadillac model of building performance cars infused with elegance, giving up nothing in comfort or quality for the sake of speed. But that doesn't mean D3 doesn't build rocket ships. On the contrary, D3 is home to one of the fastest CTS-V sedans in the world-a CTS-V capable of running down the quarter-mile in under 10.95 seconds at over 129 miles per hour, with 760 hp on tap.

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So, how does D3 do it? As you would expect, they don't start by removing a ton of stock stuff and replacing it with finicky aftermarket parts. In fact, most of what D3 engineers is built from OEM-quality parts and has to not only perform on its own but also work with the entire package. For one of the company's 10-second rides, which is owned by recently retired and a longtime racer Robert Harris of Georgia, much of the Cadillac actually remains exactly how it arrived from the factory, a testament to both the OEM and the tuner. Under the hood, D3 left most of the stock 6.2-liter supercharged LSA engine in place, trusting that the GM engineers who built it have done everything they could to ensure a long-lasting and high-horsepower engine. For induction, D3 chose to leave the stock cylinder heads and camshaft in place, knowing that the L92-style ports and factory ground "boost friendly" camshaft were chosen for good reasons. On the upgrade path D3 started with the "low-hanging fruit" first, replacing the stock factory airbox with a hi-po version of their own design, which features an all-aluminum construction and a K&N filter for improved airflow. Next, D3 installed its upgraded pulley system, which uses a lightweight aluminum balancer and pulley that allows D3 to add either 3 or 6 psi, equaling 30 or 50 hp respectively. Of course, when you add boost, you also need more fuel, so D3 installed a set of 62 lb/hr fuel injectors and a set of performance spark plugs before moving on to the next phase of the build. With most of the "Stage II" power kit complete, D3 also installed a new exhaust system on the Cadillac, adding a set of Kooks 1 7/8-inch long-tube headers and a full Corsa cat-back, which helps evacuate all of the extra air from the engine. According to D3 this package alone is good for approximately 650 hp, almost 100 hp above the 557hp factory rating the CTS-V comes with.

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