Balancing raw power and a soulful driving experience with refinement is one of the hardest things to do as a manufacturer or builder. Anyone who has built a late-model hot rod can tell you that, however, the stakes are considerably higher when you have a name as old and respected as Cadillac and you plan to sell thousands of cars. While BMW, Jaguar, and even Mercedes have had considerably more experience with taking the heart of a sports car and transplanting it into a refined touring coupe that any businessman would be proud to hang his sport coat in and drive to work, the '11 CTS-V Coupe is Caddy's first attempt to build a two-door hardtop of this caliber in recent history (and arguably ever). Emboldened by the success of the CTS-V sports sedan, Team Cadillac put its chassis engineers to work at condensing the four-door without taking away from the V's amazing performance or design principles. A decision that ultimately put this car into the greasy hands of GMHTP and enthusiasts that wanted to put the smack-down on some smug Europeans.
Upon first delivery of the V, we were instantly the subjects of admiration from the whole office, even though some of the Ford boys tried to poke fun at the Caddy's sharp edges. But it is hard to deny that the '11 V's front-end isn't every bit as impressive as the 556-horse LSA that lie beneath the bulging hood. One look at the 19-inch wheels with their edgy V-shaped five-spoke design, and the 15-inch, 6-piston Brembos behind them, and you know it means business. Feelings of nostalgia from the 2004-2007 SCCA World Challenge are inevitable, and with the capabilities of the new production version you will think you are actually in the race car. Nostalgia ends there, though, as the CTS is fully modern and cutting edge in both aesthetics and function. The interior is a technological wonderland of gadgets and switches that somehow isn't intimidating, perhaps because of the sliding touch screen, which is very intuitive. Enthusiast or not, your client or significant other will thoroughly enjoy the creature comforts and expansive features, especially the minute the hidden touch screen raises up out of the dash. There is no shortage of luggage or passenger space either, with the only exception being headroom and legroom for the rear seat (typical of a coupe). It would appear the 3-inch difference in length (from the sedan to the coupe) came partly from the rear seat area, but both ride nearly identical-most likely a function of the identical wheelbase and suspension.