2011 Cadillac CTS-V - Wolf In Businessman's Clothing - New Car Test

The '11 Cadillac CTS-V Coupe Is The New Standard

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The single greatest aspect of the CTS-V is that it is uncompromisingly a Cadillac, yet as you apply the go-pedal with some gumption it instantly turns into a bloodthirsty animal. The same can be said of the suspension as well, riding comfortably atop the infinitely-adjustable, heated and air conditioned Recaro seats you feel like you are surfing a cloud (as with any Caddy), yet push it to its limits and the sticky Michelin PS2 tires (255 and 285 mm respectively) cry for more. The massive Brembo brakes knew no sense of fade or lack of stopping power on Gainesville's 1.6-mile course, which is notorious for eating brake pads and tires. Though this is a very tight course that usually rewards small and lighter cars (not 4,248-pound behemoths), the Coupe turned in a 1:08.09 lap time, which was .14 second behind my own stock '05 Z51 C6. It's also important to note that our test car was a 6L90E-equipped automatic, not a stick, which would have affected the lap times more drastically if not for the paddle-shift function. On the dragstrip, though, we were certainly happy to click it into drive and leave it alone. Containing all 551 lb-ft of torque can be a chore without ideal track conditions, and unfortunately with the six-speed auto it is an all or nothing proposition. A good run with no spin keeps you constantly in the powerband, but tire spin and right-foot correction cause a confused and up-shifting transmission. The only method we found to work was leaving the traction control on and breathing on the throttle out of the hole, which got us a pitiful 2.197 short time while hauling bread out the backdoor for a 12.76 at 114 mph.

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It was quite ironic that driving like an old man (in a Caddy) got us our best e.t., but we were just happy to get a 12-second time finally. With a faster front half, a 114-mph trap speed is indicative of at least a low 12-second pass (even at its hefty weight). From its road feel, I would have guessed it is an 11-second car for sure. The V is certainly at home on the highway, in overdrive the motor hums right along at 70-plus mph, but the minute you pull out to pass and romp down on the pedal it immediately finds the most ideal of the six gears, grabs it, and launches you like a cannon. At those speeds the V feels extremely stable as well; no pothole or bridge abutment can jar your sense of enjoyment for it. And around town it handles potholes and pavers equally as well; it feels as solid as its weight would imply. Just like the Corvette, the use of magneto-rheological fluid (in the shocks) with in-car dampening adjustment allows these soft dampening characteristics around town and a firmer, more dynamic setup at the track.

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