What has Cadillac done to us? Cadillac has turned its CTS-V from a performance sedan into a monster. The 2016 CTS-V is the centerpiece of Cadillac's growing product line, building on the V-Series legacy and leveraging the strength of the award-winning CTS architecture to deliver the most capable V-Series ever - a luxury sedan with sophisticated road manners and unprecedented performance, with true track capability straight from the factory. It is the third generation of the acclaimed luxury sports sedan that launched the brand's elite V-Series a decade ago, and redefined Cadillac for a new generation of drivers.
Almost every exterior panel on the CTS-V is unique, from the fascia and fenders, to the hood, rear spoiler and rocker moldings, and every one was designed to support the car's capability, contributing to lift reduction, enhanced cooling or both. An available, all carbon fiber package takes aero performance and mass optimization to higher levels. It includes a more aggressive front splitter, hood vent trim, rear diffuser and a taller, exposed-carbon fiber rear spoiler.
The CTS-V's dual-purpose capability carries over to the interior, where the design and relationship of key components are focused expressly on performance-driving ergonomics. Available 16-way adjustable RECARO performance front seats are the lynchpins for the driving experience, with aggressive, adjustable bolsters that help hold the driver and front passenger in place during high load cornering. They also have a luxury-performance feel, trimmed in Mulan leather with suede microfiber inserts and seatbacks. Twenty-way adjustable, semi-aniline leather-trimmed seats with suede microfiber inserts are standard.
The rest of the interior features Cadillac's handcrafted cut-and-sew elements, with decorative stitching and authentic materials, including an available suede steering wheel and shift knob. Three interior color combinations are offered: Jet Black, Jet Black with Light Platinum accents and Saffron with Jet Black accents.
The CTS-V features a unique version of the high definition, 12.3 inch instrument panel cluster display, with V-Series graphics and distinctive gauge readouts and complementing full-color head-up display. It is also equipped with the latest connectivity technologies from Cadillac. The phone integration technology that's part of the enhanced Cadillac CUE infotainment system is designed to take phone features customers would want to access while driving and put them on the vehicle's display in a smart, simple manner.
Most of you know that such a monster is really a monster on public roads. Cadillac execs choose wisely to toss us directly into the Yas Marina circuit to avoid some speeding tickets in Abu Dhabi or a police chase like in the latest commercial executed.
I jumped into the CTS-V, had my helmet on and good-to-go for my first run. How does it drive? Well, Cadillac engineers and their head, Toni Roma, tortured themselves to make the CTS-V stick to the ground and pull hard out of corners. Weight is an issue, honestly. The car has enormous torque and power, but I'm the type of person that enjoys a vehicle that is more fun to drive with sideways. I am a Camaro owner back home, so that justifies my opinion.
The CTS-V certainly makes a tough situation when the spec sheet numbers are seen. Caddy guys told us it's benchmarked versus the German rivalry. But let's have a quick look. The new M5 has a 4.4L, twin-turbo inline-8 cylinders. So I don't think those folks will look at the CTS-V. I think previous owners of the 5.0L, V10 naturally aspirated, ex-owners or current ones will be attracted to the sound, numbers and the torque feeling.
If you do decide that the CTS-V is your next vehicle to sit in the garage, you will be surprised to see that your bank account has an extra $15,000USD or more in it. Why is that? Because among the competition, it has lowest price tag. That's the advantage that US manufacturers (GM in this case) have over German manufacturers.
Finally, with a big "wow" when comparing the CTS-V to its main competitors on sheet by numbers, the BMW M5 and the Mercedes AMG E63, it has more power, more torque, a higher top speed and quicker acceleration. The CTS-V weighs 1,880 kg, which is actually a little heavy to be throwing sideways around the Yas Marina circuit. But will it capture the hearts of the AMG and M division fans in the luxury performance sedan contest?
Rivals: BMW M5, Mercedes E63 AMG, Lexus GS F, Audi RS6/RS7
Pros: Mind-boggling power, superb performance, comfortable, luxurious cabin
Cons: weight is an issue, manual shifting response takes longer than it should
One word: super sedan
6.2L supercharged V8, 640 hp @ 6400 rpm, 855 Nm @ 3600 rpm
8 speed automatic, RWD
0-100 kph: 3.9 secs, top speed: 322 kph, fuel consumption: 13L/ 100 km
Weight: 1,880 kg