Track Day with the CTS-V
This past weekend, my buddy Shawn and I attended an intro for the new Cadillac CTS-V, Caddy’s high-performance, mid-size sedan. The event took place at the incredible Monticello Motor Club in New York, a members-only race track – sorta like a golf club for people with high octane fuel in their veins.
The CTS-V is General Motor’s attempt at building a vehicle that outperforms BMW’s legendary M5 sedan in every way. The first generation CTS fell short. This new vehicle, however, is the fastest sedan to ever lap Germany’s famous Nurburgring – a twisty racetrack which is used to benchmark all of the world’s fastest cars. Doing well on this track is indicative of a well-rounded sports car, not just a car that goes fast in a straight line.
The weather was sucky – cold and wet – but it did give us a chance to see how well the CTS-V stuck to the pavement. The car did great. Better than its driver, in my case. Although, unlike another guy the day before, I didn’t run my car into a guardrail.
The CTS-V’s 6.2L supercharged engine has 556 HP and 551 lb-ft of torque. It accelerates its host chassis to 60 MPH in just 3.9 seconds. The manual shifter and short-throw, light-as-a-feather clutch were a pleasure, as long as you remembered to shift. There’s so much torque, I slammed the engine against the rev-limiter twice. The second time at 105 MPH in third gear.
Is the car better than an M5? Well, we didn’t drive ‘em back-to-back, but the CTS-V is certainly very nice. Road and Track magazine did a comparison and gives the nod to the CTS-V. The M5 is a few years older and BMW will certainly come out with something amazing in its next rev. But for now, it looks like Caddy has delivered on its promise. Oh, by the way, the Caddy, similarly equipped, costs about $30,000 less. Hmm, let me think . . .
All you General Motors bashing, BMW fanboys will have a million excuses why Cadillac cannot possibly dethrone a German autobahn cruiser. I, for one, am rooting for the home team. Competition is great and I’d love for the General to be a real player.