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Nov
12

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.

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 November 12th, 2008  
 Will  
 Stuff with a Motor  
   
 10 Comments

10 Responses to Track Day with the CTS-V

  1. i’m in a jealous rage! with that weather…i’m thinking “tightest 3 loop donut” award, skid pad testing, and “are the instructors looking?”

    if we had such an event here, i think it would be “driving the new deere model x at the fairgrounds”

  2. i’m in a jealous rage! with that weather…i’m thinking “tightest 3 loop donut” award, skid pad testing, and “are the instructors looking?”

    if we had such an event here, i think it would be “driving the new deere model x at the fairgrounds”

  3. Wish I had known you two were there! I just got out to NY on Monday and would have shown up earlier. A few friends are charter members at monticello. Sounds like it’s a hell of a car. Great to see that GM has made a great car – hopefully it isn’t relegated to obscurity. First time I’ve ever wanted an american car.

  4. Wish I had known you two were there! I just got out to NY on Monday and would have shown up earlier. A few friends are charter members at monticello. Sounds like it’s a hell of a car. Great to see that GM has made a great car – hopefully it isn’t relegated to obscurity. First time I’ve ever wanted an american car.

  5. Doug,

    Jealous rage might be overkill. We started the day doing some lead/follow in XLR-Vs, then moved on to more lead/follow in regular CTSs. While driving the XLRs was fun and the CTSs interesting, we were subject to people who couldn’t drive well in front of us. Not that I’m a great driving or anything, but it just wasn’t hard finding a better line than some of the other folks.

    We did the CTS-Vs at the end. That was fun, but we only got to do two laps on the long track and with a pro in the passenger seat. While the second lap was way better than the first, two laps was hardly enough to get used to the track and get the most out of it.

    BTW, how do those Deeres handle in the tight corners? I hear Kubotas are much better in the twisties 🙂

  6. Doug,

    Jealous rage might be overkill. We started the day doing some lead/follow in XLR-Vs, then moved on to more lead/follow in regular CTSs. While driving the XLRs was fun and the CTSs interesting, we were subject to people who couldn’t drive well in front of us. Not that I’m a great driving or anything, but it just wasn’t hard finding a better line than some of the other folks.

    We did the CTS-Vs at the end. That was fun, but we only got to do two laps on the long track and with a pro in the passenger seat. While the second lap was way better than the first, two laps was hardly enough to get used to the track and get the most out of it.

    BTW, how do those Deeres handle in the tight corners? I hear Kubotas are much better in the twisties 🙂

  7. Hey Dan, sorry we missed you. As you can tell from the previous comment, we didn’t do too much, but enough to see that the CTS-V is very nice. The manual shifter and clutch were especially nice as well, of course, as the 556 ponies and 551 lb-ft of stump-pulling torque. Nothing quite like pressing the skinny pedal and having your helmet make a dent in the headrest.

    The performance of the car was outstanding. The fit and finish looked respectable as well. I think GM needs to upgrade their switchgear, but it was hardly a negative. Certainly worth consideration without regards to price. With the price difference, it’s just too hard to beat.

  8. Hey Dan, sorry we missed you. As you can tell from the previous comment, we didn’t do too much, but enough to see that the CTS-V is very nice. The manual shifter and clutch were especially nice as well, of course, as the 556 ponies and 551 lb-ft of stump-pulling torque. Nothing quite like pressing the skinny pedal and having your helmet make a dent in the headrest.

    The performance of the car was outstanding. The fit and finish looked respectable as well. I think GM needs to upgrade their switchgear, but it was hardly a negative. Certainly worth consideration without regards to price. With the price difference, it’s just too hard to beat.

  9. In the current climate these should be available for lower prices than they otherwise would have been. Looking forward to driving one myself.

  10. In the current climate these should be available for lower prices than they otherwise would have been. Looking forward to driving one myself.

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