It’s outrageous, yes, although modestly so next to some of Cadillac’s more extravagant creations, and a follow-up to the previous, well-meant but troubled CTS-V saloon.
What’s not modest, however, is 556bhp of supercharged 6.2-litre V8 that sits beneath the bonnet of the coupe, saloon and Sport Wagon variants of the car, and a chassis said to have been pummelled into shape by months of lapping around the Nürburgring. And the word from the far side of the Atlantic is that this CTS-V really does deliver.
Get past the wide-opening, frameless doors, with their hidden touch-pad releases, snuggle into a deep-walled Recaro, loose off the starter and clasp that wheel as you hear the V8 pulse into life. It doesn’t sound like Detroit performance iron; there’s a beat, but it’s not window-rattling.
You grasp that gearlever connected to the six-speed manual ’box (there is, of course, an automatic version, too), feel heavy-metal precision as first is engaged, let out the clutch and… within yards you know that this car is serious. There’s no rubbery twist in the torque-tensed driveline, no creak from the shell or its fittings, and the ride feels promisingly muscular without turning turbulent.
The first clear bend, and it’s wet; you tickle the throttle and feel the rear end spasm like a hose twitching with pressure. The traction control neatly checks the torque – all 551lb ft of it – and the CTS-V holds its line, surging forward as traction is restored.