Potent and accomplished V8 super-coupé. It’s a shame it’s left-hand drive only

Our Verdict

Cadillac CTS-V

The Cadillac CTS-V is a BMW M5-bothering executive super-saloon, but it is destined for rarity

  • First Drive

    Cadillac CTS-V Coupe

    Potent and accomplished V8 super-coupé. It’s a shame it’s left-hand drive only
  • First Drive

    Cadillac CTSV

    Emotive big sports saloon with real ability, but flawed and too expensive
Richard Bremner Autocar
19 October 2010

What is it?

A steering wheel and gearknob sheathed in suede? It can only go one of two ways: either this really is the road racer implied by that grippy, sweat-resistant material, or you’re sitting in a pretender to the grid of serious high-performance hardware, the suede a conceit likely to deliver disappointment. And, let’s be honest, it’s the second of these that’s more likely when we’re considering the new CTS-V Coupé.

After all, this is a Cadillac (stretch DeVille, anyone?), complete with chrome grille, flamboyant tail-lights and a rear window raked to letterbox-slot dimensions. It’s outrageous, 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 is 556bhp’s worth of supercharged 6.2-litre V8, and a chassis said to have been pummelled into shape by months of Nürburgring lappery. And the word from the far side of the Atlantic is that this CTS-V really does deliver.

What's it like?

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 manual gearlever, 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.

No point in tramping the throttle in wet bends. Instead, enjoy the precision of the steering, its subtle feel and the Cadillac’s surprising composure over bumps.

This suspension compresses and stretches with a supple firmness that should produce fewer reasons to slow over British B-roads. Rear-end grip may be precipitous – although it’s likely to be transformed on a dry road – but this car could go wheel to wheel with a BMW M6 and not be instantly outclassed. It’s certainly entertaining.

The weighty, measured and robust controls feel like they’ve been honed by those weeks at the ’Ring, the 6.2-litre Corvette V8 burbles with subtle, free-revving urgency, and the whole car has an aura of refinement that pleasingly counterbalances the Caddy’s scenery-ripping capabilities.

Flaws? Most obvious is left-hand drive (and the V’s obstructing brake booster makes a conversion too expensive to contemplate). Then there’s just a single, Manchester-based dealer – GM North America expert Bauer Millett – followed by thirst and a headroom-deprived back seat whose access is rendered hazardous by the trip-wire front seatbelts.

Others may find the CTS Coupé’s admirably bold style a bit much, but it certainly adds to its strong character. The interior is more conventional, but it’s well finished, neatly detailed, comfortable and impressively quiet at a cruise.

Should I buy one?

Cadillac describes its styling as a blend of art and science; this CTS-V adds muscle to the mix, and a thick slice of entertainment too. A shame it will stay rare.

Cadillac CTS-V Coupe

Price: £68,957; Top speed: 191mph; 0-62mph: 4.4sec; Economy: 18.4mpg (combined); CO2: 365g/km; Kerb weight: 1907kg; Engine: V8, 6162cc, supercharged, petrol; Power: 556bhp at 6100rpm; Torque: 551lb ft at 3800rpm; Gearbox: 6-spd manual

 

Join the debate

Comments
43

26 October 2010

What's with the positive reviews of the chrome filled American aberrations lately? The price is almost as ridiculous as the styling... A shame there will be a couple footballers/drug dealers that will actually buy it.

26 October 2010

[quote KArkhon]What's with the positive reviews of the chrome filled American aberrations lately? The price is almost as ridiculous as the styling... A shame there will be a couple footballers/drug dealers that will actually buy it.[/quote]

What's with regurgitiating the same old clichéd responses? Maybe these chrome filled Americans aberrations are actually good and that's why get positive news.

And maybe if actually you drove one before rushing to post your blinkered views, you'd think so too.

26 October 2010

[quote Overdrive]

What's with regurgitiating the same old clichéd responses? Maybe these chrome filled Americans aberrations are actually good and that's why get positive news.

And maybe if actually you drove one before rushing to post your blinkered views, you'd think so too.

[/quote]

thank you! at last someone else with half a brain who doesnt rush to the forums with negative points like a geek well done overdrive!

26 October 2010

The price remains a massive issue. It's hard to see too many ignoring an M3, a C63 AMG or a Lexus IS-F in favour of this. At £50,000 it would have stood a chance, but nearly £70k is just too big an ask.

26 October 2010

[quote KArkhon]The price is almost as ridiculous as the styling... [/quote]

I quite like Cadillac's current design "language" - it's distinctive without being outlandish. quite a feat compared with some manufacturers. I might be wrong, but isn't Cadillac's head of design either British or at least European?

26 October 2010

I like it because it clearly just doesn't give a shyte.

Price is irrelevant. What better than a Caddy next time Wayne goes cruising for some ho's?

(The clue is in where the lone dealer is based)

26 October 2010

The problem with the price is because its a import. Hence the higher price. I like this the same way I liked the saloon version. It won't sell in big numbers which is a shame as I think it looks a good car, and dare I say it - the americans are starting to catch up at long last!

The ford mustang (current version) is also a very good (I have driven it!) car and can be had for £40k - which does make this look a bit expensive.

26 October 2010

I actually think this car is not bad, not bad at all. I'm drawn to the styling, which I find aggressive as well as different from the default Audi/BMW/Mercedes, and the interior looks better than the average American car. Cannot deny it has superb performance figures which stand up to the best of the Europeans. Then again, with 550+ bhp, there'd be something wrong if it didn't.

Would not mind getting in one and seeing what it's all about

26 October 2010

As has been mentioned already, this car is simply too expensive to be any real success and the fact that it is a left hooker means that it will only be considered by car geeks and fans of Americana.

26 October 2010

[quote gazza5]The problem with the price is because its a import[/quote]

Exactly. I should think you can pick this up for around £35k in the US. Flying back from New York a few months ago I picked up an American car magazine to help break up the flight and I tell you, some of the cars and the money you pay for them are a real surprise.

I know their market demands are different but you even get little Kia's (that look a bit like the Civic saloons) with a 2.0 litre turbo engine, puts out a couple of hundred brake and costs only £12k!

The German cars are still expensive there but I'd say you can still save a third over UK prices. It makes interesting reading.

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