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Car Tech Video: 2011 Cadillac CTS-V Coupe
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Car Tech Video: 2011 Cadillac CTS-V Coupe

6:36 /

We drive a Cadillac with the heart of a Corvette

556 horsepower, 0 to 60 under 4 seconds, doorstop styling, all wrapped up in that baroque Cadillac Crest. Let's drive the 2011 Cadillac CTS-V Coupe and check the tech. Few cars represent how far a Cadillac has come in the last 15 years or so, more than the CTS-V. I'm not sure a car like this makes a hell of a lot of sense unless you spend time at the track. And if you do, I doubt a 4200-pound Cadillac gives you the smartest choice. But as an exercise in engineering, it's quite impressive. Cadillac didn't screw around when they brought this thing from concept to production. The thing we saw on the show circuit was basically this and everybody is breathlessly taken away and then they rolled out the production version and it's like, "Wait a minute, guys, you screwed up. That's the concept car." "Nope, that's the real one." Look a this roof line, just about flat enough, you could balance a billiard ball on it. They wouldn't roll it away, at least not in a hurry. This does not lift up by the way, just a little stubby trunk back here. This is really the styling statement about the Coupe and on the CTS-V that's much more audacious. You get this big 19s, in this case, with these optional black ones with yellow Brembo calipers. To keep it clean here, big slob-sided doors, those speak of brawniness. They've hidden the latches behind the door. There's a little peg you press there to open it up. Same thing on the inside. There's an electric button and in case that doesn't work, which it often didn't for me, there is an emergency pull down by the floor. I used it more often than I should've. Now one of the great crowd pleasers, of course, is Mr. Pinky Boo right here. When this 8-inch LCD is down, you get this really slick, kinda what is that? You know, 7 by 1-1/2 LCD helper screen for when you're not using them like 90% of the time you're driving. But when you do want full screen, you can hit that button and pop that up and it also pops up automatically when you're starting up the car. And here is where you get all the goodies. Let's take a look at our navigation screen. It's very clear, good dot pitch better than GM cars have had until very recently. Destination entry is pretty simple. Again, this is a touch screen with nice big buttons. I appreciate that. And I found that while sometimes the response can be a little slow, at least the indication it gives you that you hit the button, that's quick. That's good enough to me. So if I hit a button here, I wanna know that I wanna get to my address book let's say. I see right off the bat that I get a color change even though it takes a moment for it to click over. And when you go to your media, you've got all your choices up here, AM, FM of course. No HD radio on this guy. XM is your satellite radio choice. Your CD and DVD slot are right up here. You can watch movies when you park. Hard drive, it's a 40 gigabyte hard drive installed on the car. And because you've got a hard drive, you can record your CD to it and under AUX, you've got access to all the stuff here in the glove box. Let's see. We've got a USB and an AUX jack there with a special double pigtail connected. Let's me hook up on iPod or iOS device. Anything in the audio system comes out of a standard Bose audio, 10-speaker, 5.1 surround system, pretty straightforward on this car. There's not a lot of ups or extras. But you may notice we have a 6-speed manual on this guy, which is more or less considered the default gearbox for this car, although a 6-speed automatic is available and it does trigger a rear camera. Not a lot of options on this guy. It is what it is, a single view. And another high in feature that is gonna come with your CTS-V, like it or not, are these Recaro seats. They go from being too skinny for anything but a lemur to sit in to just barely wide enough for a human who doesn't eat too many donuts to sit in. They're real skinny. We have the unfortunate [unk] Velour inserts. I think I'd skip that fast. Now, of course, if you buy a CTS-V without being obsessive about what's under this panel? You're a fool because this car is all about its engine. A 6.2 liter V8 is bad enough. But to add a super-charger, you got a wicked motor here. 556 horsepower, 551 foot-pounds of torque. It gives this 4208-pound car to 60 in under 4 seconds, like 3.9 with either gearbox. Now, you pay the price on the MPG. 14/19 with the manual. If that's not bad enough, get the automatic, then you'll be in 12/18 territory. And with either one, you're gonna pay a gas guzzler tax. But if you buy this car, I don't care you'd care. Oh, by the way, if this description makes you say, "Yeah, the little caddy has got that Corvette Z06 motor," it actually doesn't. It's a different motor. Okay, so what's it like to drive this big uncouth beast? Well, it's not all that uncouth, to be honest. In fact, driving around much of the time, you never lift the boost gauge off the peg. I mean it's a 6.2 liter V8. You don't always need boost to get going even at a good clip. But when you do, things open up rather alarmingly. Nice gearbox, nice clutch, nice and linear, very drivable. It's a very compact car inside. I never got over the feeling of being a little claustrophobic and, of course, since there's no lift-up hatch on this guy, there's nothing really practical about its fastback sloping roof form. So this is a car meant for kinda one purpose: a) showing off on Saturday night when you go to the clubs; or b) going off to track day; or c) getting some really fast freeway onramp approaches. CTS-V comes stocked with magnetic ride control. They're adaptive suspension, which goes from a tour mode to a sport mode with a push button. Similarly, leaning on this StabiliTrak button puts this car into competitive mode or takes the traction off entirely, which I don't recommend with 551 foot-pounds of torque. Okay, let's price this little flying doorstop of a demon, $64,300 for a CTS-V Coupe. Options are few. It's mostly loaded. 1300 bucks for the automatic. Oh, plus your mileage goes down so there's really a hidden cost there. You're not gonna do that. And 700 bucks for the sun roof that we don't need on a daylight today. That said, it's actually a pretty good deal for a car that doesn't really make a lot of sense.

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