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When drivers fire up the STS-V's engine, they are met with an invitation to "Drive Fast"--something that this car makes it very easy to do. Its heavy steering and heavy frame may disqualify it from being a canyon-carver, but when up to speed, the 2006 Cadillac STS-V is about the most potent sedan this side of the BMW M5 in M Drive.

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Its 468-horspeower Eaton-supercharged Northstar V-8 engine makes the 2006 STS-V is the most powerful Cadillac ever to roll off GM's production lines. When pushed to its upper limits, the supercharged Northstar emits kazoolike engine notes accompanied by a high-pitched supercharger whine.

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The stereo plays both MP3 and WMA discs, and can support audio and video auxiliary inputs via three RCA jacks located in the center storage compartment. It will even play DVD videos when the parking brake is on.

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The navigation system can also be controlled using voice commands, which are initiated using a button on the left-hand side of the steering wheel. For specific voice commands, we were compelled to look in the manual, where we found the list of accepted formats for controlling the navigation system, the stereo, the Bluetooth hands-free calling interface, and the HVAC controls.

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Having fought our way through the city in automatic mode, we decided that a spell of manual shifting was the order of the day for the asphalt of the freeway, and we soon found out where this car is happiest. Having catapulted from 20 to 70mph in second gear along a freeway on-ramp, we were left scratching our heads at the sheer abundance of top-end power this car has.

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Voice commands also can be used to make phone calls via the STS-V's standard Bluetooth hands-free calling interface. Pairing our phone to the system was very straightforward using the CONFIG hard button on the head unit. Car and phone found each other immediately, and we were then able to make calls either manually via the touch screen keypad (which is curiously called up by pressing the AUX button); or by voice dialing (say "telephone enter" to prepare the system to receive spoken numbers).

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The STS-V's sumptuous eight-way power front leather-and-suede seats would double as armchairs in most family rooms, particularly with their built-in shoulder speakers.

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The 2006 STS-V scores high on digital audio capabilities; the car comes with an as-standard 15-speaker Bose 5.1 studio surround sound audio system complete with a 6-disc in-dash CD changer. The stereo plays both MP3 and WMA discs, and can support audio and video auxiliary inputs via three RCA jacks located in the center storage compartment.

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Rear-seat passengers in the STS-V get to control their own air-and seat temperature settings thanks to controls built into the center rear console.

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The V on the car's front fender and rear deck lid stands for Velocity, a moniker that the STS-V justifies with its electronically-limited 155-mph top-speed.

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Destinations are entered using a the touch-screen LCD display, and the STS-V's standard GPS navigation system provides clear turn-by-turn voice guidance. In addition to a street address, the system accepts destination entry via point of interest; intersection; or by entering a destination directly onto the high-resolution map.

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