There is an old saying in the performance business – ‘speed costs money, how fast do you want to go?’. Well, I have to say that it certainly holds true with the Cadillac CTS-V sedan I had the pleasure of testing. I have been fortunate enough to have grown up with performance cars, and driving them became second nature. But one thing I did learn was to respect the power you have at hand as it can easily get out of control.
Today’s fast cars are far better than those made “in the good old days.” The CTS-V is by far one of the best and most refined performance cars I have driven up to date. So, let’s get right to the heart of this car – the engine, a 6.2-litre supercharged V8 with 640 horsepower at 6,400 rpm and 630 lb-ft of torque at 3,600 rpm. What this means is that the CTS hurled me down the road at exciting speeds and took me there in a very controlled way.
Unlike fast cars of the past, the CTS’ electronic systems keep the driver in good control at all times, providing you respect the power at hand. This power can get a little out of hand in the wet if you push the car to the limits, but the traction control and the car’s limited slip rear will give you plenty of warning when things are going awry. On the track, the CTS-V will do 0 to 97 km/h in about 3.7 seconds, which I will easily agree with. The transmission is a smooth shifting eight-speed that is second to none.
On curvy roads like the Sea-To-Sky highway up to Squamish, the Caddy will hug the roads with plenty of confidence in good, dry conditions. Even in wet weather, and with some experience, the car will safely hold on.
One feature I also really liked about the CTS-V is the great steering feel from the Variable ZF electric unit. This electronic speed sensing unit varies the feel one gets at the steering wheel so you have great control at all times, in other words, just about perfect road feel at low to high speeds. One thing any fast car like the CTS-V has to have to make it a truly great handling car is powerful and responsive brakes. The car comes with large disc brakes, front and rear, with large Brembo calipers which have no problem slowing the car down in all conditions.
For the more practical side of things, the interior of the CTS-V is very inviting and a place that a driver will find very comfortable. My test car had the optional Recaro seats, which add a 20-way adjustable unit to make every driver happy, including my wife who usually doesn’t feel comfortable in performance seats.
Like all new high-end cars, the CTS-V is equipped with all the right features that are well-placed for driver comforts. The centre screen houses all the comforts like sound systems, Bluetooth, navigation and environmental controls.
All seemed to be fairly easy to work and use, except I found the navigation controls a bit tricky. As for truck space, surprisingly it was pretty good for a sporty car. I easily placed two suitcases in the back with plenty of room to spare.
I have friends that always ask “would you buy one?” In this case I would definitely say yes, if I had the budget for a car like this. When you compare other cars in this league, the CTS-V is well-priced at the $110,000 price tag my tester was worth. Trust me when I say that you would not be disappointed buying this Cadillac.
Motor: 6.2-litre V8 supercharged
Horsepower: 640 @ 6,400 rpm
Torque (lb-ft): 630 @ 3,600 rpm
Transmission: Eight-speed automatic
Layout: Front engine, rear-drive
Fuel economy: 16.5 L/100 km city 11.1 L/100 km highway