Cadillac's CTS-V is a road rocket
Cadillac’s sporty 2012 CTS-V is a Corvette wrapped up in crisp Cadillac sheet metal with a monster 6.2-liter V8 under the hood.
That’s not all. A supercharger gives it 556 horsepower, a 0-60 mph time of 3.9 seconds and, according to Cadillac, makes it the world’s fastest production sedan.The CTS-V is a road rocket that puts much of the midsize luxury sport sedan market to shame. The acceleration will push you back into its Recaro racing seats, a $3,400 option.
The silver test car came with a 6-speed automatic transmission, but this is a rare V8 model that also is available with a 6-speed manual. The manual no doubt will give you more control over the 551 foot-pounds of torque, but the automatic is quick and precise, so you won’t feel you’ve given up a lot by going that route.
Naturally power is only part of the story. CTS-V handles much as you’d expect an even pricier German sport sedan. Steering feel is moderately heavy, but the car turns into corners crisply and there is a smooth fluid feel to its handling that some sporty models lack. While the car weighs 4,255 pounds, it does not feel flabby. It’s more a sprinter than a defensive lineman.
Underneath is a four-wheel independent sport suspension with magnetic ride control. You get two settings, touring and sport. As their names imply, the touring is more tolerant of our crumbling and frost-heaved roads, while the sport setting is more of a track setting, firming up the suspension to a harsher ride than most of us would like.
The Cadillac rides on a long 113.50-inch wheelbase with power to the rear wheels, while stopping is facilitated by giant 6-piston Brembo brakes up front and 4-piston Brembos in back. Those were painted bright yellow, a $595 option, in the test car.A downside is that the CTS-V uses premium fuel – and a lot of it. The EPA rates it at 12 mpg city and 18 mpg highway. I managed just 14.8 mpg in about 60% highway driving. The car is subject to a $2,600 gas guzzler tax. The V starts at $63,215 and the test car hit $72,385. Yet that’s not out of line with BMW and Mercedes models with which it competes.
Inside, the V is good looking with a major race bent from its hard, but well contoured seats with their pneumatic bolsters to its metal pedals and full leather interior.
There is a power tilt/telescopic steering wheel and the seats are extremely supportive and come with two memory settings. There also are three-speed heated and cooled bottom and back cushions. While those seats are snug, there’s room to comfortably carry four adults and their luggage in the 14.0 cubic foot trunk.Dash design is fairly straightforward with everything easy to see and use.
Cadillac offers a full CTS lineup from a coupe starting at $38,715 to the base 3.0 sedan with a 270-horsepower V6, which starts at $35,915. There’s also a sport wagon that lists at $39,015. V models are available throughout the lineup, and the coupe is one of the more striking designs on the road today.