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Cadillac CTS-V Coupe – A Force to be Reckoned With



Cadillac CTS-V Coupe: First Drive

This is a 556-hp, rear-wheel-drive Cadillac. It has two doors, six speeds, and enough grunt to yank the moon out of orbit. It is everything we are supposed to want in an American car. One question: Is it any good?

I have one word for you: Duh.

This is the Cadillac CTS-V coupe. It represents everything General Motors knows about building fast, enticing luxury cars. If you listen to the pundits, it is the most important vehicle to come out of GM in years, if only because it shows that the company is no longer asleep at the wheel, and that someone realizes that Cadillac should be building Truly Awesome Things.

Cadillac CTS-V Coupe: First Drive

Numbers, Numbers, Numbers

From a spec-sheet standpoint, what we have here is not new. The CTS-V coupe is a two-door version of the CTS-V sedan, and it shares that car’s wheelbase, powertrain, suspension, brakes, and just about everything else. The 556-hp, 6.2-liter supercharged V-8 carries over, as does the availability of a six-speed manual or automatic transmission. Driver-adjustable magnetorheological suspension, enormous Brembo brakes (15-inch front rotors, 14.7-inch rears), a limited-slip differential, and 19-inch alloy wheels wearing Michelin summer tires are standard. Compared with the ordinary CTS coupe, a few trim details change — the V gains a tall center brake light that doubles as a spoiler, gargantuan twin exhaust tips, optional Recaro seats, and tweaked interior bits come along for the ride — but these are minor details. At just over 4200 pounds, the V coupe is not light, but it weighs 37 pounds less than the CTS-V sedan and 15 pounds less than the CTS coupe.

Cadillac CTS-V Coupe: First Drive

And Now, the Thing You Probably Want to Know Most

The CTS-V coupe drives almost exactly like a CTS-V sedan.

What does that mean? This is what everyone else will tell you: Taut, compliant suspension. Steering that feels a bit heavy and numb on center but is surprisingly tactile and communicative. Lots of leather. An engine that pulls and pulls and pulls, regardless of rpm or load. Supportive, comfortable seats that fit asses large and small. Brakes that’ll yank your ears off your head. And an eye-catching, albeit occasionally gaudy, shape that stands out in traffic. Like the sedan, the coupe is a real car, an American take on the European grand tourer, a mean-ass hot rod dressed up for the opera.

Cadillac CTS-V Coupe: First Drive

Like the CTS-V sedan, the V coupe’s engine is a monster, a near-silent ball of seemingly endless fury and white light that lives under that sharply angled hood. It emits no discernible blower whine and only the slightest exhaust rumble, and it flings the car from horizon to horizon in a kind of subdued, throaty shove. Wind noise is next to nonexistent. According to GM, 60 mph comes up in 3.9 seconds.

Cadillac CTS-V Coupe: First Drive

What it All Means

Let’s not kid ourselves: As much as we would like to believe otherwise, this is not a world-changing car. The V coupe is a two-door version of expensive, fast, relatively thirsty four-door sedan, and it is not the sort of thing that the mainstream, non-enthusiast world is crying out for. Heck, for that matter, even the enthusiast world is likely to raise an eyebrow — the V coupe costs $62,990, and if you start thinking about the light, gutsy sports cars that chunk of change will buy, the Cadillac doesn’t make a lot of sense. But that’s probably not the point. It appeals to us, yes, but it also appeals to a certain kind of ordinary, non-hoon person. It appeals to the dude on the street.


Yesterday afternoon, I mentioned to a non-car-freak friend that I was going to drive a CTS-V coupe. He had one question: He wanted to know why the car existed. What, he asked does it offer that a Chevrolet Corvette doesn’t? Ignoring the obvious (a back seat, a trunk, my friend’s talent for asking stupid strange questions), his curiosity raised a good point: It may not make much sense to the enthusiast, but to the layman, the V coupe falls into that grand Cars That are Silly, Fast, and Expensive category, a broad umbrella that covers everything with more power and grip than the ordinary person needs. For a lot of people, the Crazy V-8 Power + Rear-Wheel Drive + General Motors equation equals Corvette, regardless of the details.

Cadillac CTS-V Coupe: First Drive 

It’s a great car.

More CTS-V coupe fun to come! Tune in next week for road-trips, added feature stories, and extra hoonage.

Photo Credits: Sam Smith/Jalopnik


July 9, 2010 - Posted by | Coulter Tempe, New Car Specials | , , , ,

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