• The Cadillac CTS-V Is The Camaro ZL1 For Gentlemen

    Meet the third-gen Cadillac CTS-V
  • Large Grille and Heat Extractors
  • Carbon Black Package - $6,950
  • Aerodynamic Fascia
  • Sporty Rear End
  • Aggressive Exhaust Rumble
  • 8-inch CUE infotainment system
  • Navigation
  • Difficult HVAC Controls
  • Seats are fully adjustable
  • Plenty of room in the back
  • Rear passengers get HVAC too
  • Swanky digital instrument cluster
  • G-meter, Lap timer, and PDR
  • On-board HD Camera
  • Impressive Interior
  • Aluminum 6.4-liter LT4 V-8
  • 640 Horsepower
  • 630 Pound-feet of Torque
  • 0-to-60 in 3.7 seconds
  • Quarter-mile in less than 12 seconds
  • Topspeed: 200mph
  • Eight-speed auto with paddle shifters
  • Blast to Drive
  • $86,990

High horsepower for the debonair

Cadillac ain’t the automaker it used to be – and that’s a very good thing. Gone are the days of dull, heavy land yachts. The modern Cadillac brand is a swanky New York City-based company with an eye peeled for vogue, high-end luxury and power. It’s no wonder then why Cadillac’s third generation of CTS stands apart from anything in the General Motors fleet. However, GM is known for sharing engineering between its divisions, and the CTS-V is no different. It shares its Alpha platform with the current Chevrolet Camaro, along with its mighty heart, the supercharged 6.2-liter LT4 V-8. It’s safe to call the CTS-V a four-door Camaro ZL1.

But the CTS-V is more than a reshaped Camaro ZL1. Naturally, Cadillac had to add some luxury and refinement to its Alpha beast. As such, you’ll find real carbon fiber and microfiber suede accenting large swaths of the cabin, hidden compartments actuated by electric motors, 16-way Recaro front seats, a massive panoramic moonroof, and GM’s Performance Data Recorder to capture all the action at the autocross circuit. There’s actually room for four adults inside, too, or five if times are desperate. The trunk is ready for a trip to the golf range or grocery store. The valley is also more likely to park your CTS-V out front since it looks like money incarnate. These are all things the Camaro ZL1 just isn’t built for. The ZL1 is a dedicated track monster that it’s still docile enough for everyday driving. The CTS-V is a Cadillac that just happens to have 640 horsepower, a 0-to-60 mph time of 3.7 seconds, and a 200-mph top speed. Oh, it’s also got seven heat exchangers to cool everything from the 1.7-liter root-type supercharger to the limited-slip rear differential. In other words, the Cadillac CTS-V is a gentleman’s version of the Camaro ZL1.

Continue reading for more on the 2017 Cadillac CTS-V.

It’s even sexier dressed in black and with the optional $6,950 Carbon Black Package

Just look at it – the Cadillac CTS-V is simply stunning. It’s even sexier dressed in black and with the optional $6,950 Carbon Black Package, which includes those exposed carbon fiber bits inside and out. The CTS-V’s wire-mesh grille, tall headlights with LED accents, those visible heat exchangers, and that carbon fiber hood vent all add to the flare. The double-spoke 19-inch wheels with Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires sized in 265/35 up front and 295/30 out back. That is narrower than the Camaro ZL1’s tire size, but the Caddy isn’t as susceptible to crab walking over uneven pavement, lending to its luxury roots. Don’t get me wrong, though, these tires were designed specifically by Michelin for the CTS-V and work very well at gripping the pavement. The Caddy will hold 1.00-g on the skid pad.

The Caddy also rides on GM’s Magnetic Ride Control system for a customizable ride that varies from firm to firm. The shocks are tied in with the Caddy’s four drive modes, each with a different setting tailored to each condition. There is Tour mode, which is the most docile and Cadillac-like. Sport is the fun mode for the street and the one I used most often. Track mode is exactly that, with the firmest setting and other vehicle parameters optimized for all-out performance. Then there is Ice/Snow mode that keeps the V-8’s 630 pound-feet of torque on a tighter leash so the rear tires don’t inadvertently become the front tires with too much throttle.

The Cadillac CTS-V Is The Camaro ZL1 For Gentlemen Exterior
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Quarter-mile in less than 12 seconds
The Cadillac CTS-V Is The Camaro ZL1 For Gentlemen Exterior
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Blast to Drive
In both Tour and Ice/Snow mode, the butterfly valves within the exhaust keep noise levels subdued, helping keep neighbors happy with early morning departures

These modes also modify the LT4’s active exhaust system. In both Tour and Ice/Snow mode, the butterfly valves within the exhaust keep noise levels subdued, helping keep neighbors happy with early morning departures. Both Tour and Track modes have these butterflies open, offering a nearly straight-pipe level of exhaust flow and noise level. Not only does this help the engine breath better, it does justice to how a V-8 should properly sound. Oh, it’s so good. The only problem is the CTS is almost too insulated from the exhaust noise, so even in the loud setting, you’ll have to turn the radio down and A/C fan to a lower setting in order to enjoy the euphonious bellows from the quad-tipped exhaust. Regardless of the drive modes, the exhaust can be manually programmed to be open or closed via the menu settings within the CUE infotainment system.

Cadillac also pumps some engine nose into the cabin via speakers, but rather than some fake computer soundtrack, there’s a microphone in the engine bay that pickup up the right noises. Though I can’t pinpoint exactly what sounds are coming from the speakers, the supercharger is the most audible sound when under heavy throttle.

The Cadillac CTS-V Is The Camaro ZL1 For Gentlemen Drivetrain
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630 Pound-feet of Torque
Of course, the Cadillac CTS-V isn’t the only blue-blooded American sedan with gobs on horsepower

Of course, the Cadillac CTS-V isn’t the only blue-blooded American sedan with gobs on horsepower. The Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat offers a tire-shreding 707 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque thanks to its similarly sized, supercharged 6.2-liter Hemi V-8. Like the CTS-V, the Hellcat is rear-wheel drive only and uses an eight-speed automatic to keep the revs turning right. There’s room for four people, or five in a pinch. And the Charger Hellcat has a respectable trunk. But that’s where the similarities outside of performance end.

See, at the end of the day, the Charger Hellcat is still a Charger, while the CTS-V remains a CTS. Where the Caddy boasts good fit and finish, the Dodge uses low-buck interior materials by comparison and has almost no prestige outside a swanky hotel. The valley will park your Hellcat in the garage, but hopefully not after joyriding it around the block. So, although Cadillac might not be happy with the comparison, you wouldn’t be amiss by calling the CTS-V a gentleman’s Charger Hellcat. And at the end of the day, many people would rather have a luxury-lined sedan with class than a performance-oriented Dodge with only 67 more horsepower.

The Cadillac CTS-V Is The Camaro ZL1 For Gentlemen Interior
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On-board HD Camera
The Cadillac CTS-V Is The Camaro ZL1 For Gentlemen Interior
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Seats are fully adjustable
And at the end of the day, many people would rather have a luxury-lined sedan with class than a performance-oriented Dodge with only 67 more horsepower.

The price points are in two different zip codes, too. A 2017 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat can be had around $70,000 with a few options selected. Picking up a 2017 Cadillac CTS-V is a costlier proposition. It starts at $86,000 and will crest around $103,000 with all the optional goodies ordered. Ouch. Then again, the Mercedes-AMG E63 S has a base price where the Cadillac leaves off, starting at $104,400 and soaring towards $130,000 with extras. Needless to say, there’s a high-performance sedan for almost everybody. It’s a great time in the automotive industry, isn’t it?

References

Cadillac CTS

2017 Cadillac CTS High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2017 Cadillac CTS.

2016 Cadillac CTS-V High Resolution Exterior
- image 599734

Read our full review on the 2017 Cadillac CTS-V.

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