Review: 2011 Cadillac CTS-V Sportwagon Black Diamond Edition

Posted on 13. Apr, 2011 by in Auto News

I firmly believe that it is more fun, a (relatively) slow compact hatch faster than a big, fast car to drive well below its potential. I remain confident that anyone offer a car with five doors and rear-wheel drive, which weighs less than 3,000 pounds. (I'd say under £ 2,700, but that's clearly a pipe dream.) Then put a Cadillac CTS-V in my driveway for a week. A car with a manual transmission and no less. The Cadillac has even ensured such a combination of respect. The lure of the dark side has never been stronger.


The stealth fighter-inspired design of the second generation CTS remains polarizing, if less than the original. Love it or hate it, the car looks suitable for the role. This particular CTS-V Wagon makes no attempt to hide their evil intentions. A "Black Diamond Edition" is, in glistening black lacquer and studded with "satin graphite" wheels. The all-black look (save the giant yellow calipers) makes the car look like a development mule, but I do not doubt its appeal for some people. Given the intended look, but why not go all the way with a matte black finish for the body and the wheels? Some people (certainly not including myself) do not care for the car lines, but no one will deny that they are distinctive and clearly communicate a sporty intent.

When the 2008 CTS was introduced, the interior was the best GM had offered. The "cut and sewn" padded leather on the dashboard and the upper door panels seemed particularly high quality. But GM and the rest of the industry who push forward, and given the V $ 60,000 + price tag of the car is not quite up to snuff. In the V of satin trim of the regular CTS has been replaced by black piano lacquer, and this not so well with the other pieces. With shiny black plastic, black-stained wood and matte black plastic run side-by-side full rel the center console is just too much. One of the two decorative elements must be either reduced or eliminated. I did not care for the flimsy, overly plasticky feel of the door pulls and again in 2007 (and referred to this aspect of the design at NAIAS). Remarkably, has recently developed Coupé better door handles. Finally, the dash-to-door fits uneven and, as in the sedan, the parts of the rear seat fit together poorly.

Under Harley Earl and Bill Mitchell, then, GM continually strives to his limousine deeper and deeper. They would not be approved by the CTS. In order to provide good sight lines on the high trim, the seat height is a few inches larger than the conventional standard. While I had the VI drove a few Panamera, and the contrast with the much lower, much wider Porsches is striking. In his defense, Cadillac is in no order, a limousine or (in this case) a car feel so much like a sports car as it can be. Instead of the relatively high perch, the CTS feels confident and powerful.

The optional Recaro seats in other Vs are standard in the Black Edition. (A salesman told me that he has rarely seen a V without them anyway.) Unlike most other GM cars will keep their seats four-way lumbar support adjustments. Unfortunately, these adaptations of little value as the lumbar bulge is too tight and sticks in the lower back, rather than supporting it. To avoid this unpleasant feeling I put the loins, to do as little as possible. Despite these shortcomings, I would Recaros for the lateral support, they offer advice. Both the thigh and side cheeks can be adjusted to provide a tight fit. A "sueded" cover on the steering wheel and gear is a $ 300 option. I enjoyed the feel of the shifter, but never quite got the fuzzy steering wheel used.

Curiously, the high seating position does not translate into a comfortable forward position back seat. The pillow feels small and, like most, it is too low. Although the BMW 3-Series, Audi A4, and so on do not do better, the CTS is almost as big as a 5-series. Cargo area of the car has also not expansive, but a power liftgate provide easy access. A floor that can be used as a cargo organizer, effectively inhibits food during aggressive maneuvers. Interior storage is totally inadequate. My super-zoom camera (styled like a DSLR, but not so great) fit in any glove compartment or center console, both of which are overly compartmentalized. Consequently spent much of the week sliding passenger footwell.

Any defects covered by the spirit once the supercharged 6.2-liter V8 is awakened with a push button. With 556 hp at 6,100 rpm and 551 foot-pounds of torque at 3,800 RPM, it is more than a match for the CTS-V wagon substantial £ 4,398. Acceleration traction is limited at low engine speeds, and in particular, when the vehicle with winter tires (as this was) attached. Fortunately, it is not difficult to modulate the throttle and achieve reasonably drama-free start. The first-generation CTS-V suffered from severe wheel hop. To solve this problem to GM equipped half-waves of different mass on the new car. These vibrate at different frequencies when the full wrath of the V8 subjected.

At any speed, the V8 strongly and immediately react in a manner that only a large engine can. And yet it is not feeling so amazing how quickly hit the power figures it should. As a passenger remarked, "it feels like only about 450 hp." The car is a basic empty weight. Falling yields are different. The engine produces more power than the tires at low speeds to transfer. To realize the full potential of the V for the added cost would have far to drive over the legal limit.

But the unexpected improvement of the engine is the primary cause. The supercharger provides boost so smoothly that the engine does not even increase the feeling. In naturally aspirated form, the Camaro GM may sound 6.2-liter V8 as it is on the brink of self-destruction. These raw sounds were successfully suppressed in the CTS-V, so only a mild burble at low rpm, some pleasant mechanical sounds in the middle and a subdued roar at the top end. Cruising on the highway the exhaust is barely audible, what you hear matches the character of the car and does not begin to irritate. Some people will want for an expressive motor, but I fear that the result would be something in the Camaro. If the engine does not cry sweet, better that it did not scream.

Under full load, there is a strong rush to the redline, but not a surge protector or sense of a peak. Instead, if you're not paying attention, it is very simple, the limiter intervenes only 100 RPM past beat hp peak output. It is not to be taken lightly, as it is not possible to observe simultaneously both the modest-sized tach and the street. The CTS-V really needs a head-up display (HUD) is in the Corvette and even some pedestrian offered GM vehicles like the GMC Acadia and Buick LaCrosse. Barring that, a RX-8-like beep when 500 RPM would work just before the redline also. As is, the LEDs start to blink the tach needle movement on the track at 5,200 RPM, but if you have not already watched the tach you have not noticed.

That the peak power as close to the redline suggests that the motor could be much stronger if it could only rev higher. In the Corvette ZR1, white titanium intake valves and connecting rods allow a 400 RPM bump. Add a pound-and-a-half lift of V nine, and the result is 638 hp. And even then, the power peak is 100 RPM is nearing redline. Decommissioning at 100 hp per liter, V-engine is not just work hard. Unlike more high-strung engines, it should last forever with proper care.

The shifter is not a problem. A big improvement over that in the first generation CTS-V, it has a satisfactory level cloudiness and snicks notch with a moderate amount of effort and good accuracy from gear to gear. Given the limited traction at low speeds and low redline, it's no surprise that the Tremec six speeds are high. First 48 runs, second to 72, third to 99 You are also located close to spread at a rate of only 4.2 between the first and sixth (vs. 5.3 for the Aisin in the regular CTS and 8.0 for the seven-speed S-Tronic in the Audi S4) . The big V8 turns a little over 2,000 RPM at 70 At this speed, downshifting is rarely necessary.

The clutch does not feel heavy when you stop at traffic lights, where you can sit and relax neutral. This said, after he put a couple of days in the VI almost my left foot down the hallway in my Mazda Protege5. My heel-toeing skills are not what they should be. No matter-positioned with the gas pedal is much lower than the brake pedal, it is not a possibility in the V anyway. This huge yellow calipers are not only stops to show the CTS-V as best we can, and with a pleasingly solid pedal feel.

Fuel consumption? Now, even more than in other cars depends on how you ride. During a particularly hard line on-board computer drive reported a little more than seven miles per gallon, and often less than ten. On the other hand, if the V hypermiling over a few miles south, where my red light was good karma, I noticed 22 (compared with 26 in a Lexus IS-F). I noticed the same 22 in steady highway driving. When driving the V like a normal car in the city I observed 12 to 16 depending on the frequency of complete stops, the support of the EPA city rating of 14.

My observations about ride and handling must be qualified for the tested car was wearing Pirelli winter tires that are probably squishier than the stock Michelin PS2s. This said, the steering, while still numb compared to a Panamera has a direct feel than the regular CTS. The feedback from the footprints tickles attentive fingertips. Press the button on the steering wheel, stability control active "StabiliTrak Competition Mode", and tightens the steering, while the electronic nannies are relaxed. But the resulting feeling of wood makes the car feels heavier and less agile improve without too much for feedback.

There is no need to rely on your fingertips anyway. The V preferably as a blunt instrument to be driven, but paradoxically a blunt object, which can be driven with precision. You can throw it hard into a turn with confidence where it go. Guide straight through a turn with your fingertips? Save that. For a different kind of car As in other rear-wheel drive GM cars, the seat of the pants will tell you pretty much everything you need to know. The chassis feels so natural and power oversteer builds so progressive that the V can be driven from the gut. The pivot point feels its right under the driver's seat.

Immerse yourself in a completely turn off the gas, and the V under control (although likely less on its stock tires). Slightly increase slightly resembles the chassis and the desired degree of oversteer can be called at will. The stability control seamlessly manages oversteer if you go too far. (Select the "Competition Mode" all or turn off the nanny, and it becomes clear how well the system works.) Manages understeer more intrusive.

The Magnetic Ride Control shocks, GM innovation now from Audi and Ferrari busy, very quickly adapt to the road. Since the shocks. Quickly through their full range in either "Tour" or move "sport", the difference between these two modes is not night and day In "Sport" body movements and roll are a little more cautious, and the ride is a little more abrupt. In each mode, the V is not nearly feel as hardcore as his appearance suggests and performance. Also in the "sport" mode, there is a modest amount of roll when cornering. On the other hand the car ride quality is actually better than my father's regular CTS with the mid-level suspension, and much better than in some other cars in the class (the Infiniti G37 especially comes to mind). The car is worth living even frightening to the terrible roads around Detroit.

Can a $ 69,490 car a bargain? A similarly equipped BMW M3 lists for about $ 2,500 less. Adjusted for differences in function with True Delta car price comparison tool, the gap under $ 1,000. This decision will not come at the price. Rather, power vs. precision. In the city of Cadillac has stronger immediate reactions and then go to usually more fun, but the BMW has a more precise feel. To get similar performance in a BMW, you have to. Step up to the next even heavier M5, which will probably cost about $ 100,000 If you are looking for a car-well, no one else is currently offering an ultra high-performance estate in the U.S., if you count the Panamera. And if you ask the price of the Porsche …

All these details are not fully capture the essence of driving the V. It is simply intoxicating, the immediacy and intensity with which the engine responds to predictable competence and willingness of the chassis, all without any significant drawbacks save thirst for premium unleaded and the threat to their own license. On top of this, the whole experience was seamless cohesion that is rarely found in non-European cars. It is certainly possible to drive the V casual. If not, the V drives like a normal car pushed out without unwanted noise, nervousness, or heat. It's almost too easy. Your grandmother could drive one and have never had a clue about the potential of the machine. But if you scanned this potential, the V stimulus to hard to resist. All those extra pounds? Forgot. The only thing that saved me: they insisted the car back at the end of the week.

Cadillac provided the vehicle, insurance and one tank of gas for this review.

Michael Karesh operates True Delta, an online source of automotive pricing and reliability data.