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This article is from our archives and has not been updated and integrated with our "new" site yet... Even so, it's still awesome - so keep reading!

Published on Sat, Dec 4, 2004

By: The LACar Editorial Staff

© All photos by Harvey Schwartz


Cadillac goes for ultra-high-performance and premium luxury with the introduction of the all-new 2005 CTS-V. The V is Cadillac's new designation for performance, and the CTS-V is its first model. The CTS-V is a real hot rod, aggressively styled and thrilling to drive. GM is serious about ultra-high-performance, and the General Motors Performance Division engineers and stylists are busy adding high-performance to each GM brand. Cadillac's new Art & Science styling philosophy of chiseled, dramatic lines is easily seen on the CTS-V, with added aerodynamic body enhancements found in other ultra-high-performance vehicles from Europe. The unique and aggressive front fascia's grille and lower air-intake are covered in polished stainless steel mesh, with the new Cadillac wreath prominent in the middle. The vertically placed headlamps are now more powerful with the addition of high-intensity discharge bulbs.

From the side, you see a long hood, steeply racked windshield, sleek greenhouse and short deck. Bulging wheel arches and lower side extensions add to the sexy silhouette and give the CTS-V a hunkered-down look. The power remote, heated, and self-dimming side mirrors are aerodynamically styled to help it cut through the air with a co-efficient of drag below 0.30. The rear fascia is also unique with big, wraparound vertical tail/brakes lamps and two big backup lamps on each side of the license plate surround. With a slight bulge out in the middle of the rear, it looks like a V as the CTS-V speeds by. The rear bumper has two horizontal scalloped lines and two polished stainless steel exhaust tips peering from under from each side. On the top-end of the deck lid cover is a lip spoiler to help increase down force and keep the rear well planted during high-speed driving. The look is almost as dramatic as the front. Specific V badging is found on the front fenders and rear. The all-new CST-V looks fast, is fast, and is going head-to-head with the best from Europe.

The unitized welded-steel frame has a rubber-isolated front cradle and rear suspension member to give the CTS-V extraordinary torsional rigidity for ultra-high-performance speed and handling, as well as a smooth, compliant ride. All body panels are made from fully galvanized steel sheet metal. Under the skin is where the performance begins, and that first starts with intake and exhaust systems designed specifically for the CTS-V. The 5.7-liter, all-aluminum, pushrod V8 is the same LS6 V8 engine used in the Z06 Corvette. The output is detuned to 400 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 395 pound feet of torque at 4,800 rpm, versus the Z06's 405 horsepower/400 pound feet of torque. The only transmission offered is a slightly modified version of the Corvette's Tremec T56 six-speed gearbox, (with 1-4 skip shift), and works with a clutch-type limited slip differential and 3.73:1 final drive to put the rear-wheel-drive power down on the road. When everything is hooked up right, the CTS-V can rocket out to 60 mph from a standstill in just 4.6 seconds. Top speed is 163 mph.

The handling is breathtaking, underpinned with a unique fully independent suspension system that hugs the road during high-speed straight-line driving, and when maneuvering through high-speed turns. Up front, the aluminum control arms remain unchanged from the standard CTS, but shock stiffness increases while diameter grows from 36 mm to 46 mm. The Performance Division adds stiffer coil springs and a larger 26.6 mm hollow stabilizer bar that helps cope with the CTS-V's higher 3,850 pounds curb weight. A steel strut tower brace adds rigidity, and is further enhanced with a front cradle that is hydroformed with thicker-gauge steel, and the use of welded steel gussets that reinforce key stressed areas. The rear cradle, shocks, coil springs, and anti-roll bar are similarly upgraded, though shock diameter is unchanged from that of the base CTS. However, the CTS-V's standard, self-leveling Sachs Nivomat shock absorbers have internal pumps that automatically adjust spring and damper rates based on suspension load and road conditions. GM's Performance Division tuned the speed sensitive, power-assisted, rack & pinion steering system to be more responsive to driver inputs and give a better feel for the road. Making your ability to challenge the outer limits of the CST-V's performance is made easy with the four-mode StabiliTrak traction and stability system. The magnetic ride control found elsewhere in the Cadillac line is not offered with the CTS-V. In the default mode, the StabiliTrak leaves traction and stability control in full effect. Push a steering wheel-mounted button once to cancel traction control, push it again within five seconds and activate the competitive mode, meaning that your right foot is your only wheelspin sensor and reduces the amount of stability control. If you really feel confident, hold the button for five seconds to cancel both traction and stability assist and let the rear hangout, then just lift your foot off the throttle to get back in line.

Quickly and safely slowing the CTS-V down from speed are powerful Brembo brakes, 14-inch vented rotors with four-piston calipers at each wheel. The car stops in just 121 feet from 60 mph to 0 mph. The power disc brakes are enhanced with ABS, Electronic Brake Force Distribution and Brake Assist. That's ultra-high-performance done right! The CTS-V rides on big, wheel-well stuffing Goodyear 245/45ZR18 F1 Run Flat radial tires. These ultra-high-performance tires wrap around sporty, 7-spoke 18X8.5 aluminum alloy wheels. What a package to look at and drive with exhilaration. The CTS-V is the fastest and best handling Cadillac ever. On the inside, the CTS-V has more performance oriented styling. The power-assisted, leather-trimmed front bucket seats are more supportive with thicker side bolstering and suede inserts to better keep you in place during spirited driving. The beefy and tilting, leather wrapped steering wheel feels great in your hands and contains push buttons for the audio system, Driver Information readouts and the traction-stability control systems.

A genuine aluminum plate fits over the 3-spokes of the wheel, while the door trim has real brushed aluminum pulls and door handles. The VDO instrument cluster gauges are easy to see and have aluminum bezels. The big 180 mph speedometer and 8,000 rpm tachometer have LED readouts that you can scroll through with a push of a button. The speedometer has readouts for oil pressure, engine coolant temperature, psi inflation monitor for each tire and a unique lateral acceleration readout that lets you know how many g's your are pulling in a turn. GM says that the CTS-V can pull over .90 g's. The tachometer has a readout for speed, odometer and trip mileage. The stick shifter is perfectly placed but there should be a hand brake at its side. You cannot safely operate a manual stick shift automobile using a foot-activated brake. What happens on a hill when you are in traffic? I'm sure that residents of San Francisco and other hilly cities will not appreciate the foot activated parking brake. This fact is a major mistake and should be changed as soon as possible. I liked the center stack that protrudes out and is also canted to you giving an easier reach to the controls for the AC/heater, premium Bose Audio System and navigation system. All other important buttons, dials and levers are within easy reach and illuminated for safe nighttime driving. The rear bench seat is comfortable and gives excellent legroom but is short on headroom for six-footers. The 60/40 split bench seat backs fold forward to enlarge the cargo capacity of the CTS-V for long weekend trips. The CTS-V is still a Cadillac, and comes with the latest in comfort, convenience and luxury. It is an everyday driver even though it is an ultra-high-performance vehicle.

Safety of occupants is import and every CTS-V comes standard with front supplemental airbags, side airbags and front to rear head-curtain side-impact airbags, 3-point safety belts at each seating position with pretensioners and load limiters up front. Daytime Running Lamps let other vehicles know where you are at all times and strong fog lamps enhance front illumination at night and in inclement weather. The door locks activate at 10 mph and unlock when the key is pulled from the ignition. There are rear child security door locks and the LATCH child seat anchors in the rear. The CTS-V comes with remote keyless entry, HomeLink to open you garage door, front gate, and turn on your house lights. The ONSTAR System enhances your safety, security and communications ability. The all-new 2005 Cadillac CTS-V is Cadillac's fastest and best performing car ever. It packs all the performance to keep any enthusiast happy in a package with unique, aggressive styling, and the utmost in comfort, convenience, luxury and safety inside. The CTS-V is ready and able to go head-to-head with the best from Europe and Asia.

© All text and photos by Harvey Schwartz

For more information on Cadillac products, go to More photos from Harvey Schwartz can be found at SPECIFICATIONS Name of vehicle: 2005 Cadillac CTS-V Price: $49,300.00 plus $1,300.00 gas-guzzler tax. Engine type: 5.7 liter, OHV, V8 with aluminum block and aluminum heads. Horsepower: 400 at 6,000 rpm Torque: 395 lb.ft. of torque at 4,800 rpm Drive configuration: Front engine/rear-wheel-drive Transmission type: Tremec T56 6-speed manual transmission with 1-4 skip shift at light throttle Front suspension: Upper and lower control arms, 46mm gas-charged shocks, coil springs, stabilizer bar Rear suspension: Upper and lower control arms, gas-charged Sachs Nivomat shocks, coil springs, stabilizer bar. Wheels/tires: 18X8.5 7-spoke aluminum alloy wheels, 245/45ZR18 Goodyear F1 run-flat radial tires Brakes: Front: 14 in. vented rotor, 4-piston calipers Rear: 14 in. vented rotor, 4-piston calipers Standard ABS, Electronic Brake Force Distribution, Brake Assist Overall length: 191.5 in. Overall width: 70.6 in. Overall height: 57.3 in. Curb weight: 3,850 lbs. EPA mileage: 15mpg/city, 23mpg/highway 0-60mph: 4.6 sec. 0-100mph: 12.1 sec. 60-0mph: 121 ft.

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