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V FOR VENDETTA

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, Apr 29, 2006

By: The LACar Editorial Staff

CTS-V WITH A VENGEANCE By HAROLD OSMER

What possessed Cadillac to put a 400 horsepower LS2 Corvette engine into its successful midsized CTS sedan? And who thought up coupling that V8 to a Tremec 6-speed manual transmission? In a Cadillac? I want one of these. The CTS-V comes in fully loaded trim with exterior/interior color packages as the only true options available. Standard equipment highlights include full leather seats with suede center inserts, heaters, power memory position controls, and split-folding rears. The sunroof had an express open feature that was as simple to use as it should be. Power window controls also had an express option allowing a driver to fully open and close each window with one touch. A Bose® multi-disk CD changer AM/FM/XM 8-speaker stereo provides many listening alternatives for long or short trips. General Motors' intuitive navigation system works very well.

For all its bells and whistles, the CTS-V interior remains uncluttered. Missing are the faux wood trim, flashing lights, and other annoying gimmicks that would otherwise distract you from enjoying the driving experience. The large textured black dash and supple leather trim pieces reinforce the CTS-V's sporty, refined approach to transportation. Around town the CTS-V responds with agility and a willingness to please. Be careful where you point this car because that's exactly where it's going. Those of us accustomed to lesser vehicles will find this tendency to do as told a bit unnerving at first and amazing at last. Steering is light with adequate feedback. It's good fun to push this car to the point of flirting with StabiliTrak system engagement. Decent torque and rear wheel drive offer welcome controllability beyond any front-drive system. To repeat, I want one of these. Power is useful in virtually any gear at any reasonable speed. So long as the engine has not stalled and the clutch is out, the CTS-V will go. There is enough feedback rumble from the dual exhaust to keep you on your toes, but not so much as to be juvenile.

Over a 400 mile freeway excursion, the CTS-V proved itself to be as comfortable a car as one would expect from Cadillac. Gone is the mushy boat feeling from Cadillacs of old. Drivers beyond six feet two inches will have a tight fit, but the remaining 85% of the population won't have any trouble at all. After driving for several hours and making a brief pit stop, getting back into the CTS-V was a pleasure. In long possession of a reputation for building large, comfy cars, Cadillac has been working hard to shake its tired image of producing the "old man's car" and has offered up some terrific, evolving pieces over the past several years. If you've not driven a Cadillac lately, take a Saturday afternoon trip to your local dealer and treat yourself to a test drive. While there, check out the CTS-V. But be forewarned: you'll want one. - Harold Osmer SUMMARY JUDGMENT Cadillac's CTS-V won't be playing second fiddle to any other machine.

SIDEBAR COMMENT I guess there isn't a car out there that can't be improved upon with a healthy dose of power. The poster child for this theory sits before us. Only mad men like Doctor Frankenstein could imagine something this radical, this evil. Implanting an engine with 400 horses into the otherwise well-behaved CTS creates a monster. I can see it now, villagers everywhere gather with pitchforks and shovels to eradicate the unholy creation from the town. I can almost see the lightening in the background under a dark, rainy moonless night illuminating the castle, which houses the reborn and rebadged Cadillac as the new CTS-V. All the while the insane visionary that gave birth to this car is shaking both fists at the sky chanting loudly "It's alive". Okay, enough sci-fi. The Cadillac is truly transformed to a performance machine. The growling motor sounds intimidating without being obnoxious. The six-speed is easy enough to operate, and with so much power any gear is just fine almost regardless of speed. The lockout that forces the shift pattern from first to fourth is maddening until one is accustomed to it. While the interior still feels like entry-level luxury, the road going ability is up to snuff with any number of cars with performance pedigrees. There is a sweet pleasure watching pricier vehicles getting eaten alive by this car. Sadly this takes some of the thunder away from the Corvette, but even with the juice the CTS-V is endowed with it can't match the racecar moves that the low, lightweight Vette offers. The semi-subtle exterior changes such as the grill announce the arrival of the car to those who know what to look for. Everyone else who isn't up to speed on the latest offerings from the Cadillac division had best be on their toes, as something wicked this way comes! - John Grafman

For more information about Cadillac products, go to www.cadillac.com. SPECIFICATIONS Name of vehicle: 2006 Cadillac CTS-V, 4-door sports sedan Price: Base $50,675, as tested $51,395 Standard equipment: Sunroof, full leather seating, power front seats w/heaters and memory function, split-folding rear seats, cruise control, AM/FM/XM multi-disk CD changer with navigation system. Options include: NONE. Engine type: LS2 6.0L EFI V8, 10.9:1 compression, 6600 rpm redline Horsepower: 400 @ 6000 rpm Torque: 395 lb.-ft @ 4400 rpm Drive configuration: Rear wheel drive, All-speed brake and engine traction control StabiliTrack computer-controlled 4-channel stability control system Transmission type: Tremec T-56 6-speed manual Suspension: Front: Independent short/long arm, coil over dampers with anti-sway bar Rear: Independent modified multi-link with ant-sway bar Wheels and tires: 18 x 8.5 aluminum wheels, P245/45 R18 W-rated Goodyear Eagle F1 EMT (run-flat) Brakes: 4-wheel 14-inch discs with 4-piston Brembo calipers Steering: Power assisted rack-and-pinion steering Overall length/wheelbase: 190.1 inches/113.4 inches Overall width: 70.6 inches Overall height: 56.7 inches EPA mileage estimates City/ Highway: 15/23. 93 octane recommended

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