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SUPERSONIC TRANSPORT SEDAN

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 Sun, Oct 1, 2006

By: The LACar Editorial Staff

© All photos by Harvey Schwartz

SUPERSONIC TRANSPORT SEDAN By Harvey Schwartz

The all-new Cadillac STS-V once again puts a Cadillac sedan at the top of the list of best-looking, best-performing and most luxurious of American four-door sedans. The V-series STS model is a quantum leap above the regular Cadillac STS, with bolder looks, a 469 horsepower, supercharged V8 engine, a six-speed transmission with three drive modes, a performance-tuned independent suspension, and great stopping power with Brembo brakes riding on 18-inch front and 19-inch rear wheels and tires. The ride is tight as a drum with no noise, vibration or harshness. The interior is impeccable with hand cut and sewn leather on the dashboard, dashboard shelf and door trim from Draexlmaier of Germany, the same company that supplies the interior for the Mercedes-Benz Maybach limousine.

All the bases are full and Cadillac hits a home run. When I'm driving, I feel part of the car like no other American built car before, fully enjoying every minute I have behind the wheel of the all-new STS-V. The STS-V is powered by a 4.4-liter supercharged and inter-cooled Northstar DOHC all-aluminum V8 engine with VVT. It produces 469 horsepower at 6,400rpm and 439 pound-feet of torque at 3,800 rpm, with 90 percent of its peak torque delivered between 2,200 and 6,000 rpm. Each engine is hand-assembled to exacting standards at GM's Performance Build Center in Wixom, Michigan, and is built from start to finish by a single expert craftsman. The powerful engine is mated to an all-new Hydra-Matic 6L80 six-speed automatic transmission with three drive modes. Setting it in Drive is like most regular transmissions with smooth gear changes - push the shifter from Drive to the right into Sport and the gear changes happen faster as long on you keep pressing down on the throttle. The third mode is Driver Shift Control where you leave it in Sport but are able to tap up shift or tap back to down shift, leaving it in gear to run up to redline (6,400 rpm) for optimal acceleration or deceleration. A limited slip differential helps put the power down on the pavement.

From a standstill, the STS-V rockets out to 60 mph in just 4.8 seconds - faster than any other American-made sedan, even faster than the Chrysler 300C SRT8 (which was my favorite sedan until I tested the STS-V). Top speed is limited to 155 mph, but the STS-V could top out at 185 mph absent the speed governor. The STS-V features numerous chassis enhancements for outstanding overall performance and a balanced ride. The chassis was developed and tuned on the Nurburgring in Germany - one of the world's great race tracks. The lowered chassis is connected to a fully independent performance-tuned suspension for increased and precise handling capability. Up front are aluminum upper and lower controls arms, performance-tuned coil-over Sachs monotube shocks with higher-rate coil-over springs and a hollow 36mm stabilizer bar. This performance-tuned suspension is keep rigid with a wide, black powder-coated strut tower brace. The rear suspension features a modified multi-link setup with higher rate coil springs, Nivomat performance-tuned load-leveling shocks and a hollow 24 mm stabilizer bar. The performance-tuned suspension manages tire and wheel masses and smooths out road imperfections. On the highway at triple-digit speeds the ride is rock solid, no noise, vibration or harshness at all. When turning at high speeds the car remains flat and in control. Standard traction control and Stabili-Trak work together to help you maintain control of your direction during severe maneuvers. You can of course turn both systems off for real spirited driving thrills.

The power-assisted rack & pinion ZF Servotronic II variable assist steering system, with separate oil cooler, is a great match for this performance suspension - easily guiding you on your chosen direction with pinpoint accuracy. It gives you great feedback from the road, and has a performance-tuned 17.2:1 ratio for very quick response to your inputs. The new STS-V stops as fast as it accelerates, thanks to massive Brembo brakes - the choice of many high-performance manufacturers. Up front are 14-inch vented rotors, and in the rear are 14.3-inch vented rotors with four-piston calipers at each wheel. Standard ABS ensures you maintain control during hard braking on wet or dry pavement, while Brake Assist helps put more power behind your foot. The STS-V rides on giant 18X8.5 front, and 19X9.5 rear, aluminum alloy, six-lug wheels that are wrapped with 255/45ZR18 extended mobility Pirelli high-performance tires up front, and 275/40ZR19 Pirellis in the rear. The interior of the new STS-V is just as high-class as the performance. It features extensive use of leather wrapped surfaces, created by German craftsmen who cut, wrap and sew leather around components individually. Kinetic aluminum accents adorn the leather wrapped, three-spoke, power tilting/telescoping/heated steering wheel and instrument panel. The interior features deep-tinted Olive Ash Burl wood accenting the center stack and door trim. The center console features dual cupholders, a beautiful chrome stick shifter with leather and wood top, cigar lighter and ash tray plus a two-tiered storage bin with a 12-volt power plug. The 14-way power adjustable and heated leather front bucket seats, with suede inserts, are very comfortable and very supportive for spirited driving fun and on long trips. The rear seats feature heated outboard seating positions and a pull-down armrest with dual cupholders. All switches, dials and levers are within easy reach and fully illuminated for safe nighttime driving. The interior is world-class in everyway.

The STS-V exterior styling exudes higher performance, yet is elegant and sophisticated. Highlights include a larger, polished stainless steel wire mesh front grille that enables the required additional airflow for engine heat dissipation, a new lower front fascia that incorporates a larger lower grille, also wire mesh, for increased cooling capacity, brake ducts for front caliper and rotor cooling, and a splitter to counteract lift created by the larger grille opening. In the rear, a new lower wire mesh opening facilitates smooth airflow under the car, three-inch-wide chrome tipped dual exhaust, and vertical LED lamps. On the sides, lower rocker panels visually bridge the lowered front and rear fascias. A special, fluidly sculpted hood is designed to provide space for the engine's supercharger. The ten-spoke, flangeless, painted aluminum alloy wheels assist in brake cooling and a higher, more rearward-positioned spoiler mounted at the end of the trunk-lid enables balanced aerodynamic downforce with the front splitter. Cadillac's V-series badging on the rear decklid and front doors, and 'Supercharged' block-lettering on the doors let other drivers know that you are driving a high-performance sedan. Standard equipment not mentioned above include multi-driver memory settings, cruise control, remote start, push-button start from the inside, keyless entry, Bose 5.1 studio surround sound with in-dash six-CD player and nine speakers, GPS navigation, XM Satellite radio, universal home remote, all windows with one-touch power up/down, automatic door locks, rain-sensing, variable speed wipers/heated washers, power-remote/ folding/self-dimming and heated side mirrors, electro-chromic rearview mirror with outside temperature and compass direction, dual-zone automatic climate control with air filtration, grab handles above each door, front map lamps and rear reading lamps with theater dimming, and thick-cut pile carpeting with floor mats.

Safety features include OnStar hands-free communication, driver/front passenger front and side airbags, head curtain side impact airbags for the front and rear compartment, three-point safety belts for all outboard seats with front pretensioners/load limiters, tire pressure monitor, Driver Information Readout, daytime running lamps, HID headlamps, fog lamps, ultrasonic rear park assist and theft deterrent system. Looking at the list of superlatives you know that this is a great looking, great performing and ultra-luxury four-door sedan. And it is from Cadillac - fulfilling its promise to turn its product line around from just ordinary luxo vehicles to some of the worlds greatest. This new STS-V is proof of its success. Production is limited, and the car comes complete with a price of $74,270, plus a gas guzzler tax of $2,100.00, then a destination charge of $720.00 for a total of $77,090.00. The STS-V is competing against the new BMW M5 and Mercedes-Benz E55 AMG sedans which are both priced in the high $80,000.00 to $90,000.00 price range, a real bargain in the ultra-performance and ultra-luxury segment. You better hurry to your local Cadillac dealer before they are all gone.

© Words and pictures by Harvey Schwartz SUMMARY JUDGMENT Faster than a speeding bullet, and more powerful than a stage full of amplifiers at a Led Zeppelin concert. For more information on Cadillac products, go to www.cadillac.com.

SPECIFICATIONS Name of vehicle: Cadillac STS-V Price of vehicle: $74,270.00 base, $76,370.00 loaded Engine type: 4.4-liter supercharged Northstar DOHC V8 Horsepower: 469 at 6,400 rpm Torque: 439 pound-feet at 3,900 rpm Drive configuration: Front engine, rear-wheel-drive Transmission type: Six-speed, electronically controlled, automatic overdrive with torque converter clutch, clutch-to-clutch architecture with integral electro-hydraulic control module Front suspension: Independent, short/long arm, coil-over Sachs performance-tuned monotube shocks, 36mm hollow anti-roll bar Rear suspension: Independent, modified multi-links, coil springs, Nivomat performance-tuned load-leveling shocks, 24mm hollow stabilizer bar Wheels/tires: Front-18X8.5 aluminum alloy wheels with six lugs/255/45ZR18 Pirelli Extended Mobility tires Rear-19X9.5 aluminum alloy wheels with six lugs/275/40ZR19 Pirelli Extended Mobility tires Brakes: Brembo high-performance vented, cast-iron discs with four-piston calipers all-around Front - 14-inch/Rear - 14.3-inch. Enhanced with ABS, Traction Control and StabiliTrac Overall length: 197.6 inches Overall width: 72.6 inches Overall height: 58.2 inches Curb weight: 4,294 pounds EPA mileage specs: 14 mpg/city, 20 mpg/highway 3-60 mph: 4.8 seconds

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