By David Colman
For: Can-Am car for the street
Against: Frequent gas buyer miles
Last Summer I was treated to a hot lap around Infineon Raceway’s 2.2 mile IndyCar short course in the works-prepared Cadillac CTS-V competing in SCCA’s World Challenge series. Driven by top GM racing pilot Andy Pilgrim, the CTS-V left an indelible impression on me of noise, heat and prodigious speed. So it was with whetted anticipation that I took delivery of a 2012 CTS-V for a one week test drive. Even that searingly hot lap around Infineon failed to prepare me for the boundless performance of this eminently streetable hot rod.
Under the hood, the bad Cad shares a detuned and downsized version of the motor used in the ultimate Corvette, the ZR1. In the case of the CTS-V, you get 6.2 liters of supercharged V8 good for 556 horsepower and 551 lb.-ft. of torque. You can order your V with either the 6-speed manual Tremec TR6060 gearbox, or the GM Hydra-Matic 6190, which also provides 6 speeds, plus steering wheel shift controls. Our test car’s Tremec manual operated flawlessly, with nicely spring loaded gates to guide you from slot to slot without missing a shift. With this much torque, you could probably get away with a 2 speed transmission, but the 6-speed manual is so rewarding to shift that you’ll find yourself chasing gears just for pleasure. Equally rewarding is listening to the sound of the powder keg V8 snorting its way through the rev range.