Review: 2014 Cadillac CTS 3.6L TT VSport Premium

Thursday May 22nd, 2014 at 9:55 AM
Posted by: D.Colman

By David Colman

Hypes: Vastly Improved Appearance, Superbly Comfortable
Gripes: Rear Wiper Needed

With the introduction of this second generation CTS, Cadillac has well and truly joined the ranks of the world’s elite producers of sports sedans. No more BMW M5 envy, no Audi S5 shortfall, no E Class Mercedes misgivings, the completely new CTS has hurdled the competition, and managed to do so for less money. V8 devotees can still buy the older style CTS-V this year, but if you’re after a “V” specification four door sedan, Cadillac offers only this twin turbocharged, 3.6 liter V6. Of course, compared to the 556hp supercharged V8 of the carryover CTS-V models, the 420hp V6 in the “CTS VSport” sedan may seem undernourished. On paper, that is. But out in the real world, the TT V6, coupled to a new 8 speed automatic transmission (unavailable in the CTS-V), is anything but feeble. First and best, when you flatten the accelerator, this sizeable luxury Pullman lunges forward, emitting an ethereal banshee wail from its spooled turbochargers. If you’ve selected manual shift mode by depressing the “M” button atop the stick shift lever, you can chose any appropriate gear ratio by clicking the large left steering wheel mounted magnesium paddle for down shifts or the matching right flipper for up shifts. The Cadillac transmission complies instantaneously, and does so while blipping the motor to match engine rpm to gear ratio choice on down shifts. The system is faultless save the need for a larger, centrally located gear indicator display in the driver information center.

Cadillac stylists have substantially improved the appearance of the new CTS compared to its predecessor. Gone are the original’s tired Origami folds, which looked revolutionary at introduction but shopworn today. The clean sheet design of the new sedan offers softer contours all around, with sweeping character lines defining the Cad’s newly elegant structure. Inside the spacious greenhouse, the look is all business, with black the predominant shade. Cadillac’s CUE (“Cadillac User Experience”) dash face is obsidian, slashes of carbon fiber grace the dash and door panels, and black vertically ribbed “performance” seats complete the Johnny Cash look. The medley works remarkably well at reducing unwanted reflections while providing all the right props for sporting driving. For example, your left foot will find itself firmly braced against an aluminum dead pedal that is rubber ribbed for traction. The center console contains a large, easily accessible “mode” button that allows you to select the appropriate combination of shock absorber resilience provided by GM’s superb magnetic ride control system As soon as you tap the mode button, a screen appears, asking you to select “Tour, Sport. Track, or Snow” setting. We chose “Tour” for most of our freeway jaunts, but elected “Track” when bashing back roads. And bash this brash Cad does well, with its ground hugging suspension eating bumps while its fat 275/35R18 Pirelli P Zero run flats never miss a chance to grab an apex. Cadillac is certainly not exaggerating the VSport’s capabilities by offering a “Track” setting for your ultimate driving enjoyment. Despite its sizeable girth and luxury fitments, the CTS VSport is perfectly suited to tackling Laguna Seca, or Sonoma Raceway. In fact, Cadillac officially acknowledges this benefit by outlining measures to improve the car’s track performance in the Owner’s Manual! For example, you are directed to improve brake cooling by removing the front brake splash shield and front tire deflector, and reminded that “removing the shield will require the suspension bushings visible to the brake disc be protected with insulated thermal wrapping.” Although GM recommends that you “See the Warranty Manual before using the vehicle for competitive driving,” I couldn’t find any warranty manual reference to such activity. Still, the very idea of Cadillac encouraging its owners to enjoy maximum performance potential of the VSport is revolutionary and very refreshing.

Even without the ultra powerful V8 that still motivates the ground shattering CTS-V, the VSport Cadillac is a superior vehicle in every way compared to its older sibling. The fact that you can now buy an American designed and constructed sports sedan that is actually superior to the stellar offerings from Germany is astounding. the fact that it also costs less than the Bavarian competition is even better yet.

2014 Cadillac CTS 3.6L TT VSport Premium

  • Engine: 3.6 Liter Twin Turbocharged V6
  • Horsepower: 420hp
  • Torque: 430 lb.-ft.
  • Fuel Consumption: 16 MPG City/24 MPG Highway
  • Price as Tested: $70,990
  • Star Rating: 10 out of 10 Stars

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2012 Cadillac CTS-V Coupe Review

Thursday March 22nd, 2012 at 11:33 AM
Posted by: D.Colman

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.

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2011 Cadillac CTS Coupe First Impressions Review

Tuesday February 15th, 2011 at 1:22 PM
Posted by: D.Colman

By contributing editor David Colman

Hits

  • Head-turning, stop-in-your-tracks good looks
  • Impeccable handling
  • Comfortable, quality interior
  • Impeccable handling

Misses

  • Rear seat legroom not suitable for adults or even children
  • Must be cautious when opening the doors in tight parking spaces
  • Rearward vision is hampered by stylish design

The CTS Coupe is a lot like a Chanel stiletto heel, entrancing to look at but hard to live with. If you want to get noticed, this coupe will serve you well. On a stretch of freeway in Concord, a sport in a Volvo C60 Convertible came screaming by while mouthing the words “Great Looking Car!” And he’s right, of course, because the CTS looks like an artist’s conception of how a sports coupe should look: close-coupled front and mid sections, truncated rear, heavy frontal rake, oversize wheels and tires, lock and latch less flanks, minimal chrome placed for maximal impact. Among the nicest touches are the V-shaped trunk finisher which mimics the centrally located V-shaped exhaust tips, and the artistic burnished aluminum strut tower brace, hidden under the hood, which connects the front shock towers together.

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2011 Cadillac CTS Coupe Review

Thursday December 9th, 2010 at 1:1212 PM
Posted by: mash

By Mary Ellen Ash

Pros

  • Sharp, distinctive, angular styling
  • Sporty suspension and handling capabilities
  • Comfortable, quality interior
  • Hand-assembled center console
  • Great warranty and service

Cons

  • Heavy Death Star with sluggish acceleration
  • Headroom for tall passengers in the rear seat only if positioned correctly
  • Fingerprints spoil the black gloss finish

The Cadillac CTS series has been around for a few years with its sedan and recently the wagon model was added, but 2011 is the first year for the coupe. So when the new 2011 Cadillac CTS Coupe landed in our test drive fleet, we had to come up with a plan and find the best way to experience it. None of the regular day tripping or commuting would suffice. At the mere sight of this vehicle, you immediately knew this is a special breed of luxury vehicle that was designed for enjoying the open road. And what could be the best way to experience a Cadillac?

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Cadillac – what do you think about when you hear the name?

Tuesday September 21st, 2010 at 8:99 AM
Posted by: Kurt Gensheimer

cadillac_vintage_ad_1960By Kurt Gensheimer

From its inception until the 1970s, Cadillac was definitely the car for Americans who “made it” in life. It was a car that defined class, elegance and success. Of course, the 1970′s disco era and the oil crisis really wreaked havoc on the Cadillac brand. Ever drive a 1976 Eldorado with the 7L V8 and 180 hp?

‘God awful’ about sums it up.

The eighties were no better, with hunks of crap like the Cimarron, which was simply a rebadged Chevy Cavalier.

The nineties saw glimmers of hope for the brand, especially when the 300 hp Northstar V8 was introduced – a terrific engine even today.

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2010 Cadillac CTS Sport Wagon Review – Yes, wagons can be cool again

Tuesday April 6th, 2010 at 2:44 PM
Posted by: twain

By Twain Mein

Pros:

  • Smooth and powerful 304 hp V6
  • Excellent road feel that is smooth, communicative, and refined
  • Handling performance that rivals the European sedans
  • Unique styling

Cons:

  • Uncomfortably hard front seats
  • Rear seat access is limited
  • Time lag with full throttle acceleration
  • Steering wheel shifters don’t automatically override into manual mode

Ruling: If you’re going to get a 4-door, skip the sedan and just get a wagon!

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2011 Cadillac CTS Coupe Photo Gallery

Tuesday November 24th, 2009 at 9:1111 AM
Posted by: Derek

2011 Cadillac CTS

Cadillac unveiled the 2011 CTS Coupe slated to arrive in Cadillac showrooms in the spring of 2010. The CTS Coupe is a new luxury sports coupe designed to become the centerpiece of the brand’s revised lineup.

The Coupe joins the CTS Sport Sedan, the 556-horsepower (415 kW) CTS-V and new CTS Sport Wagon as the foundation of Cadillac’s lineup. A high-performance V-Series edition of the Coupe will also be released in 2010. The CTS Coupe’s standard powertrain consists of a direct injected 3.6L V-6 and six-speed manual transmission. A 6-speed automatic transmission with Driver Shift Control (and available steering wheel mounted shift buttons) is optional. Direct injection technology delivers fuel more precisely to increase the efficiency of combustion, enabling more power while maintaining fuel economy and lowering emissions – including a 25-percent drop in cold-start hydrocarbon emissions.

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Spritle and Chim Chim Answer the Cadillac CTS-V Challenge

Wednesday October 28th, 2009 at 10:1010 AM
Posted by: asgruben

Cadillac V-Series ChallengeBy Adrienne Gruben

Tomorrow is the Bob Lutz Cadillac V-Series Challenge. For those of you who don’t know, Bob Lutz, an auto industry icon and currently a Vice Chairman at GM, first invited writers and then any and all owners of cars comparable to the Cadillac CTS-V to apply to get all Speed Racer with him on October 29 at the Monticello Motor Club in Monticello, N.Y.

Of the 120 people who gave a crap, Lutz chose seven. Of the seven, three are auto journalists: Jalopnik’s Wes Silver and his Jaguar XFR; The Truth About Cars’ Jack Baruth; and Lawrence Ulrich of the fancy NY Times. The journalist invites are clearly a tactical move on Lutz’ part. The other four are joe-blows. Michael from New Jersey and Michael from New York are bringing a BMW M5 and M3 respectively. (Perhaps Lutz was feeling nostalgic for his days as a BMW exec.) Tom of Philly will race his Audi RS4 and Chris from Michigan will bring his Cadillac CTS-V.

It’s clear who Lutz thinks Speed Racer is, but then who is Racer X? And what about Trixie? And that weird monkey? Let’s leave those questions in the obtuse pile, and focus on the race itself.

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2009 Cadillac CTS-V Performance Reaches The Stratosphere at Nürburgring (video)

Thursday August 14th, 2008 at 6:88 AM
Posted by: Derek

Certified at 556 horsepower, acceleration times are top among V-8 sedans

2009 Cadillac CTS-V

MILFORD, Mich. – As final testing of the limited-edition 2009 CTS-V nears completion, the results suggest that Cadillac’s upcoming sports sedan is entering the stratosphere of the world’s highest-performing cars. Cadillac announces the following performance specifications for all-new 2009 CTS-V. In-car video of the record setting lap time is below the jump.

  • CTS-V, with its supercharged 6.2-liter LSA engine, has achieved SAE-certified peak output of 556 horsepower (415 kW) at 6100 rpm and 551 lb.-ft. (747 Nm) of torque at 3800 rpm.
  • CTS-V accelerates from 0-60 mph in 3.9 seconds. CTS-V covers the quarter-mile in 12 seconds at 118 mph. These acceleration times are believed to be the fastest for any V-8-powered sedan currently in production.

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2008 Cadillac CTS Review

Wednesday July 9th, 2008 at 9:77 AM
Posted by: Francois

By Francis Cebedo

2008 Cadillac CTS

Pros:

  • Good, distinctive exterior styling
  • Excellent interior design and build quality
  • The 300 hp V6 engine is a great balance of power and efficiency
  • Handling is very capable
  • GPS system is the one of the best we’ve used to date
  • Clean and powerful audio system
  • UltraView sunroof is a very nice touch
  • It is an excellent family car with luxurious room for four

Cons:

  • Rear window visibility is limited
  • Accelerator pedal is very heavy
  • Steering is not tight and responsive enough
  • The car feels heavy when cornering

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