The Cadillac CTS-V

Since its induction back in 2004, the Cadillac CTS-V has been the talk of the town. It’s both a luxury sedan and a purebred sports car. With a powerful V8 engine and a six-speed transmission, it offers both top of the line luxury and top-notch performance. The CTS-V is just one of Cadillac’s performance inspired V series vehicles, along with the XLR and the STS.


The CTS-V comes standard with the same LS2 V8 engine found in the Corvette. This is an upgrade done in 2006 from the LS6 V8 from prior years. This engine packs 400hp and 395lb-ft of torque on the massive 6.0-liter engine, providing an impressive 0-60 time of under 5 seconds. As any sports car enthusiast knows, a good engine needs a good exhaust, so Cadillac put a rumbling dual exhaust to let people know that this isn’t just any ordinary Cadillac.

The car is not offered with an automatic transmission, but who needs it when you have a TREMEC T-56 six-speed manual transmission available to do with it as you please. With the close-ratio transmission, putting this Caddys power to the asphalt is a breeze, not to mention a blast as well. Although many find that due to the stop and go traffic many of us are used to, Cadillac should offer an automatic. Many people object to this. Some are biased and believe that if you rather have an automatic then you should stick with the base CTS. However, why not sell more CTS-Vs to people who’d rather drive a six-speed automatic? Cadillac will certainly sell more vehicles with a CTS-V automatic ‘as an option’.

Cadillac did a good job with the drive train, but didn’t stop there. That’s why they also upgraded the suspension and chassis. The fully independent suspension provides a sportier ride with stiffer shocks and springs and a better stabilizer bar. The engine mounts have also been upgraded to compensate for the massive power of the engine. The CTS-V sports Goodyear Eagle F1 EMT (run flat) performance tires on beautiful 18-inch aluminum rims.

A car capable of such speeds (Cadillac claims a top speed of 163mph) needs a very good set of brakes. A 4-wheel disc brake system with aluminum 4-piston Brembo performance calipers and 14-inch rotors comes standard, and can be upgraded to cross-drilled rotors as well. Of course Cadillac included Antilock brakes and added all-speed traction control, and all-wheel stability control. The latter, labeled Stabilitrak, is a driver-controlled system that allows the knowledgeable drivers the choice of how much freedom they get before the system takes over.


If great performance is not enough, then luxury might be your thing. As if anything less could be expected from Cadillac, the CTS-V comes standard with full leather upholstery. Suede fabric inserts on the performance inspired bucket seats help you stay put while enjoying the ride and ripping around the turns. If comfortable and beautiful isn’t enough, the driver’s seat, along with the mirrors and other functions, adjust to the driver’s preferences. To match the seats the center console has been lowered a full four inches providing a more comfortable driving experience, not to mention a more natural shifting position.

The thick leather-wrapped steering wheel has all the buttons you may ever need, including radio and navigation controls, climate control, and stability control. The instrument cluster has also been upgraded with fancier gages and readouts than the base CTS. The large aircraft-inspired gages offer easy to read information and include a dual info center that has detailed information about the engine such as engine fluid temperatures. Cadillac even added a readout of the G forces affecting the car, and the driver, during acceleration and aggressive driving.

The CTS-V also comes standard with a Bose Premium Sound System. The system includes an AM/FM stereo with a 6-disc in-dash CD changer, DVD navigation with GPS, XM Radio capability, and 8 Bose speakers. There’s no real need to upgrade this stereo system.

The exterior also exhibits V series exclusive features, beginning with the V-Series badging to let people know this Cadillac means business. These classy badges appear everywhere, from the speedometer to the car sides, to the aluminum Brembo calipers. The sedan comes sporting aerodynamic side rocker panels, lower nose and tail fascia, and beautiful performance inspired wire mesh grill inserts. The CTS is already an aggressive looking sedan, but the CTS-V goes well beyond that, it looks fast even when standing still.

The CTS-V comes standard with a few other features such as projector-beam headlights with a flash-to-pass feature and daytime running lights. As expected on a luxury vehicle, the power sunroof comes standard, although Cadillac does offer a “sunroof delete” option, if enjoying the sun rays while driving by the beach is not your style.

It’s not just fast, it’s a competent handler

The CTS-V is a luxury sedan that goes well beyond the base CTS in both terms of luxury and, well, performance. With a massive engine and a well-balanced body and frame, the sedan screams in a straight line, and with the added suspension upgrades it does on the turns as well. Cadillac pulled all the stops when engineering this beauty, and made pretty much every upgrade available to the base CTS a standard feature on the V.

The interior is very luxurious and made with quality materials. A well thought out layout puts everything at your fingertips. With a price tag of under $55k, this beautiful sport sedan gives other luxury sport manufacturers such as BMW, Audi and Mercedes a run for their money, and the shoppers will be running for their wallets.

Rumors call for a new, redesigned CTS-V to be ready by 2009, with a 7.0-liter V8 and over 500HP under the hood.

The Cadillac CTS-V Series
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