Cadillac first launched its CTS-V super sedan for 2009. Now available in coupe and wagon form, the CTS-V offers a superb balance between a comfortable ride and precise handling along with an incredibly potent supercharged V8 derived from the Corvette ZR1.
That V8, a 6.2-liter supercharged unit dubbed the "LSA," produces a staggering 556 horsepower to go along with 551 pound-feet of torque. The engine's immense power is owed in part to a sixth-generation Eaton supercharger, which minimizes the added noise previously associated with supercharged engines, and tightly controls intake air temperature for better performance.
Transmission choices include either a Tremec TR6060 six-speed manual or a Hydra-Matic 6L90 six-speed automatic with steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters. Manually-equipped CTS-Vs tip the scales at 4,200 pounds and return 14/19 mpg at the pump, with the automatic adding another 100 pounds and lowering mileage to 12/18 mpg.
The CTS-V's exterior is highlighted by a mesh grille and lower intake, a sculpted hood with an engine bulge, 19-inch wheels, wider fenders and quad tailpipes.
GM carried its Magnetic Ride Control (MRC) suspension system over from the ZR1 to the CTS-V. The technology uses shocks controlled by electro-magnets, rather than mechanical valves. This makes MRC the world's fastest-reacting suspension technology, according to GM.
Electronic sensors at all four wheels "read the road" every millisecond, making constant adjustments to damping to create a smooth ride when appropriate, and a firm ride when required. The technology prevents body roll during hard corners, yet keeps passengers comfortable while cruising.
Another electronic system -- Performance Traction Management -- is a traction control technology borrowed from championship racing. While most traction control programs monitor and control wheel slip for enhanced drivability in poor conditions, PTM regulates torque delivery to instantly match the available tire grip for maximum acceleration.
The sedan's Brembo brakes feature six pistons per caliper up front and four per caliper at the back. The front brakes were redesigned for the latest model year and feature a new two-piece that saves weight, offers greater resistance to warping and lengthens rotor life.
Standard equipment includes leather upholstery, heated seats, navigation, HID headlamps, Magnetic Ride Control and Brembo brakes.
Several options are available, namely a package with Recaro heated and ventilated front seats, polished 19-inch alloy wheels, "midnight Sapele wood" and a suede steering wheel/shift lever package.
All CTS models come standard with dual front, front side and full-length side curtain airbags in addition to traction and stability control systems and a tire-pressure monitoring system.
The CTS-V is a no-holds barred super sedan with the power, handling and luxury to compete with prestigious rivals like the BMW M5, Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG and Jaguar XFR.