Let’s call it a 20-footer. From 20 feet away the Cadillac CTS-V RWD sedan looks like the unassuming young executive’s Cadillac CTS. You know, the one with possibly the 2.0-Liter turbocharged four-cylinder or even the 3.6-liter V6. But then you would come closer to notice the carbon fiber spoilers, inserts and side skirts, not to mention the hood that has been “pimpled-up” (not pimped, but Pimpled) to offer clearance for the 6.2-liter supercharged V8 engine.
The Cadillac CTS-V is clearly a wolf in sheep’s clothing. How else would you explain how a supercharged engine and magnetic ride control both found their way under the skin of this normally staid, if somewhat creased, four-door five-passenger sedan? That’s not all. There’s a performance-calibrated 8-speed automatic transmission that smoothly steps through the cogs as the 6.2-liter winds toward redline.
A sum that is as great as its parts, the Cadillac CTS-V is one of those rare vehicles that has all the space and utility of a traditional family sedan, while being the perfect foil for an owner who once wheeled Corvettes or other high-performance cars but through practical realities (marriage, children, a desire for constant double dates) has had to step up to something larger. What the new CTS-V owner gets instead of a two-seat performance coupe or convertible is a sedan that tracks flatly, grips well, and even lets you toss the tail out every now and then.
The interior is a little too dark for our taste because of the black on black appearance of the faux suede seating. There are carbon fiber inserts throughout to give some of that boy racer appeal that is verging on being dated, albeit in a more sophisticated manner. The continual improvement of the Cadillac User Experience (CUE) system has rendered an in-car entertainment system with eight-inch display, that is actually easier to use than ever before and manages to pump out the jam nicely through the Bose Surround Sound system. The TFT gauge screen is totally configurable depending on which drive mode you desire. That doesn’t mean all is perfect. Too many tiny buttons tend to crowd up the steering wheel for our taste. But a Presidential-sized hand would probably appreciate it more.
Under the hood of the CTS-V lies the supercharged 6.2-liter V8 Engine directly from the Chevrolet Corvette Z06. In this guise,
it Is producing 640 hp and 630 lb-ft of torque. Zero to 60 comes on in 3.7 seconds with a top speed of 200 mph. An exhaust system that gives great throat is also part of the mix and makes the car all the more lusty, the harder you press the skinny pedal. It’s like driving a Corvette. With a larger, but shapely ass, that happens to house a bunch of suitcases for a road trip. An enthusiast will like it.
Behind the wheel.
The power from the 6.2-Liter V8 is ridiculous. Head snapping in its abilities, a HANS-device is almost required for every passenger inside. The magnetic ride control helps to keep the V’s chassis in check, firming up where needed, yet offering a relaxed, relatively comfortable ride during all other situations. In touring mode, the steering feels a bit lighter as opposed to the firmed up feeling we get from Sports mode setting. so good, in fact, Sports mode was our go-to default as it was unobtrusive for most driving circumstances. Ultimately, you didn’t get the feeling of being beaten up by your car, like you do in other examples.
The concept behind the CTS-V is to build a sedan that overpowers its competition whether domestic or foreign or even a coupe (we’re looking at you, SRT Challengers). In this, it succeeds and does so in spades. In a phrase, it’s a ballsy sedan that manages to do everything right. Except turn heads. Driving in car-loving South Florida, we were surprised at how little attention the CTS-V actually drew. I guess that despite the authoritative rumble from the twin stainless steel trumpets out back, the only way you would attract attention in SUV and Pickup-loving Palm Beach county, would be if this was a Cadillac Escalade-V, or GMC Sierra-V pick-em-up truck.
And that is so unfortunate, because this car is so much more.
2018 Cadillac CTS-V RWD Sedan.
Base MSRP: $86,495 Price as Tested: $103,235.
Includes Advanced Security Package, $600; Carbon Fiber Package, $6,250; Luxury Package, $2,500; Recaro Sport seats, $2,300; Performance Data Recorder, $1,600; Gas Guzzler Tax, $1,000; 19-inch painted wheels, $900; Dark gold Brembo calipers, $595; Destination Fee, $995.
Engine: 6.2-liter Supercharged V8
Injection: Direct Injection
Horsepower: 640 HP
Torque: 630 LB-FT
Transmission: 8-speed automatic
Suspension: Front: MacPherson Strut
Rear: Independent MultiLink
Cargo: 13.7 cubic feet
Length: 197.6 inch
Curb Weight: 4141 pounds
Height: 57.2 inches
Wheelbase: 114.6 inches
Width: 72.2 inches
EPA Estimate: 14 City/21 highway/17 combined