2011 Cadillac CTS-V

Base RWD 4-Dr Wagon V8 man trans

2011 cadillac cts-v Reviews and News

2011 Cadillac CTS V Sport Wagon Front Three Quarters Static
It’s not often that a group of station wagon drivers is asked to quiet down at a track. But that’s exactly what happened when Cadillac rented out Laguna Seca to allow members of the press a chance to experience the 2011 Cadillac CTS-V Sport Wagon without a speed limit. It turns out Laguna Seca has a 92 dB sound limit most of the time and our 556-hp station wagons were a few dB over the limit at full throttle leaving turn five. To maximize our time on the track all we had to do was resist the urge to floor the car between turns five and six, but it’s difficult to listen to reason in a car like this.
2011 Cadillac CTS V Sport Wagon Front Three Quarters Static
The engineers and management at Cadillac are incredibly proud of the CTS-V Sport Wagon. This is exactly the type of product that shows GM’s commitment to the Cadillac brand and returning it to glory. Instead of trying to find ways to bring a CTS-V Sport Wagon to market at low cost, the engineers found solutions to the inherent problems that arise from turning a sedan into a wagon -- namely the lack of rigidity that comes with an open cargo area. Cadillac went so far as to cut holes at the top of the shock towers to allow a wagon-specific brace to be added to the rear suspension so the spectacular Magnetic Ride Control system could be used. New GM is paying a lot more attention to these little details because these little details are exactly the sort of things luxury buyers use to justify the huge sticker prices premium cars command.
Cadillac uses the same 6.2-liter LSA V-8 in each configuration of CTS-V and all three offer 556 hp and 551 lb-ft of torque that is routed to the rear wheels via a six-speed transmission. Perhaps the more impressive part is buyers can choose an automatic or manual transmission for any bodystyle. Yes, a 556-hp station wagon with a six-speed manual transmission is being built by an automaker outside of Germany! Nobody at Cadillac was willing to make a guess on the take rate of the manual CTS-V Sport Wagon, but we’re positive these vehicles will become cult classics and have surprising demand on the used market.
As one would expect, the supercharged, overhead valve V-8 produces as much torque as you’d ever want right off idle and delivers an incredible amount of power at virtually any speed. Those who select a manual transmission could loaf around in top gear at 25 mph and not get any complaints from the engine. Keep the shifter in an appropriate gear and odds are you’ll run out of road (or meet an unhappy police officer) before you need fourth gear. It’s amazing how smooth this high performance powertrain is and the exhaust note is equally civilized unless the accelerator is mashed. One could easily drive this car for several hundred miles at a time without becoming annoyed by the resonance so many high performance cars have at legal highway speeds.
Though the powertrain is mighty impressive, the real star of the CTS-V show is the Magnetic Ride Control suspension. Want to go for a relaxed Sunday drive in your V? Magnetic Ride Control keeps the experience as smooth as possible and you can always change over to Sport mode when it’s time to attack a canyon road or do a few laps at the track. We were supremely comfortable over the roads around Laguna Seca and noticed almost no body roll during our laps on the track, either. Past experiences with CTS-V products on Michigan’s broken roads were also impressively comfortable -- even with the 19-inch wheels and minimal sidewalls on the Michelin Pilot Sport PS2 tires.
2011 Cadillac CTS V Sport Wagon Front Three Quarters
The interior of the CTS-V Sport Wagon is exactly what you’d expect in a current CTS. The pop-up navigation unit/rearview camera display is there along with a custom Bose sound system that’s been specifically designed for the wagon’s larger interior volume. We still love the heated and cooled Recaro bucket seats despite their $3400 cost. The other interior option worth its asking price is the sueded steering wheel and shift knob, which really feel luxurious and only add $300 to the tab. A wood trim option is available for $600, but we think the interior looks fine without it.
So far we’ve spent a lot of time explaining how the CTS-V Sport Wagon is just as capable as every other CTS-V. The one clear advantage a CTS-V Sport Wagon offers is cargo space. A maximum of 58 cubic feet of cargo space can be had in the wagon compared with 14 cubic feet in the sedan and a meager 10.5 cubic feet in the coupe. Even with the rear seat upright, the wagon will swallow 25 cubic feet of cargo -- still more than a sedan and coupe combined. Finally, an answer to the onslaught of crossovers and SUVs we’ve come to expect from domestic automakers. Cadillac has one of the few performance vehicles that can suit the needs of an entire family without giving up the driving experience an enthusiast craves.
Admittedly, the CTS-V Sport Wagon is taking Cadillac into uncharted waters. On one hand, wagons don’t sell in America and luxury wagons appeal to a very specific niche customer. On the other hand, high-performance wagons are almost impossible to find and the V Sport Wagon just might attract a rather interesting mix of folks who would have otherwise never walked into a Cadillac showroom. The CTS-V Sport Wagon is just making its way into dealerships now and dealers experienced a surprising amount of interest in the car before it went into production. Now it’s time to see if those people who have begged for the V Wagon for the last year or so will actually show up at dealers with a down payment.
2011 Cadillac CTS V Coupe Front Three Quarters
Charles de Gaulle airport is a confusing mess, but I forgive it its trespasses because it is, after all, the portal to Paris, one of my favorite cities in the world. On this particular day, having arrived on Air France's overnight flight from Detroit, I am even more keen than usual to arrive in the City of Light. That's because, rather than taking the dreary RER commuter train into the city center, I will be at the wheel of a 2011 Cadillac CTS-V coupe. Hanspeter Ryser, Cadillac's Zurich-based European PR head, meets me in baggage claim and escorts me to an underground parking structure. "I think it's in aisle 20," he says as we stroll through the low-ceilinged space. Eighteen, nineteen, twenty. One glance down the row of tightly packed Renaults and Peugeots in aisle 20 is all it takes to spy the distinctly chiseled, high rump of the big red coupe from Detroit. Ryser pops the trunk lid and points out a thick dossier under the trunk floor that will come in handy should any authorities question the Michigan license plates. He apologizes for the navigation system, which is still dialed in for America rather than Continental Europe, hands me the keys, and wishes me well. This Caddy is mine!
2011 Cadillac CTS V Coupe Front Three Quarters
I slide into the Recaro driver's seat and hit the start button. The CTS-V's supercharged 6.2-liter LSA V-8 engine ignites excitedly, and the dual exhaust respond with a throaty rejoinder; the aural effect is something that must be new to this underground parking chamber, which is more accustomed to the tut-tut-tut murmur of small-displacement diesel engines. The CTS-V coupe interior is completely familiar, as it's nearly identical to that of the CTS-V sedan that debuted nearly two years ago, and the underlying design is the same as the one we've seen in the standard CTS sedan for the past three years. There are 4610 kilometers on the odometer, or 2864 miles. The speedometer markings are set to a 0-to-200 grid; it's easy to toggle through the trip computer and choose English or Metric readings. Our test car is equipped with the six-speed automatic transmission, for which I'm grateful: driving into Paris in this relatively big car is going to be stressful enough without having to feather a clutch pedal. And there are paddle shifters for the right opportunity for do-it-yourself gear selection.
Easing out of aisle 20, I carefully circle the ramp that leads up to ground level and look askance at the tight quarters of the exit booths and their very tall curbs. I'm afraid I might scrape the CTS-V's shiny chrome nineteen-inch wheels, so I make a three-point turn and glide through carefully. As I pause at the terminal curb to set my BlackBerry's Google Maps function to Gare du Nord in central Paris, an older couple takes in the car, and the man steps off the curb to get a closer look at the badge. Yep, I'm in the only Cadillac CTS-V coupe in all of continental Europe, and I'd better get used to the attention.
I'm picking up my brother Greg and my friend Al at Gare du Nord (North Train Station), where they're arriving from Amsterdam. This task requires a visit to another subterranean parking structure, this one even more confined than the one at the airport. In these quarters, anything bigger than a Volkswagen Golf feels too big, and I'm very glad for the CTS-V's rearview camera when I back into a narrow slot. Put the car into reverse and the navigation screen rises quickly from the dash and the rearview image appears immediately. This sounds obvious, but the Cadillac system operates much more quickly than those in many other cars.
2011 Cadillac CTS V Coupe Rear Three Quarters
With my two passengers and their gear collected, it's time to cram bodies and bags into the CTS-V coupe for the drive to Normandy. The rear seats are not what one would call commodious, but they're not bad, and Greg can sit there without hitting his head on the big rear glass. The trunk, for its part, is surprisingly roomy, as it fits three roll-on bags plus Greg's huge hiker-style backpack. Hey, when you've got a big butt like the CTS coupe has, you score some cargo space back there.
On the A13 autoroute out of Paris, the CTS-V coupe settles into a comfortable gallop. The French police are notoriously tough on speeders and we're not pressed for time, so we take it easy, and I leave the transmission in drive and the suspension in Tour mode. Every so often I feel brave, hit the gas, take in the roar of the big supercharged V-8, and we rocket up to 160 kph (100 mph) or even 200 kph (124 mph). Easy, peasy.
Our friends Steve and Pierre are hosting us at their chateau at La Houblonniere, France, near the Normandy coast between Caen and Lisieux. The 2011 Cadillac parked in the courtyard of this chateau, parts of which date to the 14th century, makes for quite a tableau: we've got ultramodern machinery juxtaposed against a building that predates the automobile by hundreds of years. I'm reminded of the contrast that evening when we're sipping Calvados, the region's famous apple brandy, in the chateau's grand salon. Its restored 18th century splendor is accented by a sleek Italian sofa and coffee table that look as modern and different as the CTS-V does outside in the courtyard. I think they call this "eclecticism."
"Athleticism" is the word that comes to mind the next day, when we get a chance to wring out the CTS-V coupe on some remote two-lane roads in the picturesque, rolling Normandy countryside. Set the suspension to "sport" and select manual mode for the six-speed automatic by sliding the gear lever to the right. You can then shift manually either by shoving the gear selector up to upshift or down to downshift (logical, huh?). Compared with the base CTS coupe, the CTS-V brings Cadillac's celebrated Magnetic Ride Control to the table, and the effect this system has on maintaining the vehicle's composure when you're pushing the car hard along a good road is very noticeable. Pitch, dive, and squat are effectively tamed by the fast-reacting dampers, which use magnetic fluid rather than mechanical valves. The CTS-V effectively transforms itself from grand touring coupe to sports car. About the only thing your passengers will notice, though, is that the scenery is blurring by more quickly than before; that's how well the magnetic dampers keep everything on an even keel.
2011 Cadillac CTS V Coupe Rear View
Touring the French countryside is nice and all, but what the CTS-V coupe and I are both itching for is a hard run on a section of German Autobahn with no speed restrictions. Al and I have packed off Greg to the U.K., so we've got plenty of room to stretch out in the Caddy coupe as we head northeast out of France toward Belgium. The Caddy continues to draw stares and cell-phone cameras from other motorists, like a BMW 1-series full of young French guys that circles us like a shark.
Near the confluence of the Netherlands, Belgium, and Germany (Trois Frontières), we cross the border into Germany at Aachen, site of the grand cathedral where Charlemagne was crowned, and then head north to Alpen, which is not far from the mighty Rhine. Heading east on the 42 Autobahn, we make our way through the Dusseldorf/Dortmund metroplex, which isn't easy, because there's a long construction zone with the narrowest possible drive lane, and it's hemmed in on both sides by concrete barriers. I swear I have only three inches of wiggle room on each side of the CTS-V coupe's wide rear end, so it's a good thing the Caddy's steering is precise. But I'm still sweating. This goes on for miles and miles through an industrial zone ringed by huge steel factories. Where is my German Autobahn experience, dammit?!?
Finally, the construction ends and we're on the A2 heading toward Hannover. Traffic is still pretty heavy, but the telltale round sign with three diagonal slashes finally appears, signaling the beginning of an unrestricted speed zone. I fall in behind an Audi A8 whose driver is clearly in a hurry, select sport settings for the suspension and transmission, grab the Alcantara steering wheel, and mash the pedal. Six-point-two liters of supercharged Detroit V-8 is on the muscle, and the Audi (an S8? Can't tell; it's unbadged) can't put much distance between us. It's big bursts of acceleration followed by hard, hard braking as we come up on traffic. The CTS-V coupe's 15-inch Brembo brakes are magnificent; no fading, no drama, just massive scrubbing of speed. At 140 mph, the Caddy is in its element: stable, composed, ready to rock and roll. There's a slight intake whine from the supercharger as I use the paddles to shift from fourth to fifth. We hit 150+ mph several times, and then we get one final fabulous lunge to 165 mph before we run out of clear road again. Yes!
2011 Cadillac CTS V Coupe Fueling
Later, in the tourist town of Hameln, home of the Pied Piper, Al heads off to wash and gas the car while I finish coffee, and I'm struck by how good the CTS coupe looks in motion, especially from the rear. With its extreme slope, the rear glass looks great, but it has a minor distorting effect in the rear-view mirror, as it makes oncoming cars look tall and narrow. Rear-three-quarter visibility, not surprising, is compromised, but we didn't find that to be a big issue, actually. Other cabin complaints? We have both found these Recaros superb over the long haul, but the adjustment knobs for the seat bottom and the seat back are located too far back: your hand falls down and where you expect to find these controls, you instead find the lumbar inflators. The CTS-V coupe lacks blind-spot detection, lane-departure warning, and smart cruise control, features that quickly are trickling into competitive cars in this price class. And although the ergonomics are good and the materials are nice enough, the CTS cabin wasn't world-class when it debuted three years ago and certainly has fallen behind the likes of Audi, Infiniti, BMW, and Jaguar since, even in gussied-up V-series guise. There is, however, an iPhone connector in the center console, so all will be forgiven for some.
Back on the A2, truck traffic is heavy but there are a few openings where we can play, and in one of them, we come across a Mercedes-Benz E350 CDI (turbodiesel) silver coupe. This time, we only manage to get up to about 140 mph, which now seems a little slow, but there's also great pleasure to be derived from hounding this German steed, whose driver eventually drifts into the right lane and coolly appraises us as we come by on his left. Unleashing a 556-hp, rear-wheel-drive American grand touring coupe on the Autobahn? This is what I call a summer vacation.
2011 Cadillac CTS-V Coupe Specs
Base Price: $64,290
On Sale: August 2010
Engine: Supercharged 6.2-liter OHV V-8
Horsepower: 556 hp @ 6100 rpm
Torque: 551 lb-ft @ 3800 rpm
Transmission: 6-speed automatic
Drive: Rear-wheel
L x W x H: 188.5 x 74.1 x 55.9 in
Legroom F/R: 42.4/35.0 in
Headroom F/R: 36.9/34.6 in
Cargo capacity 10.5 cu ft
Curb Weight: 4237 lb
EPA Rating (city/highway): 12/18 mpg
Ferrari 458 Italia In Rear View Mirror
Cadillac’s newest commercial expresses that one may not have to spend big to go big, as it compares its CTS-V coupe to the cream of the crop in performance cars. And by that, we mean Ferrari.
2011 Cadillac CTS V Sport Wagon Side In Motion
I've been enamored with the CTS-V for quite some time, but as a long-time wagon guy, the new V Sport Wagon absolutely ticks all the right boxes for me. Power? This car's got it in spades. Handling? It grips, especially in sport mode, unless you turn off Stabilitrak and give the throttle a hard kick with your right foot. Practicality? Well, it seats four adults and offers almost 26 cubic feet of cargo space aft of the second row.
2011 Cadillac CTS V Wagon Front View
2011 Cadillac CTS-V Wagon
2011 Cadillac CTS V Wagon Front Three Quarters Driver
Hennessey Twin Turbo V1000 CTS V Coupe Rear
If the word "excess" isn't in your vocabulary -- but the words "more" and "power" are -- then give John Hennessey a call. His firm already builds modified Cadillac CTS-Vs capable of cranking out as much as 800 horsepower, but the company is readying a 1000-hp package for a limited production run of coupes. Meet the new Hennessey Twin Turbo V1000 CTS-V Coupe.
2011 Cadillac Cts V V650 Wagon Front Three Quarter Shot
The Cadillac CTS-V wagon made our list of this year’s All-Stars, impressing us with its performance and sound track from the supercharged V-8 under the hood. Apparently, Hennessey thought the exhaust volume needed to be turned up a notch as you can see (and hear) from its latest video of a V650 Package and Exhaust Dump-equipped CTS-V wagon.
Cadillac Cts V Race Car Long Beach Profile2
What’s the best way to tackle the Long Beach road course with a Cadillac CTS-V Coupe racer? Cadillac team drivers Johnny O’Connell and Andy Pilgrim literally show you how it’s done in this new video clip.

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2011 Cadillac CTS-V Specifications

Quick Glance:
6.2L V8Engine
Fuel economy City:
14 MPG
Fuel economy Highway:
19 MPG
556 hp @ 6100rpm
551 ft lb of torque @ 3800rpm
  • Air Conditioning
  • Power Windows
  • Power Locks
  • Power Seats
  • Steering Wheel Tilt
  • Cruise Control
  • Sunroof (optional)
  • ABS
  • Stabilizer Front
  • Stabilizer RearABS
  • Electronic Traction Control
  • Electronic Stability Control
  • Locking Differential (optional)
  • Limited Slip Differential
  • Airbag Driver
  • Airbag Passenger
  • Airbag Side Front
  • Airbag Side Rear (optional)
  • Radio
  • CD Player
  • CD Changer (optional)
  • DVD (optional)
  • Navigation
50,000 miles / 48 months
100,000 miles / 60 months
Unlimited miles / 72 months
100,000 miles / 60 months
Recall Date
General Motors LLC (GM) is recalling certain model year 2011 Cadillac CTS vehicles manufactured October 18, 2010, to June 2, 2011. In the affected vehicles, vibrations from the drive shaft may cause the vehicle's roll over sensor to command the roof rail air bags to deploy.
If the roof rail air bags deploy unexpectedly, there is an increased risk of crash and injury to the occupants.
GM will notify owners, and dealers will replace the rear drive shaft assembly, free of charge. General Motors distributed an interim letter to owners on August 27, 2014. Owners may contact Cadillac customer service at 1-800-458-8006. GM's number for this recall is 14233.
Potential Units Affected
General Motors LLC

Recall Date
General Motors LLC (GM) is recalling certain model year 2011 Cadillac CTS vehicles manufactured October 18, 2010, to June 2, 2011. In the affected vehicles, vibrations from the drive shaft may cause the vehicle's roll over sensor to command the roof rail air bags to deploy.
If the roof rail air bags deploy unexpectedly, there is an increased risk of crash and injury to the occupants.
GM will notify owners, and dealers will replace the rear drive shaft assembly, free of charge. General Motors distributed an interim letter to owners on August 27, 2014. Owners may contact Cadillac customer service at 1-800-458-8006. GM's number for this recall is 14233.
Potential Units Affected
General Motors LLC

Recall Date
This defect can affect the safe operation of the airbag system. Until this recall is performed, customers should remove all items from their key rings, leaving only the ignition key. The key fob (if applicable), should also be removed from the key ring. General Motors LLC (GM) notified the agency on July 2, 2014 that they are recalling 554,328 model year 2003-2014 Cadillac CTS vehicles manufactured August 16, 2001, to April 28, 2014, and 2004-2006 Cadillac SRX vehicles manufactured March 20, 2003, to August 11, 2006. In these models, the weight on the key ring and/or road conditions or some other jarring event may cause the ignition switch to move out of the run position, turning off the engine.
If the key is not in the run position, the air bags may not deploy if the vehicle is involved in a crash, increasing the risk of injury.
GM will notify owners, and dealers will install two key rings and an insert in the key slot or a cover over the key head on all ignition keys, free of charge. The recall began on September 15, 2014. Owners may contact Cadillac customer service at 1-800-458-8006. GM's number for this recall is 14172.
Potential Units Affected
General Motors LLC

IIHS Roof Strength
NHTSA Rating Overall
Not Rated
NHTSA Rating Front Driver
Not Rated
NHTSA Rating Front Passenger
Not Rated
NHTSA Rating Front Side
Not Rated
NHTSA Rating Rear Side
Not Rated
NHTSA Rating Rollover
IIHS Front Moderate Overlap
IIHS Overall Side Crash
IIHS Best Pick
IIHS Rear Crash

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