2009 Cadillac CTS-V

Daniel Byrne

For some years, Cadillac has been fielding (or attempting to field) a linear, three-punch lineup, along the lines of the Mercedes-Benz C-, E-, and S-classes or BMW's 3-, 5-, and 7-series. But they've missed the goalposts by a country kilometer. Cadillac wasn't really thinking German when it first came up with the idea of turning German, so existing products didn't align with the tightly defined segments of the burgher market. While killing off its old nameplates, Cadillac then forgot that it would need to invest heavily in new ones if it was to offer the best at all three size/price points. The CTS is the only thing that got close.

For all we know, the ultimate driving machine for picking up bagels and lox in West Palm might be something boatlike and front-wheel-drive like the DTS, Cadillac's nominal top-of-the-line. The STS never really cut it as the Mama Bear competitor for the 5-series, since the CTS pretty much did everything the STS did against the 5-series, but for less money. Which, of course, made the CTS bigger than the Baby Bear BMW 3-series it was supposed to track. Maybe Cadillac shouldn't have gone down this road.

Bringing us to our prescription. Cadillac must recognize that the CTS is the de facto top of its new heap, with the CTS-V as a very special flagship. The CTS coupe and wagon coming next year are steps in the right direction, as is the expected upcoming sub-CTS rear-wheel-drive sedan. One day, Cadillac can build bespoke limousines and bigger, more luxurious cars above the CTS-V. But for now, it needs to reimagine a new lineup below it. And then take two aspirin and call me in the morning.

Base Price $60,000 (est.)

Engine Supercharged and intercooled OHV V-8
Displacement 6.2 liters (376 cu in)
Horsepower 556 hp @ 6100 rpm
Torque 551 lb-ft @ 3800 rpm
Transmission types 6-speed manual or automatic
Drive Rear-wheel

Steering Power-assisted rack-and-pinion
Suspension, front and rear Control arms, coil springs brakes Vented discs, ABS
Tires Michelin Pilot Sport PS2
Tire size f, r 255/40YR-19, 285/35YR-19

L x W x H 191.6 x 72.5 x 58.0 in
Wheelbase 113.4 in
Track f/r 61.8/62.0 in
Weight 4292/4281 lb (manual/automatic)
Mileage 12/18 mpg (est.)

Performance Manual Automatic
0–60 MPH 4.5 sec 4.4 sec
0–{{{100}}} MPH 10.0 9.9
0–150 MPH 23.4 24.3
1/4–MILE 12.8 sec @ 12.7 sec @
  117 mph 116 mph
70–0 MPH BRAKING 159 ft 162 ft
SPEED IN GEARS 1) 37 mph 1) 48 mph
  2) 63 2) 72
3) 97 3) 99
4) 129 4) 129
5) 175 5) 161
6) 191 6) 175
CORNERING (L/R) 0.97/0.95 g 0.97/0.95 g
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