2009 Cadillac CTS-V

A much broader range of talents

The CTS-V is a comfy Caddy with a bad-boy streak that's a mile wide. It has far more polish than its crude but capable predecessor, yet it's blazingly fast. Once again, the CTS-V is comports itself very well on a racetrack, with amazing levels of grip, cornering attitudes that vary from neutral to oversteer to understeer depending on your inputs, and strong brakes. Even with the serious increase in torque, Cadillac engineers have quelled rear axle hop with a cast iron differential and asymmetrical driveshafts. Given a driver with Herculean restraint, the muted engine and comfortable ride could fool passengers into thinking they're riding in just another CTS. But for most of us, the urge to press that right pedal is too great. When you do, the CTS-V instantly blurs the surrounding traffic. Cadillac claims a 0-to-60-mph time of less than four seconds. And the CTS-V is game as long as you are, easily surpassing the self-imposed 155-mph speed limit of it German counterparts and accelerating all the way to 175 mph for the automatic-equipped version (which is reined in to limit the speed of the transmission output shaft) and 191 mph for the manual.

In conclusion: Wow

Whereas the previous CTS-V was a capable but crude hot rod, the new one feels as if it has jumped forward two generations, not only effectively addressing the old car's shortcomings but pouring on more performance as well. This car offers vastly greater mechanical refinement and interior quality, better styling, and oh-my-god performance. Certainly, it's the best Cadillac in modern times. And it sits on par with German competitors that cost thousands more. Unfortunately, the money you save will likely go toward paying for speeding tickets.

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