Without a doubt, the CTS coupe is the most striking example of Cadillac's angular design language. The new V coupe adds legitimate performance to back up its sporty styling. More importantly, unlike some luxury sports cars, the V isn't tuned for the track at the detriment of real-world driving. Cadillac managed to add performance to the standard coupe with only minor sacrifices to its everyday drivability and its ability to coddle its occupants. Specifically, the V coupe didn't make me suffer every time I hit rough pavement or cringe when I encountered a railroad crossing but it was still fun to drive aggressively when I had the opportunity.
Inside, the cabin is more spacious than I expected from a wedge-shaped coupe -- at least in the front seat -- and the overall style is an attractive mix of sport and luxury. The suede on the shifter and steering wheel looks great and is a reasonably priced option ($350) that adds some character to the mostly flat black surfaces -- although on the 90-degree day that I drove the V coupe, it was hard to enjoy the suede's fuzzy texture; I'm sure I'd appreciate it more in cool weather. The manual gearbox requires a satisfyingly deliberate motion but the long throws made it hard to complete shifts as quickly as I wanted. I also found the placement of the shifter a bit awkward. Once I had the seat positioned forward enough to engage the clutch's long travel, the shifter was so close that first-to-second and third-to-fourth shifts were difficult. And, although the Recaro seats are extremely comfortable and supportive, the exaggerated side bolsters got in the way on these same shifts. For an insane $3400, I think I'd skip them anyway and go with the standard seats.
Jennifer Misaros, Production Editor