2011 Cadillac CTS-V Coupe
Only a few weeks ago we sang the praises of Cadillac’s new CTS coupe. Now, another throttle has dropped as Cadillac adds its ultra-high performance V-treatment to the new two-door. Like BMW’s M-cars, and AMG at Mercedes-Benz, Cadillac’s V-tuning attempts to take an already stellar car to new heights. So, with the CTS-V coupe, we are expecting to be impressed.
The 2011 Cadillac CTS Coupe’s dramatic, angular Art & Science lines lend themselves well to the V-Series cues. The bold front fascia, with freer-breathing twin honeycomb grilles, is shared with the CTS-V sedan, right down to the combination brake duct/fog lamp housings. Standard Adaptive HID headlights flank a bulging hood that makes room for the requisite supercharged V8.
The Coupe’s deep gash down the lower flanks needs no enhancements beyond badging. The V’s rear track grows an inch to allow for wider 285/35 Z-rated Pilot Sport PS2 treads on unique ten-spoke 19 inch alloys. The V-Coupe also dons a taller center stop light spoiler than the standard car. Twin, 4-inch, center exhaust pipes make a powerful visual statement, and a guttural growl.
The crouched and ready stance is a fitting byproduct of form following function, and a perfect vessel for the supercharged aluminum-block 6.2-liter pushrod V8. The numbers are the same as the four-door; 556 horsepower and 551 lb-ft of torque. That’s more beef than the M3, the old M5, and even the M6. Also shared with the sedan are the Coupe’s rear drive dual-disc clutch six-speed manual, and high-performance six-speed automatic.
At the test track, our Thunder gray automatic V-Coupe chewed through first gear with very little wheel spin and sank its teeth into second, serving up 60 miles per hour in 4.2 seconds. Again the same as the sedan. Sport mode made for crisp, clean shifts, all the way to a 12.4-second quarter mile at 117 miles per hour. Don’t expect the wheel-mounted toggle shifters to improve your times—this automatic shifts quicker.
Massive Brembo brakes-a full 15 inches in diameter up front and 14.7 in the rear-snapped the beefy V-Series Coupe down from 60 to a dead stop in an average of only 118 feet. Pedal feel was slightly spongy, but run after run, the V proved fade-free.
And it also proved deft at dodging cones, though the low-speed slalom required some muscle. It feels like the 4,200 pound car that it is, but steering is quick and direct, if a little numb. Higher speeds bring on slight understeer, but the V8’s gobs of torque is always there to push you out.
There are two schools of thought when it comes to rare high performance cars like this CTS-V Coupe. Some like their responses light as a feather, almost like the car is on tippy-toes. The BMW M3 falls into that category. Now others like their high performance car to feel more nailed down. That, I think, is the CTS-V Coupe. Thrilling to drive, too.
Magnetic ride control makes for a civilized road ride, but clearly the chassis is tuned to sporting tastes. No boulevard cruiser here. And, like its direct rivals, fuel economy is not a CTS-V strong suit. Government Fuel Economy Ratings are 14 City 19 Highway for the manual, 12 and 18 for the automatic. Our automatic drew 16.3, all, naturally on premium.
Inside, the CTS’ ultra-modern interior gets V-Series cues as well. Dash and door trim are faux carbon fiber, and the wheel and shifter are done in faux suede microfiber. Saffron is a new, V Coupe exclusive trim color.
Our car’s optional fourteen-way power Recaro front buckets had plenty of lateral support, but an overly flat seat bottom. Rear seat legroom is the same as the sedan’s, but the CTS Coupe’s stylish silhouette robs headroom. The trick exterior touch-pad door handles mirror these simple door-release buttons inside.
Cargo capacity is the same as the regular Coupe’s, at 10.5 cubic feet; and the rear seats do fold 60/40, allowing access through a small-ish pass through. But, for the V Coupe’s price, these gooseneck hinges shouldn’t be here. That base MSRP comes to $62,990. With options, our car came to within striking distance of 70 grand. So, the CTS-V Coupe is a bit more than a BMW M3, but a lot less than an M6.
But, some critics will cry, it’s still not a BMW. True enough. Still, Cadillac has proven that it can hold its own in the same ultra-high performance circles. Indeed, we think the 2011 Cadillac CTS-V Coupe is an outstanding, no excuses, driver’s car that can stand up to all comers.
- Engine: Supercharged Aluminum-block 6.2-Liter Pushrod V8
- Horsepower: 556
- Torque: 551 Lb Feet
- 0-60 MPH: 4.2 Seconds
- 1/4 Mile: 12.4 Seconds @ 117 MPH
- 60-0 MPH: 118 Feet
- EPA: 14 MPG City/ 19 MPG Highway
- Mixed Loop: 16.3 MPG