To the casual observer, the CTS coupe is just another brash, gaudy, ostentatious coupe. Combine Cadillac's 'Art and Science' design philosophy with a Hollywood smile shade of pearlescent white and you certainly have a shape that warrants attention, positive or negative.
An American car with dramatic styling is nothing unusual. What is a break from the norm is that the CTS-V is, apparently, a genuinely decent thing to drive.
Jaguar XFR-S arrives next year with 550hp, but the CTS-V has been boasting 564hp since 2008 thanks to a detuned version of the Corvette ZR1's 6.2-litre supercharged V8.
More than just packing a punch 'under the hood' though, Cadillac has wisely invested in quality components elsewhere also. The brakes are from Brembo, and the CTS-V also features adaptive magnetic dampers. Its Michelin Pilot Sport PS2 tyres are tailored specifically for the V. Apologies if this sounds like the Cadillac press pack, but it's refreshing to see an American performance car that focuses on more than just the engine.
The cumulative effect is a car capable of a 7:59 Nordschleife lap time and a composed on-road drive as well. Our colleagues at Autocar lauded the CTS-V's precise steering and composed damping when they drove a coupe, and concluded that it could go wheel to wheel with a V10 BMW M6 and not be outclassed. High praise indeed.
any M6, but only slightly more expensive than an M3 coupe. At £54,990, the CTS-V still delivers old fashioned American value, but with a welcome injection of handling ability also.
So it isn't perfect. You will have to sit on the wrong side of a cabin that doesn't quite match the best European interiors. And Bauer Millett is the only Cadillac distributor in the UK, which is a little inconvenient if you don't live anywhere near Manchester. Past glories for the brand are a distant memory too, meaning Cadillac doesn't quite have the cachet it once had. Another blingy US import to the uninitiated, for those who know it might just be one of the great surprise packages of recent times. And that makes the Cadillac CTS-V a very cool car indeed.
Cadillac CTS-V (2012)
Why you should: It's the American performance car that doesn't require any excuses
Why you shouldn't: LHD might be an issue for some, you'll need to love the looks
Click here to see the original advert