You Know You Want To: Cadillac CTS-V


If YKYWT is governed by similar rules to Shed, this probably contravenes them all. It's brand new, for a start. Moreover, it's not a model officially available in Britain, so it's a LHD import also. And it's a Cadillac.

It's not shy but it is very, very fast and good value
It's not shy but it is very, very fast and good value
However, this is a Cadillac CTS-V and, despite being factory fresh (the first one in Britain, no less), it perfectly encapsulates what You Know You Want To is all about. On a power-to-price scale, it represents conspicuously good value, which is a great start. It's rare, capable and, perhaps most relevantly, more than just a knuckle-dragging hotrod.

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.

Let's just say the money went on the engine
Let's just say the money went on the engine
Of course, it's powered by a gargantuan engine. The 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.

Handling as well as shock and awe power
Handling as well as shock and awe power
That M6 comparison brings us back to the value represented by Cadillac's flagship. It's a hugely difficult car to categorise; it's longer than an M3 but shorter than both the V8 and V10 M6 models. It's as powerful as 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)
Price
: £54,990
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

P.H. O'meter

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Comments (200) Join the discussion on the forum

  • minime68 31 Jan 2013

    Maybe it will depreciate here who knows? They have been holding up pretty well in the United States. Retail for those when they came our in 09 were $62K. I bought mine for 55K with 4000 miles in early '10. I can still sell my car for mid-low 40s in that market. Look at what the E60 M5 is going for in comparison and starting price. I would think the CTS-V has held its value pretty good in its intended market. I agree most people won't buy them here as it is unknown. I use it to my advantage and surprise a LOT of people smile

  • irocfan 30 Jan 2013

    22rgt B Squadron said:
    Huge lump of money and values will drop like a rock off the cliffs of Dover. Top spec German badge on your drive or a Caddy *with people asking what on earth it is), its a no brainer..US cars have still yet to throw off the image of big, heavy , bulky, poor handling, poor economy, poor quality, huge depreciation..
    seriously though who gives a flying fk if people don't know what it is? The only person who has to like it is me fk anyone else's poV smile

  • DonkeyApple 30 Jan 2013

    Around 14 years ago when they imported a number of high spec STS models in RHD and try to sell them through the Vauxhaul network the forecourt price was around £55k.

    Now, these were actually ok cars but a year or so later they all ended up in a neat line in the storage field at Bruntingthorpe.

    From there at least one person picked up the phone and bought one for £12k. At that price an excellent car.

  • 22rgt B Squadron 30 Jan 2013

    Huge lump of money and values will drop like a rock off the cliffs of Dover. Top spec German badge on your drive or a Caddy *with people asking what on earth it is), its a no brainer..US cars have still yet to throw off the image of big, heavy , bulky, poor handling, poor economy, poor quality, huge depreciation..

  • After_Shock 30 Jan 2013

    scenario8 said:
    So here we are two further months down the line and the car is still gathering dust on the forecourt and has lost another five grand from its sticker.

    I know these cars tend to find vocal support on PH from a section of believers (as can be seen above) but it seems few with the available cash are interested.

    http://www.autotrader.co.uk/classified/advert/2012...
    Its just a huge lump of cash for an unknown car. And I dont think the colour does it any favours at all, looks much better in a dark finish.

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