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)
: £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

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Comments (200) Join the discussion on the forum

  • crispyshark 04 Dec 2012

    Loving the stats (watch out for all the anti-'ring' time keyboard warriors) BUT it looks like a Datsun GTR has shagged an E class with the Caddy as the b*stard love child!

  • MichelV 04 Dec 2012

    Why do you post a picture of a Toyota Prius on an article about a Cadillac CTS-V?

  • Gorbyrev 04 Dec 2012

    So much want. These things sound amazing and are tunable to the point that you just surrender your license at your local nick. Perhaps not the best colour (sorry - color!) but who cares. Wagon in a metallic for me but there is little else to touch it for the pennies.

  • King Steffy 04 Dec 2012

    There is ugly & then there's ugly...

  • willisit 04 Dec 2012

    LSA is not a de-tuned ZR1 lump. Never was. I can see why it'd be seen that way - similar in many ways, but ultimately a different engine.

    Still cool though - and "over here" which is never a bad thing. Now.. a ZL1 please.

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