It's hard to believe, but the beautiful Cadillac CTS Coupe
almost didn't make it to production. After the immensely successful launch of the CTS sedan in 2008, it seemed as if Cadillac
had finally re-found its mojo. Besides winning top honors such as Motor Trend magazine Car of the Year Award, the CTS sedan combined the best of the "art and science" design language coming out of the GM studio with the key elements that make a Cadillac a Cadillac.
A design study with a prototype were done and displayed at various car shows throughout the world showcasing how sweet the CTS sedan looked in coupe form. Everything seemed to be in place for production until the unthinkable happened: GM began to implode due to the economic recession and had to file for chapter 11 bankruptcy. Suddenly, a bunch of developing projects were stuck (such as the new Camaro Z28) in limbo until GM found a way to regroup and get some survival pending loans from the US government.
Jump ahead a few years and things have changed for the better. Not only did GM emerge from bankruptcy with a renewed sense of mission, but many of those developing products may actually see the light of day. The Cadillac CTS Coupe hit the road in 2010 (as a 2011 model) and even the Z28 is on its way. However, Cadillac couldn't stop with just the base CTS Coupe, no, just like its sedan sibling, the coupe just had to have a high performance version. Low and behold, the 2011 Cadillac CTS-V Coupe
. Without a doubt, the CTS-V Coupe is one of the best looking cars on the road today.
Looks alone can kill, but it's what's under the hood that counts for even more. Powered by GM's supercharged 6.2 liter V8 producing 556 horsepower, you'll be sprinting to 60 mph in just 4.0 seconds flat. With your choice between a six-speed manual or automatic, you'll marvel at the sheer burst of power that's within your grip. Even when not in motion, the CTS-V looks fast. That can be credited with Cadillac's edgy design styling.
While it evokes Cadillacs of the past, mainly with large rear tail lights, the "art and science" design is truly 21st century.
There is nothing quite like it on the road as it'll immediately stand out when compared to the competing BMWs, Mercedes, and Audis at the traffic light. This edge theme carries over to the interior as well, which is the same as the sedan's. Upon first glance, the interior looks very rich with its sleek design and unique angles. However, for a car that has a base price of $60,000, the interior materials should be better quality. Instead of finding bits of aluminum, wood, or even carbon fiber trim, the CTS-V Coupe takes the sedan's and base coupe's use of plastic throughout.
While the quality of said material has been substantially improved in recent years, it's simply not adequate for a car of this price and caliber. Even the quality of the leather is somewhat questionable. GM is still in the process of improving interior quality and while the CTS signaled a significant improvement, further work is still necessary. But enough about that and focus on the performance. It takes the best of the sedan's handling traits and makes them even more precise, mainly due to its lack of rear doors which allows for increased rigidity.
While those large C-pillars look really cool and add a sense of flow and energy to the exterior, they create an annoying blind spot for the driver. Oh well, nothing is ever totally perfect. With front and rear Brembo brakes, the CTS-V Coupe provides amazing stopping power and responsiveness. GM put some considerable money into developing the car's road manners and it shows. When compared to its main competition, mainly the Audi
S5 and BMW
M6, the Cadillac is the true performance bargain.
As GM and Cadillac continue to be performance and design leaders, the only element they're missing here is the need for higher quality interior materials. The next generation model is only a few years away, so let's hope this minor but important drawback is fixed. Until then, however, we can proudly say that Cadillac is back and better than ever.