2017 Cadillac CTS-V: Following a sold-out year with more luxury, performance and power

By Mike Blake - Carlisle Events
Thursday, August 24, 2017

The Cadillac CTS began life in 2002, taking the “CTS” name from the vehicle it replaced in the line-up, -- the Catera -- CTS meant: “Catera Touring Sedan”. The CTS-V derivative was launched in 2009 as a 4-door luxury mid-size sports sedan with real power. What the “V” stands for is a matter of conjecture. Cadillac owners group lore has it that the V stands for: victory, velocity, voracious, or Vette-derivative, and some swear it is because it has a 0-60 time of under 5 seconds, thus making the V represent the Roman numeral for 5 and not an actual word. GM has been non-committal and it might just be a marketing letter, but it is on the record that the Cadillac V-Series is a line of high-performance vehicles, and CTS-V is equipped with a V-8 engine shared with Corvette: the 640hp, 630 lbs.-ft. of torque LT4 engine. And that makes the muscular luxury sedan earn its “V” for Vroooom.

The 2017 CTS-V follows its sold-out 2016 model year as the most capable V-series ever from the factory. In the second year of its third generation, CTS-V adds a Carbon Black sport package, available high-def Rear Camera Mirror, and upgrades and enhancements for the Cadillac CUE infotainment system that include “Teen Driver,” that can track a driver’s speed, distance traveled and whether any safety systems were activated.

Constructed with a unitized welded steel body with direct-mounted front cradle and rubber-isolated, multi-link independent rear suspension, the CTS-V design is functional in form and avant-garde in design philosophy. Almost every exterior panel on the Cadillac CTS-V super sedan is unique, from the fascias and fenders, to the hood, rear spoiler and rocker moldings – and each was designed to support the car’s capability, contributing to lift reduction, enhanced cooling and improved aero management. With its athletic stance, wide body and low height, the CTS-V’s shape is both aggressive and intelligent. Weighing in at a robust and stable 4141 lbs., with 52.7 percent of its weight distribution up front, CTS-V stands 197.6 inches long, 57.2 inches high and 72.2 inches wide on a 114.6-inch wheelbase.

What sets Cadillac CTS-V apart from other mid-size luxury sedans is its muscle. Powered by a 6.2-liter supercharged V-8 engine that thrusts out a Corvette-capable 640 horses and 630 lbs.-ft. of torque, the direct-injection fuel delivery system is EPA rated at 14mpg/city and 21mpg/highway. Coupled with a paddle-shift eight-speed, electronically controlled, automatic overdrive transmission with a torque converter clutch, power is immediate. I smoked tires whenever possible and still averaged 20.0mpg in my mixed-use tests.

For me the “V” in CTS-V stood for velocity. I experienced no supercharger lag, and while the rear swayed a bit at times, there was no apparent torque steer. While I never quite reached the manufacturer’s touted 3.6-second time for a zero-to-60mph sprint, I did break 4 seconds at 3.89 seconds during a smooth 11.99-second quarter-mile (hand-timed).

Responsive steering kept understeer to a minimum, and the rear-wheel drive CTS-V’s MacPherson-type front suspension with dual lower ball joints and direct-acting stabilizer bar, and Magnetic Ride Control with monotube inverted struts, worked well with an independent five-link rear with Magnetic Ride Control for a good combination of road feel and passenger pampering.

Inside, a performance-focused cabin with handcrafted refinements was filled with high tech, infotainment and luxurious comfort. With seating capacity for five, interior accommodations are roomy up front and tight in row two with 40.4 inches of front headroom and 37.5 inches in the rear. Legroom is 45.7 inches in row one and 35.4 inches behind, and shoulder room is 56.9 and 53.3.

CTS-V safety features include dual-stage driver front air bag, driver and front passenger frontal front seat thorax and pelvic, rear thorax protection for outboard seating positions, side-curtain and driver and front passenger knee airbag and an airbag passenger sensing system.

The 2017 Cadillac CTS-V Sedan starts at $86,990. Crystal White Tricoat premium exterior paint added $600 and was mated to a Light Platinum interior with Jet Black accents. The Luxury Package added $2075 for a rear camera mirror, tri-zone climate control, heated rear outboard seating positions, power rear-window sunshade, manual rear side window sunshades and more.

The $600 Advanced Security Package added a shielded theft-deterrent alarm system with dedicated power source; inclination sensor that activates an alarm during unauthorized jacking and/or towing; steering column lock that prevents steering without the appropriate fob or key; locking wheel lugs to help prevent wheel theft and laminated glass rear door windows to help absorb impact without shattering. The all-weather mat protection package added $225 for premium all-weather floor mats and cargo mat.

OK, now for the coolest option package – the $1600 Performance Data And Video Recorder allows the driver to capture performance metrics. High-definition video and in-cabin audio in real time includes four overlays - Sport, Track, Performance or no Overlay. Its front-view camera captures each curve and straightaway, and when parked, lets you watch and analyze your driving performance on the Cadillac CUE®1 screen, and recordings can be downloaded to a personal computer to evaluate driver and vehicle performance, make comparisons to improve driver performance and share recordings with friends. This is a performance and video game enthusiast’s “must’ buy”.

The UltraView® power sunroof added $1450; a cargo net in the trunk added $55; destination and freight charges were $995 and the gas guzzler tax added $1000 for a sticker as tested of $94,540.

> Visit www.CarlisleEvents.com for more on the automotive hobby.

Mike Blake, former editor of KIT CAR magazine, joined Carlisle Events as senior automotive journalist in 2004. He's been a "car guy" since the 1960s and has been writing professionally for about 30 years.

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