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PERFORMANCE | 10 out of 10
a comfy Caddy with a bad-boy streak that's a mile wide
The fastest, most powerful American sedan in history
Movements are precise, yet untroubled by cracked pavement or pot holes
CTS-V accelerates ferociously
The lusty 6.2-liter, supercharged V-8 engine in the 2010 CTS-V makes an impressive 556 horsepower and 551 pound-feet of torque—enough to outgun other top sports sedans from Germany. Performance times have come in at just under four seconds to 60 mph either with the standard six-speed manual or optional six-speed automatic, with a top speed of 191 mph.
Jalopnik explains that while the engine in the Cadillac CTS-V is borrowed from the Chevrolet Corvette ZR1, it makes a bit less power in the CTS-V: “a not-quite-as-ridiculous 551 lb-ft and 556 hp." These numbers are still groundbreaking for a sedan, and enough for Motor Trend to declare the Cadillac CTS-V "the fastest, most powerful American sedan in history." Jalopnik calls it "the fastest production sedan in the world."
In real-world driving, the tremendous torque of this engine can pin you back to your seat in just about any situation, yet a well-calibrated throttle makes it easy to take off smoothly and gently. The six-speed manual gearbox is precise, with a light clutch, while the automatic comes with paddle shifters that allow manual selection if you shift to a separate gate. All this power is made enjoyable through great handling, aided by GM's Magnetic Ride Control, which uses a magnetically sensitive fluid in the dampers to almost instantaneously firm up or soften the suspension. It allows a supple ride on rough roads and crisp body control when it’s needed. The system has a Sport mode, and the StabiliTrack stability control system uses a Competitive Driving Mode to make the most of the balanced chassis, powerful engine, and huge brakes—all enhanced with sticky Z-rated Michelin PS2 summer performance tires.
Cars.com mentions that "the torque band [is]...broad enough, and the sound level is low enough at high revs, that it's easy to crash into the rather hard rev limiter." Effortless delivery doesn't mean docile acceleration, though; ConsumerGuide claims that the Cadillac CTS-V can hit 60 mph "in 3.9 seconds with either manual or automatic transmission," which is faster than many of today's purebred sports cars. Road & Track jokingly comments that "the speedometer in this car is pointless; it should just be a sticker that says 'You're speeding.'"
Whether you choose the six-speed manual transmission or six-speed automatic, you really can't go wrong in the 2010 Cadillac CTS-V; both earn high praise in reviews read by TheCarConnection.com—particularly the manual. ConsumerGuide says it "works smoothly, with a precise but meaty feel," while Cars.com raves about the "pleasing short-throw shifter and ratios matched to the engine's hearty grunt." As for the automatic, Road & Track reviewers note that it "offers an enjoyable experience," thanks to "quick upshifts and rev-matched downshifts that can be controlled by paddles on the steering wheel." However, as experts at TheCarConnection.com have mentioned, using the paddles first requires that you shift the drive selector into the manual shift gate, which can be annoying.
While the 2010 Cadillac CTS-V has the acceleration times to meet or beat most of the world's fastest sport sedans, not everyone is completely enthused about the way the CTS-V steers. Starting with the criticisms, Cars.com says "the one line that could use strengthening is the steering, which doesn't have the feedback of the best track cars"—an opinion shared in several reviews read by TheCarConnection.com.
Although the steering could use some work by some accounts, comments about the CTS-V's handling are universally positive, with most reviewers pointing to how well the suspension soaks up bumps, too. Autoblog finds "it's a nice balance that lets you know you're driving a serious automobile with very serious sporting pretensions, but that it doesn't mind getting up and going to work each morning," and Automobile Magazine reports that Cadillac CTS-V's "ability to provide a civilized ride along with blistering track performance is largely a credit of the latest-generation Magnetic Ride Control," which features "variable dampers" in the shock-absorption system capable of "adjusting their firmness level every millisecond." ConsumerGuide concludes that the CTS-V provides "tenacious grip in turns, and tremendously powerful brakes."
With its huge, supercharged V-8, the CTS-V has, as you might expect, quite unimpressive fuel economy figures. With the automatic, it's rated at 12 mpg city, 19 highway, while the manual comes in at 14/19 mpg.
The 2010 Cadillac CTS-V is truly one of the best-performing sport sedans in the world.