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2011 Cadillac CTS-V

2011 Cadillac CTS-V

The Basics:

TheCarConnection's editors have previewed the new Cadillac CTS-V Coupe here from information released by General Motors. Editors will update this preview into a full road test as soon as vehicles are available for review.

Looking for something a bit more seductive than the four-door Cadillac CTS-V four-door sedan? Your wish is GM's command: in 2011, Cadillac is spinning off a two-door version of the supercharged CTS-V, the new CTS-V Coupe.

Attention-getting style, solid driving dynamics, quality materials, and a very competitive price put the entire 2011 Cadillac CTS lineup on level-or-better footing with most of the competition.

Set for a global launch at the 2010 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, the CTS-V Coupe shares all its essentials with the fleet-footed CTS-V sedan and the coming CTS Coupe, starting with the Coupe's erotically angled sheetmetal. It's a fantastic appearance--as good as the CTS looks as a sedan, it's better yet as a Sport Wagon and at its finest as a two-door coupe. The CTS-V Coupe takes the lesser two-door and raises its hood to make room for a supercharger; massages the front and rear ends to help air flow and instill a little demonic energy into the bumpers; and splits the exhaust into twin rear outlets. Vertical LED taillights and 19-inch wheels are standard. The CTS-V's cabin wears the interior of the sedan, but with a distinct, optional golden interior hue, with faux-suede inserts on the seats, and with golden stitching on the dash top.

It's the V-8 underhood that will draw the most attention--and the most challenges from the likes of the BMW M3 and Audi S5. The Cadillac CTS-V Coupe borrows the sedans' 556-horsepower, supercharged V-8 and should generate near-identical performance, maybe with a bit better traction thanks to a wider rear stance. Cadillac predicts a 0-60 mph time of 3.9 seconds; we're sure the leadfoots in the enthusiast-magazine world will torture a few tenths off that time. Coupe drivers will choose either a six-speed manual transmission or a six-speed automatic with a manual-shift mode and paddle controls.

Handling and ride are engineered for tight response and taut control through GM's Magnetic Ride Control; here it gets two setups, Tour and Sport. The big 19-inch wheels get specially designed Michelin Pilot Sport PS2 summer tires for a good blend of performance on the road and on the track, Cadillac says. Brembo brakes are fitted, too.

With a wheelbase identical to the CTS-V sedan, and an overall length two inches shorter, it's safe to assume front passengers will fit fairly easily into the CTS-V Coupe, and will suffer for trying to sit in the tiny back seats. Longer doors won't help the CTS sedan's narrow footwells at all; performance-minded families should hold out hope for a CTS-V Sport Wagon, and its wider door cutouts and much larger cargo area. Cadillac does promise optional Recaro seats up front, with 14-way power adjustments. The current CTS-V's interior adds new faux-suede trim on the seats, shifter and steering wheel for a more luxurious touch, and piano-black trim on the dash. TheCarConnection's editors have been impressed by the quality of recent Cadillac interiors, particularly the CTS' interior.

Safety ratings should mirror those of the current CTS sedan and coupe, with five-star crash protection for driver and front passenger in front and side impacts--but no crash tests will be performed until the CTS-V Coupe nears its on-sale date.

Cadillac will add even more equipment to the new 2011 CTS-V Coupe. The door handles, for example, have been replaced by a touch pad that obviates the need for a handle cutout. Classy. The CTS's wonderful navigation system and pop-up LCD screen, Bluetooth and USB connectivity, and 40GB hard drive for music and maps will be standard features.

Pricing has not yet been announced. The 2011 Cadillac CTS-V Coupe enters production in the summer of 2010, with sales beginning in the fall.

Buying Tips:

If you're not quite in need of all 556 horsepower, Cadillac will also sell a normally aspirated 2011 CTS Coupe with V-6 and V-8 engines. It won't be offered as a convertible, though all-wheel drive will be an option.

Other Choices:

  • 2010 BMW 3-Series
  • 2010 Audi A5

Reason Why:

The new Cadillac CTS-V Coupe promises thundering power and exceptional handling prowess--just like the current BMW M3, which delivers less power on paper but offers a sublime driving experience. The latest Audi S5 comes in coupe or Cabriolet form, and has a lighter touch--and a supercharged V-6, instead of a throbbing V-8. The Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe isn't yet offered in AMG trim, but its luxury looks are joined with a strong V-8 engine and improved handling over the old CLK-Class Benz. It's a four-door, yes, but the new Jaguar XFR doesn't have much rear-seat room, and its curvy, slinky body is a lovely counterpoint to the Cadillac's aggressive angles--and its 510-hp V-8 breathes out nearly as much firepower.

The Bottom Line:

GM wraps its best-looking Cadillac body around its best-performing drivetrain for an eagerly awaited new CTS-V coupe--driving impressions to come.

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