CTS-V Coupe: Time to rumble…in luxury

The CTS-V lets you slip under the radar somewhat, but you still get all the goodies the others offer plus a lot more.

2013 Cadillac CTS-V

Car Review

Overall rating:


Strengths and weaknesses:

  • Uniqueness; power; luxury.
  • Limited rear visibility.

Editor's Ratings:

  • Consumption: 3/10

  • Price: 9/10

  • Look: 6/10

  • Comfort (front): 9/10

  • Performance: 9/10

 If you want to be with the ‘in’ crowd, but don’t want the stereotypical Mustang, Camaro or Corvette, then do I have a deal for you!

How does starting off with 556 hp from a Supercharged 6.2-litre V8 sound? Add to that a TREMEC six-speed manual transmission, 19-inch satin graphite aluminum wheels and Brembo Brakes. Then add some luxury like $600 suede steering wheel and shift knob, BOSE 5.1 Surround sound, interior accent lighting, ez-key remote, HDD based Navigation system, SiriuxXM and a shape that won’t be confused with any of the other ‘muscle’ cars out there.

So, I asked the GM guy, “Why would I buy one of these at just over $81,000 when I could have a ZL1 Camaro for $60,000?”

He said one word – “luxury.”

Ah, and therein lies the difference; but not the only difference.

Take, for example, the seat options. The base seats are nice – great, in fact – until you sit in the optional Recaro Performance seat package that features ventilated front seats. The CTS-V just oozes luxury, with a typical Cadillac level of premium, quality materials. But all this luxury can be overlooked because of one thing. If this CTS-V didn’t ride like a traditional Cadillac, then all that luxury goes out the window.

I am happy to report that the magnetic ride control is set close to perfect. In ‘soft’ mode, the CTS-V is happy to cruise even the bumpiest of roads in the comfort you’d expect; but at the push of a button – quite simply – it’s on.

The CTS-V is transformed into a beast that will take on the best there is. Ground pounding performance isn’t limited to acceleration. I found the big V well balanced and was very good at putting all that power to the ground through the rear wheels, with help coming from the limited slip diff. Brakes are a big part of performance, and the big Brembos with dynamic rear brake proportioning are up to the task.

The CTS-V has just enough of a ‘wow’ factor and stance to clearly see it isn’t a standard CTS, but here’s the important part – it doesn’t stick out like a sore thumb either.

And that brings me to the most important point about the CTS-V Coupe. If you have any of the three I mentioned earlier, especially in the performance models, you are painted with a broad brush – you are stereotyped because you drive a BOSS or ZL1 for example.

The CTS-V lets you slip under the radar somewhat, but you still get all the goodies the others offer plus a lot more, when you factor in the luxury accommodations.

Sadly, this seems to be a fairly well-kept secret, as I have seen a grand total of three CTS-V coupes on the road in the last year.

Cadillac has done a good job of following the model of the Audi RS 5 and BMW M5 by mating performance and luxury together in a package that doesn’t beat you over the head.

Add to that they are few and far between, and you have the perfect muscle car that is somewhat exclusive…and luxurious.

Fact file

2013 Cadillac CTS-V Coupe

Price as tested (before taxes): $81,735

Options on test vehicle: Recaro sport seats, port metallic pedals, premium paint ($1295.00), 19-in. satin Graphite wheels ($830)

Freight/PDI: $1,595

Configuration: front engine/ rear-wheel drive

Engine/transmission: 6.2L Supercharged V8/ 6-spd manual

Power/torque: 556hp/ 551 lb.-ft.

Fuel (capacity): Premium (72L)

Fuel economy ratings: 18.0 L/100km city; 11.2L/100km hwy

Observed fuel economy: 13.8 L/100km over 1,400 km

Warranties: 4 years/ 80,000 km (basic); 6 years/ 160,000 powertrain

Competitors: Audi RS 5; BMW M5; Porsche Panamera


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