2017 Cadillac CTS-V

2017 Cadillac CTS-V

The performance sedan market is not a big market. But the segment itself is important to manufacturers because they can flex their muscles and show off.

This applies perfectly to the 2017 Cadillac CTS-V, the most powerful Caddy ever. Its supercharged 6.2-liter engine puts out a whopping 640 horsepower, enough to make even some Lamborghini owners jealous. With a 0-60 time of 3.7 seconds, it’s almost as fast as a Huracan, and the fact that we can put the performance figures of a Cadillac next to those of a Lambo and not laugh about it is enough to pique our interest. 

Unlike its down-to-earth variant, the performance sedan gets a black mesh upper and lower grille, with larger grille openings to provide better cooling. It also comes with a carbon fiber hood, fitted with an air-extracting vent. You can opt for a carbon fiber splitter, hood vent, diffuser and rear spoiler, as part of a package. Adaptive HID headlamps with high-beam assist and LED signature vertical daytime running lights are standard on the CTS-V.

The profile, with it’s rising waistline, low ride height and large vents behind the wheel arches, manages to confer an aggressive air to the CTS-V. Illuminated door handles are a feature carried over from the regular CTS. The 2017 Cadillac CTS-V rides on V-Series exclusive 19-inch forged aluminum wheels and comes with wider fenders to accommodate them. The rims are wrapped in Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires.

At the rear, the main features are LED headlamps, a spoiler with integrated LED brake light, and twin exhaust tips on each side. Six exterior colors are offered for the CTS-V. 

Better standard equipment and better materials are the highlights of the 2017 Cadillac CTS-V cabin, compared to the CTS. Matte carbon fiber and suede adorn the dash, center console, and door panels. The headliner is also suede. 20-way heated and ventilated power front seats with driver’s side memory function are standard, covered in semi-aniline leather, with suede inserts and seatbacks. Recaro performance seats with adjustable side bolsters are available, as are suede-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob. Three color combinations are offered: Jet Black, Jet Black with Light Platinum accents and Saffron with Jet Black accents.

The signature thick-rim steering wheel comes with magnesium paddle shifters. A 12.3-inch HD display serves as instrument panel, providing three layouts to choose from and complemented by a full-color, reconfigurable head-up display. An infotainment system with an 8-inch touchscreen and navigation, along with a 13-speaker Bose surround sound system are standard.

Rear passengers get 37.50 in of head room and 35.40 in of leg room, while cargo volume is given as 13.7 cu ft. Rear seat occupants can also benefit from the available heating function or the tri-zone climate control. Standard climate control is dual-zone. 

Performance aside, the 2017 Cadillac CTS-V is basically the top trim level for the CTS. Therefore, it comes with a ton of tech goodies. We’ve already mentioned the 8-inch screen infotainment system, but we haven’t mentioned that it’s got multi-touch support, gesture recognition, and proximity sensor.

A built-in wi-fi hotspot with support for up to seven mobile devices is available, through OnStar 4G LTE. The 2017 CTS-V comes with 3GB or 3 months OnStar Data Trial. OnStar Guidance Plan for 1 year is also provided free when buying the car, giving access to services like automatic crash response, stolen vehicle assistance or roadside assistance.

Our favorite among the available gadgets list is the performance data and video recorder. As the name suggests, it captures telemetry data, HD video from the front-view camera and in-cabin audio. After a few laps around the track, you can review your performance on the infotainment display. Or you can download the recordings for a more thorough analysis on your computer using the Cosworth Toolbox software.

More usual features include three USB ports, Bluetooth connectivity, voice control, keyless entry and engine start, and remote engine start via the keyfob. 

Now for the really awesome part: the performance. A 6.2-liter supercharged V8 engine, generating 640 hp at 6400 rpm and 630 lb-ft of torque at 3600 rpm, throbs under the hood. It can hurl the 4,145-pound rear-wheel-drive sedan to 60 mph in just 3.7 seconds and it can keep going until it reaches 200. The massive engine, lifted off the Chevrolet Corvette, is mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission with Performance Algorithm Shifting.

The 2017 Cadillac CTS-V comes with magneto-rheological independently-controlled dampers, an electronic limited slip differential, and variable ratio ZF electric steering. The Performance Traction Management system provides five modes specifically designed for the track: Wet, Dry, Sport 1, Sport 2 and Race. These are only available in the Track drive mode. The other modes the driver can choose from are Tour, Sport, and Snow.

Stopping power is provided by a Brembo brake system with two-piece 15.3-inch-diameter discs and six-piston calipers in the front, and 14.3-inch-diameter discs with four-piston calipers at the back. 

No safety body has crash-tested the 2017 Cadillac CTS-V yet. But the IIHS gave a rating of "good" to the 2017 CTS in all aspects except for small overlap front, which was rated as "marginal". As a performance sedan, the CTS-V comes with a lot of standard safety features. But first, let’s quickly list the airbags: driver and front passenger frontal and knee airbags, front seat thorax, pelvic and side-impact curtain airbags, and rear thorax airbags.

Forward collision warning, lane departure warning and lane keep assist, rear cross-traffic alert, rearview camera, blind spot monitor, tire pressure monitor, and parking assist are all standard. There’s also a nifty CurbView camera that provides a visual cue of curbs so you won’t wreck your front splitter. 

As bragging rights go, the 2017 CTS-V places Cadillac right up there with AMGs and Ms. It’s a luxury sedan that packs a serious punch and the motoring media have praised its performance. The only thing it lacks is pedigree. Not when it comes making premium automobiles, as Cadillac was founded before Mercedes-Benz and BMW. But when it comes to performance, it arrived to the party a lot later than its rivals. It’s going to take a lot more involvement in motorsport for people to start associating Cadillac with performance.

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