Midnight Sapele Wood
One feature of the CTS-V I am driving is the Midnight Sapele Wood accents. This is a shot in direct sunlight to try to give an impression of the color of the wood trim. The wood trim inserts are on the doors, the steering wheel, and along the center console and shifter.
The Sapele is a large tree native to tropical Africa, and is a member of the Mahogany family. It is sought after for its durability, and beautiful graining. The heartwood is pink when freshly cut, but it matures to a red-brown or purple-brown color. For the CTS-V the Sapele has been darkened to create the midnight effect, while maintaining clear graining.
Sunday afternoon I took the Cadillac CTS-V out for a wandering drive near Lake Lavon. I left the navigation system up, but just kind of meandered in a general direction out near and around the lake. I alternated between windows down and sunroof open to enjoy the afternoon, and all buttoned up and quiet to enjoy the Jazz playing on XM.
Coming out of a left hand sweeping corner I was delighted to discover that the CTS-V would downshift and chirp the wide, grippy rear tires when accelerating from 60 mph. Nothing dramatic, and constantly under control. But ‘normal’ cars just don’t have enough power to do that. The LSA engine in the CTS-V is simply spectacular. It has torque in spades throughout the rev range, which makes it easy to drive at a creep into the drive way or at full song down a long straight away. The six speed automatic was first released in the STS-V and XLR-V, and I think the programming / calibration of this great transmission are most at home and in sync with a high power engine.
I don’t have the right venue to test the CTS-V’s absolute cornering limits, but I can say with some confidence that if you exceed them on the highway you are probably ‘doing it wrong’. I wondered if because the CTS-V has such a powerful engine whether it might be a handful in day to day driving. It absolutely is not. It is so perfectly accomplished and composed that you really would have to go out of your way to get in trouble with this car.
When you look at the configuration, the CTS-V is not trying to be a BMW, Mercedes, or Audi. This is a classic American solution to going faster — an efficient, high-output, tuned large displacement V8 up in front where God intended the engine to be, huge brakes, strong suspension, and the largest wheels and tires that fit. The CTS-V is an American Sports Sedan.
Thanks to Crest Cadillac
My Host for this test drive is Crest Cadillac of Plano, Texas. They are located at 2701 North Central Expressway, Plano, Texas. You can contact them by phone Toll-free at 1-866-697-9144 or locally at (972)578-7511, or on Twitter or Facebook