It takes a certain type of person to look at a Corvette Z06 and wish it had back seats. The mad scientists at Cadillac’s V division have been using Corvette’s most powerful engines since 2004. Last year was the introduction of the 3rd generation CTS-V, so Cadillac sent us one for a week of thrills. For 2017 they’ve revised some of the less popular items and sent us another metallic black monster. Four years ago I found a pristine 2004 example in the world’s best car magazine so I had to have it. I might be biased, but I feel that the V Series represents the state of the art in high-performance luxury cars.
Editorial bias aside, let’s start with changes for 2017. Big black supercharged sedans tend to get toasty, especially in summertime Florida. So the best upgrade is automatic seat ventilation. The seat senses your temperature and controls the blower speed accordingly- Brilliant! Android Auto is now fully integrated into the CUE infotainment system. And CUE has received a new interface. You can select which apps are displayed. This eliminates useless info and also appeals to the OCD among us. Other tech upgrades include distance control for the adaptive cruise, and the lane keeping system is much smoother. Last year the car would correct itself with abrupt steering input. It wasn’t a big deal breaker for some of us. The fact that it can follow the road as well as any German is impressive. The most hilarious upgrade is Teen Driver mode. It tracks speed, throttle input, and location and gives a “report card” to the parents.
We applaud Cadillac for thinking of teen safety, but giving teens access to 640 horsepower should not be considered. That’s because the CTS-V is one of the fastest sports cars for sale. After starting the engine, select race mode and press traction control off twice. A hidden menu appears that allows you to fine tune every aspect of the car. Stability control, magnetic suspension, and the 8-speed automatic have multiple settings. The ATS-V and Corvette also have the same level of customization, and we wish more automakers would pick up on this. Each system is set at a middle configuration from the factory, and after a few days, you will transform the car into your ideal daily driver.
The only system that is not customizable is the active exhaust. Even in race mode the car isn’t truly loud, it just has more rumble. If you are like us, put the car in race mode and unplug the muffler valves. When you do, you will see the enormous cross flow muffler that is the size of a coffee table. That is the main gripe about the third generation CTS. It is over-engineered to compete with the Europeans. Some performance-minded buyers don’t want a panoramic sunroof or powered rear sunshade. Engines making 640 hp and 630 lb-ft of torque don’t need 8-speed automatics. Also, where did the manual transmission go? Don’t read this the wrong way, the car is solid as titanium and library quiet- even at 120 mph. I am simply making note of the incredible refinements the car has made since 2004. It will make a fool of almost anything on the road, and it has the ability to reach 700 horsepower in an afternoon of upgrades. If you have been considering a sedan that competes with supercars, the CTS-V is the only option. Oh, and if you want to know how I found mine at such a great deal, we always have a healthy selection of CTS-V for sale. Stay with us for more news & reviews.