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Heels on Wheels - 2012 Cadillac CTS-V Ride and Review +VIDEO

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2012 Cadillac CTS-V

By Katrina Ramser
San Francisco Bureau
The Auto Channel

The Cadillac CTS-V is a stunning sportier version of the CTS coupe, packing a 556-horspower 6.2-liter V8 engine capable of surpassing many high-performance brand names. It’s a chiseled work of art, really, from the fiercely elegant design to the crafted soft-leather upholstery, with more power than you’d ever need to touch down on.

For one thrill-filled day, I drove a 2012 Cadillac CTS-V coupe with the 556-horsepower Eaton supercharged 6.2-liter V8 engine that goes from 0-60 in 3.9 seconds. It was equipped with a six-speed manual transmission (automatic optional) and driver-selectable Magnetic Ride Control suspension for firmer handling. Available in just one trim the following features are standard equipment: leather upholstery; heated front seats; ten-speaker Bose surround-sound audio system with XM Radio; navigation display; leather-wrapped steering wheel with mounted controls; Bluetooth; rearview backup camera with park assist; nineteen-inch wheels; high-intensity headlamps with adaptive forward lighting; and Brembo brakes. My test drive featured the $3,400 upgraded 14-way power Recaro performance seats, stain graphite wheels and a premium color. Total vehicle price came to $70,605 with destination charges.

Competitors to the CTS-V include a BMW M3 and Audi S5 – also a Corvette if you want to classify it as a sports vehicle due to shear power. Not much has changed for the new model year.


Stylish But Comfortable Results: The upgraded Recaro seats – as expensive as they sound – truly deliver the appropriate hold needed when unleashing the CTS-V on the open road and corners. The glide-up navigation screen rises elegantly from the center stack upon ignition. Overall, the ambiance is sophisticated and supported by refined materials with the dark leather interior option delivering a more aggressive edge. Head and legroom is generous, while the cargo dimensions are more challenging.

Reliability & Safety Factor: Standard safety features include anti-lock brakes, electronic stability control, traction control, side blind zone alert, and everything OnStar, from the emergency services to turn-by-turn navigation. Only the regular CTS was tested by The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), receiving ratings of “Good” in all areas and is considered a Top Safety Pick.

Cost Issues: The Cadillac CTS-V starts at $64,515. A BMW M3 coupe starts for less at $60,100, but comparably equipped costs about the same. An Audi S5 with a beginning price of $53,900 is about the cheapest you can go in this class while holding onto similar power, size and style.

Activity & Performance Ability: From no-hesitation acceleration that hits arresting speeds in second gear, to posh Magnetic Ride Control suspension that keeps the chassis composed when carving out corners, the CTS-V will cause any luxury car lover or speed aficionado to reconsider the Cadillac brand. The Recaro seats must be mentioned twice for the firm hold they deliver during spirited driving.

The Green Concern: Not much of a concern for this class, the 6.2-liter V8 engine gets a gas-guzzling 14 miles-per-gallon city and 19 highway.

FINAL PARTING WORDS Far cry from your grand-daddy’s version of the past, the 2013 Cadillac CTS-V delivers American style, class and power in modern coupe form. Prepare yourself for a luxurious and fast ride!

Watch the video feature: "Thing to Do with a Cadillac CTS-V"

2012 Katrina Ramser