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2014 Cadillac CTS-V Coupe Review By Steve Purdy

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2014 Cadillac CTS-V Coupe

Best Lookin’ Stallion in the Herd
By Steve Purdy
Michigan Bureau

The 2014 Cadillac CTS-V Coupe ranks as one of the most thrilling, exciting and coolest cars I’ve reviewed in recent years.

We first saw the CTS Coupe at the Detroit auto show just a few years ago. Gasps of awe arose from the crowd at the unveiling and those reactions continued throughout the show as folks who appreciate automobile design got a first look at the dramatic black, angular shape on the viewing stand. The sleek coupe won scads of design awards that first year including the prestigious EyesOn Design Award juried by the most respected and accomplished designers in the world.

About a year after that impressive introduction Cadillac added a “V” high-performance version to the sexy Coupe line with the heart-stopping power and personality of the CTS-V sedan which the company claims was ‘the first production four-door on street tires to break the legendary eight-minute barrier at Germany’s famed Nurburgring.”

The 2014 Cadillac CTS-V Coupe we tested this week ranks as one of the most thrilling, exciting and coolest cars I’ve reviewed in recent years, though it has some serious limitations in terms of comfort and convenience. For example, you wouldn’t want to spend any time in the back seat unless you are a tiny person or a small pet. And, you’ll probably bump your head getting in and out even if you are of average size, let along if you are as oversize and inflexible as am I. The style and content of this car, though, make up for all that in my view.

The appreciation of a particular automotive design, like a high-line work of art, is a subjective thing. Most designers and artists will insist that if a design is not controversial it is probably too conventional to be a good design. Few would call this design conventional with its sharp edged, sleek lines, vertical details and aggressive profile. The rear-wheel drive platform facilitates that low nose and forward leaning stance that makes it look like an unrepentant speed demon.

Interior space and rear visibility suffer most from the design. Headroom, particularly in the rear, is limited by the low, steeply raked roofline. Perhaps the CTS Coupe might better be called a “2+2” rather than a 5-passenger coupe. Trunk space is limited as well (though not as much as we thought) with 10.5 cubic feet. The trunk opening will make it a challenge to get stuff in and out. My pretty wife and I did a quick road trip to Chicago and back with the CTS-V and found it accommodated us well, though we would certainly taken a different car had we invited even one passenger to go along.

The cockpit offers few challenges and gives plenty of interest. An innovative navigation and control screen rises from the center of the dash and retracts leaving just enough to expose the audio controls. Fortunately, the CTS-V does not use the touch-sensitive HVAC controls on the center stack that I, and others, have found so annoying in other current Cadillacs. Rather, we have mostly conventional buttons and knobs. Hurray! The front seats are good – not great – but a Ricarro option is available, and recommended by many reviewers. I’m happy with these as they accommodate my tush just fine.

Beyond the bold design the CTS-V’s personality growls meanly from under the hood and out the dual exhausts. Kudos to the engineers who created the exhaust system that orchestrates the cacophony generated under the hood by the 6.2-liter LSA, 556-horsepower, supercharged V8 that will effortlessly take this fairly heavy car from 0 to 60 mph in just about 4 seconds whether you have the 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission. The EPA rates fuel economy (which you’re probably not all that concerned with if you own this car) at 14-mpg in the city and 19 on the highway using premium fuel. These are entirely reasonable numbers you should be able to match unless your foot is in it too much of the time. Torque is a massive 551 pound-feet which means you’ll barely notice the steepest slope in the mountains.

Brembo brakes with two-piece rotors and six pistons in the front and four pistons in the rear come standard on the CTS-V, as do 19-inch wheels with Michelin PS2 performance tires. Six airbags and seat belt pretensioners help us feel safe as we play hard and fast.

Base price for this CTS-V Coupe is $63,600 with either the 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission. That price includes the brutishly powerful engine, the performance parts referenced above, adaptive suspension, HID headlamps with adaptive forward lighting, domed aluminum hood to accommodate the supercharger, high-performance rear axle with asymmetrical half shafts and unique trim elements that clearly say you’re inn the automotive know.

The whole car is covered by GM’s warranty for 4 years or 50,000 miles and the awesome powertrain is covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles.

The driving experience will thrill those with a good sense of adventure. The adaptive suspension and chassis controls will keep you out of serious trouble even if you get a bit overzealous in exploring the cars limits. In spite of the high-performance personality of this car we did not find it the least unpleasant on modestly rough pavement.

You don't really have to push the limits to really enjoy this sophisticated and elegant beast. And, if you’re one who appreciates this on-the-edge design you’ll feel a bit of adrenalin just walking up to it in a parking lot.

ęSteve Purdy, Shunpiker Productions, All Rights Reserved