Quick Drive: 2012 Cadillac CTS-V Coupe

Story and photographs by Benjamin Greene

Originally published by Dupont Registry: http://www.dupontregistry.com/autos/NewsCenter/NewsCenterDetails.aspx?mmysid=4175

2012 Cadillac CTS-V peelout

We walked away from our 2011 Cadillac CTS-V Coupe test car smitten with nearly every aspect of its design, performance, fit and finish, and technologies. When a 2012 model appeared in our parking lot last week, we were excited to reacquaint ourselves with what some of considered an old friend. Since little has changed externally from 2011 to 2012, we will only reiterate our initial feelings about the CTS-V Coupe:

In our eyes, the lines on the CTS-V Coupe represent the best use of Cadillac’s Art and Science design language to date. The coupe is just drop-dead gorgeous. It is both cutting edge and classy. It takes the best angle of the sedan—the front—and adds the right curves and lines to the back and profile to make it an absolute stunner. It is shorter and lower than the sedan that spawned it. It also features a faster windshield rake, nearly flat rear window, and touchpad door openers that purge the need for conventional handles and give the profile a clean look.

2012 Cadillac CTS-V Coupe rear
Cadillac calls the CTS-V Coupe the “most dramatic model in the V-Series range of high-performance luxury models,” and although it has been awhile since we set foot into the sedan or wagon, our memories remind us that it is also the best performing. It’s easy to understand why. The coupe weighs 13 pounds less than the sedan and a more astonishing 183 pounds less than the wagon. It also features shorter overhangs and a slightly wider rear track.

Like the sedan, the CTS-V Coupe wears a larger grille to increase the consumption of air and a raised aluminum hood to fit an Eaton Twin Vortices Series (TVS) supercharger onto the 6.2-liter V-8 engine. Together, the engine and supercharger produce 556 hp and a menacing 551 lb-ft of torque and, as you can see from the pictures, all-too-easy burnouts if the stability-control system is switched off. Cadillac claims a 3.9-second zero-to-60 time, and our in-seat impressions would agree. The engine can be connected to a Tremec six-speed manual or a Hydra-Matic six-speed automatic transmission. Our test cars have all been the automatic variety, and, although we would normally opt for the manual in our personal vehicles, we found exactly zero issues with the automatic.

Alongside the most powerful engine ever fitted under a Cadillac’s hood is a large assortment of performance-enhancing parts. These include Magnetic Ride Control, Brembo brakes—six-piston calipers at the front and four-piston calipers at the rear, a limited-slip rear differential, and Michelin Pilot Sport PS2 performance tires mounted on 19-inch forged aluminum wheels.

The CTS-V Coupe interior was also well received. It continues the outside’s angular styling complemented by a host of classy materials. But, by far the best part is the 14-way-adjustable Recaro driving seats with suede microfiber inserts. They do a remarkable job of cradling the two front occupants and providing excellent lateral support. Complementing the performance seating is a thick steering wheel.

Besides two new exterior colors—Black Diamond Tricoat and Opulent Blue Metallic—and a blind-side alert system, the Cadillac CTS-V moves into 2012 unchanged.

Vehicle Specs

Base Price

6.2-liter supercharged V-8

556 hp @ 6,100 rpm

551 lb-ft @ 3,800 rpm

6-speed automatic, 6-speed manual

0–60 mph
3.9 seconds

Top Speed
189 mph (manual), 175 mph (automatic)

4,209 lb

188.5 inches

Front: 255/40YR-19; Rear: 285/35YR-19

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Could a possible 2014 ATS-V dethrone it?