Cadillac’s New Tree

Last issue I was a bit unorthodox and conducted a test that didn’t involve pushing the car’s limits or driving as though reenacting a chase scene from “CHIPS.”  Therefore, this time I deemed it fully necessary to go all-out and test-drive a truly remarkable car.

This is why I went to the Quality Buick GMC Cadillac dealership in Alton to drive the 6.2 liter V8, 556 brake horse power Cadillac CTS-V coupe.  This car sounded completely bonkers on paper, which is why I felt it should be taken for a drive.

When I first saw the car, I felt it had been taken a step beyond BMW. It’s clearly a Cadillac, due to small things like the headlamps resembling those of a CTS sedan. However, it’s styled enough that you don’t feel like you’re about to get into a sedan that’s lost weight and gained muscle; you feel like you’re getting into a true sports car.

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When it comes to the interior, you really begin to feel like James Bond. The doors open to the touch, and voice activation will roll down your windows. With all the buttons on the dash, you might begin to worry that if you hit the wrong one, you’ll fire a missile and destroy the car in front of you. There was just something about the attention to detail, nothing was out of place. I found it to be similar to the Audi A5/S5 in that it seemed as though GM/Cadillac designed a car around a seat.

Now on to the fun part.  As I walked to the car, the gentleman helping me used the remote start feature. I was blown away by the incredible roar of the engine coming to life.  It was exhilarating. I climbed in, feeling like I was about to launch into the atmosphere.  Was I getting the astronaut experience?  I then spent some time configuring all the settings I could.  I literally spent about five minutes doing this. If I had chosen to configure every setting, I probably would have been there longer.

When it comes to this car, you can get a six-speed manual transmission or the automatic transmission with the paddle shifter.  To be honest, I think the latter is just as fun; although the response time for shifting gears wasn’t where I’d want it.  However, it was nowhere near as slow as that dreadful Mercedes E-Class. I turned onto the main road and felt the wheels slip a little.  This put a smile on my face.  There was something awesome about all that horsepower and the feeling that I was barely in control of it.  I continued to drive nicely for a bit. Yet, when I did put the hammer down, it went all out.  The supercharger whirred and the car nearly shot into space.  I had to immediately shift up, as I finally found out what Han Solo experienced when he’d warp to light speed.  The car was fierce.  What made the experience that much more fun is that the traction control came adjusted to let you slip a little when you mash the gas down. Imagine you’re cruising along at 45 miles per hour and you receive word that your most lucrative stock has just dropped ten points.  All you have to do is tap the gas, and as the wheels break loose, that smile comes back and you are instantly happy.

This car was not shy in the corner either.  Though I was a bit worried at the fact that it would break loose as it was supposed to do, the car gripped quite well. The suspension was nice, not to mention adjustable. I was able to choose whether I wanted the car to have a sporty or a soft touring suspension.

Overall, the car has a lot to it.  Although Cadillac incorporates a lot of technology, it’s never in your way.  Cadillac was able to balance the usefulness of a mundane car without the horrors of a sports car.  You could drive it every single day and still participate in NASCAR on the weekend. It’s clear that Cadillac hasn’t set out to be better than its competitors, but has determined to be the best it can be. Cadillac hasn’t just turned over a new leaf, it’s planted an entirely new tree.

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