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First look: High-performance Cadillac breaks cover

Harden up: CTS-V puts to rest Cadillac's soft image.

Image-breaking supercharged Caddy set to come here

9 Jan 2008

CADILLAC has lifted the lid on a high-performance model that could forever alter the image of the once staid brand – just in time for Cadillac’s return to Australia at the end of this year.

The latest Cadillac CTS-V is based on the current CTS sedan, which has been confirmed as the first model to be launched in Australia with V6 power in late-2008, but packs a considerably bigger performance punch.

Power comes from a 6.2-litre V8 engine fitted with an Eaton supercharger to produce 410kW of power at 6200rpm and a staggering 745Nm of torque, also at 6200rpm.

Cadillac has targeted the BMW M5 and Mercedes AMG E63 in developing this second-generation CTS-V and has topped the sharp-edged styling with a bulging bonnet that belies the performance that lies within.

163 center imageHowever, we will have to wait until the veil is publicly lifted at the Detroit motor show next week to get actual performance figures.

Other exterior features include a mesh grille and lower intake, bulging wheelarches, four tailpipes and 19-inch alloy wheels (9.0 inches wide at the front and 9.5 at the rear).

Weighing in at some 1905kg, the hot Caddy also features the Australian-developed Magnetic Ride Control (MRC) suspension system used by Holden Special Vehicles that will also appear on the new Chevrolet Corvette ZR1.

“The CTS-V represents the full extension of our design, technology and performance capabilities,” said Cadillac general manager Jim Taylor in Detroit.

“The V-Series takes the award-winning CTS sport sedan and elevates it to a position within the club of the world’s most exclusive and capable cars.

“From the very start, engineers were cognisant of the role a high-performance engine plays in supporting the qualities customers expect in a Cadillac. The supercharged LSA engine delivers outstanding performance, but not at the expense of refinement or quietness.” The LSA engine drives the rear wheels through either a six-speed manual Tremec TR6060 gearbox with a twin-plate clutch (as used in the Corvette) or a six-speed Hydra-Matic 6L90 semi-automatic with steering wheel-mounted paddles shifters for sequential manual shifting. The auto adds 45kg to the overall weight.

Brembo brakes are fitted at all four corners of the CTS-V, with six-piston calipers at the front and four-piston units at the rear.

Grip is provided by big Z-rated Michelin Pilot Sport 2 tyres while the traction control system was developed in conjunction with Cadillac’s US race team.

Inside are electric Recaro sports seats, a pop-up satellite navigation screen, Bose digital surround sound system, Bluetooth connectivity and a 40-gigabyte hard drive.

Although Cadillac will launch in Australia with just the V6 CTS, GM Premium Brands director Parveen Batish said last month that the intention was to roll out a number of new models.

“Launching with the CTS is part of a very clear strategy to launch the brand with the next-generation vehicles as they come to market, including new models, new bodystyles and new powertrains,” said Mr Batish.

A Cadillac press release said that the CTS-V will be sold outside North America for the first time. It is expected to go on sale in the US in the third quarter of this year.

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