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Roadfly Magazine
Detroit Auto Show, CES & Las Vegas Show, BMW 760, CTS-V and Jeep Reviews
Issue Fifteen
January 26, 2005
2005 Detroit Auto Show
2005 Detroit Auto Show Photo Gallery
2005 Detroit Auto Show Awards
Best of Show: Chevrolet Corvette Z06
Best Buy: Toyota Avalon
Best Concept: Ford Shelby GR-1
Best New Vehicle for 2005: Ford Mustang GT
Most Innovative: General Motors Sequel

2005 CES Show From Las Vegas
2005 LA Auto Show
Fall 2004 SEMA Show from Vegas
BMW 760
Cadillac CTS-V
Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited
Coming Next Issue
Chip Foose
VW Phaeton W12
Long Term Storage
Ultimate Ears

2004 Cadillac CTS-V Road Test & Review
V is for Victory (continued)

5.7L LS6 makes 400 horsepower

2004 Cadillac CTS-V is built on GM's Sigma Platform

The CTS-V was tuned at Germany's Nurburgring track

Inside is comfy, spacious and classy.

Go to
Cadillac CTS-V
Photo Gallery
Official Web site:
The 5.7-liter LS6 aluminum block, push-rod activated V8 features hollow intake valve stems, sodium-filled exhaust valves, forged aluminum pistons, a composite intake manifold and a slew of other technological goodies. Even in Cadillac trim, which includes revised exhaust manifolds and a revised accessory drive system, the LS6 develops a full 400 horsepower and 395 pound-feet of torque. All of that power is put to good use as it propels the CTS-V from a standstill to sixty miles per hour in just 5.0 seconds. We saw the quarter-mile race past us in just 13.6 seconds at almost 109 miles per hour. For you non-drag racers, that trap speed is downright impressive and means that the CTS-V is making a ton of power from idle to redline.

A six-speed transmission handles gear changing duties, and the Tremec-sourced T56 unit does so with aplomb. Shifts are smooth and precise, and unlike the Z06 Corvette, there is no hint of gear noise, thanks largely to Caddy's deployment of a dual-mass flywheel. Our only wish was that the shifter had slightly shorter throws, but it's a small gripe. We only noticed a problem when on the track - on the road, the shifter worked famously.

As surprising and pleasing as the engine is, the brakes are even more impressive. Wearing front rotors that measure 13-some inches in diameter and rear rotors that measure 14.25", the CTS-V has no problem delivering fade-free stops from triple-digit speeds. Four piston Brembo calipers grip each rotor, and are largely responsible for 60 to 0 stop distances that rival those of Porsche, as we recorded stop distances of just 115 feet from sixty.

All of this wonderful running gear is wrapped in a wedgy body that is unmistakeable. Wearing a high beltline and carrying sharp angles, the CTS is as good looking as it performs. The CTS-V benefits further from a racy stainless-steel mesh grill that includes brake cooling ducts located just under the front bumper.

Stepping into the CTS-V conjures familiar feelings. The doors close with a vault-like "whoomp," and the thickly padded three spoke steering wheel says that this car means business. Settling into the pseudo-suede inset seats and acclimating yourself to the controls takes just a second - everything is where it should be, and the seats are firm and supportive.

A twist of the key brings the LS6 to life and treats your ears to a delight that is pure American muscle car. The engine responds immediately to throttle inputs, and the clutch is weighted well. Oddly, the emergency brake is floor mounted... that'll make for some tricky maneuvers.

Let the clutch out and the motor's torque takes over. We're confident you could start this car from a dead stop in fifth gear, but we didn't try it. There's no need to feather the clutch or match revs - just dump the clutch and mash the gas, and you'll be pinned to the seat, grinning ear to ear. Grab second gear at full throttle and the tires will let out a howl. Repeat for third gear, then grab a big bag of brakes, as you'll be in triple digit speed land. The acceleration, as powerful as it is, remains smooth and controlled, and reminds us of the BMW M5.

But the real fun awaits in the first set of corners. Turn-in is crisp and sharp, and the 18" Goodyear run-flats provide plenty of lateral grip while delivering a healthy dose of feedback to the driver. The body remains flat, even when performing test runs through the slalom. There's a slight taste of understeer, but it's easily corrected with a little additional input from the throttle. The chassis does a great job of communicating what's happening while isolating its passengers from road abnormalities., and once again, we're reminded of the BMW M5 - the handling is that good.

Our CTS-V was fitted with the only option available: a sunroof, and as such, its price tag was $51,195. While that may seem like a lot of money, it's at least $20,000 less than a BMW M5, and is on par with the BMW M3. And it's just as much fun to drive as either of the M-cars from BMW. We also liked the CTS-V as much as (if not more than) the AMG C32 and E55 from Mercedes-Benz. That's quite an achievement for a car company that was once the primary choice of shuffleboard tournament players everywhere.

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