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Cadillac goes sub-eight at the 'Ring

2008-06-27 07:25
Cadillac CTS-V

Cadillac CTS-V

Vehicle Specs
Manufacturer Cadillac
Model CTS-V
Engine 6.2-litre, supercharged
Power 415kW @ 6200r/min
Torque 745Nm
Transmission Six-speed manual, six-speed paddle-shift auto
Weight 1905kg (1950kg auto)
Tyres Front: 255/40R19 Michelin PS2. Rear: 285/35R19
Front Suspension Independent double wishbone, stabiliser bar
Rear Suspension Independent double wishbone, stabiliser bar
Rivals BMW M5, Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG

Lance Branquinho

The Americans have encroached on hallowed ground at the Nürburgring, setting a new four-door sedan record time in the Cadillac CTS-V.

In early May a Cadillac navigated the most challenging stretch of road in the world in seven minutes and 59 seconds, leading to great sense of unease in the AMG en M division engineering departments in Germany.

With the current M5 14 seconds a lap slower, the Bavarian M engineers are in for a few very late nights at the office in the coming months,

An ‘authentic’ sub eight minute run

The CTS-V in question was driven by renowned GM engineer and accomplished racing driver John Heinricy, the 58 year old South Dakota native who is chief test driver for GM performance division products.

So GM hardly used some young DTM sourced Nürburgring specialist, and more pointedly, the CTS-V was running on stock road tyres, not road-cut clicks, and was an auto, not the six-speed manual…

Cadillac has been making much of the European dynamics their new CTS has been developed to exhibit; with the performance designated CTS-V version representing the first serious American threat to German performance sedan supremacy.

Following the age-old American recipe of large-capacity V8 power and limited-slip differential addled rear-wheel drive, the CTS-V, having run a sub eight-minute Nürburgring lap, is sure to offer remarkable value when it goes on sale.

With the CTS due to arrive in South Africa during February, and considering Cadillac's keen interest to export the CTS-V to markets outside the traditional North American market footprint when it launches later this year, chances are one could perhaps see the CTS-V locally by early 2009.

Vette V8 power

The Corvette sourced 6.2-litre supercharged V8 might appear comically outdated with its pushrod driven two-valve per cylinder intake system. Bolting on the latest, sixth generation, Eaton supercharger enables it to churn out 415kW and 745Nm, figures which should sit very uncomfortably with M5 and C63 AMG owners.

The quarter-mile sprint figure of 12 seconds flat should cast the shadow of doubt even further afield, with Ferrari and Porsche owners well advised to take stock of the CTS-Vs latent performance potential.

Although there was never any doubt the Caddy would be redoubtably quick, its ability to put down such fearsome power in the forbidding environment only the Nürburgring can provide has surprised many.

With its strengthened, cast-iron limited-slip differential – what else would you expect on a 745Nm car – and asymmetrical half-shafts the CTS-V has proved itself quite able to put down huge amounts of power on undulating surfaces and cambered corners – usually the death knell for American performance cars.


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