Cadillac has begun selling its barnstorming, image-changing 556 horsepower CTS-V sports sedan in the United States, at a shade under $US60,000
The car, designed to outgun the best European luxury cars, will go into other markets, including right-hand drive, later. European writers have already indicated they think the CTS-V could be a serious contender.
The CTS-V is certainly muscular. Its motor develops a tyre-melting 747Nm of peak torque, and the car will hit 96km/h (60mph) in 3.9 seconds and run the standing quarter mile in 12 seconds.
But the feat that has made the performance car world sit up and take notice was General Motors engineer and experienced racing driver John Henricy’s lap of the Nurburgring racetrack in Germany. He hurled the Caddy around in fractions of a second under eight minutes – road-going supercar territory.
Based on the CTS sports sedan, the CTS-V runs a supercharged 6.2-litre V8 engine and electronic Magnetic Ride Control which enhances chassis grip. Standard gearbox is a six-speed manual transmission and a six-speed auto transmission with steering wheel mounted shift buttons is an option.
The seats are 14-way adjustable Recaros, and the car has a Bose surround sound system with a 40-gigabyte hard drive with a USB port.
Cadillac sees the CTS-V is a key component of its renaissance as a luxury brand and emergence as a world player in the high-performance sedan market.