It’s simply amazing. Quite honestly that’s really all that needs to be said about the 2011 Cadillac CTS-V Wagon. Hell, just look at the statistics and judge for yourself. It’s got a 556 hp supercharged V8 that pumps out 551 lb-ft of torque, a proper 6-speed manual gearbox, goes 0-60 in about 4 seconds, has 6-piston Brembo brakes with 15-inch rotors that will suck the eyeballs out of your head, and a top speed of over 190 mph. Ladies and gentlemen, if there was ever a car that could make you giggle like a school boy every time you drove it, then this would be it. Keep in mind there are journalists out there who simply love to nitpick and will fault this and every other car they drive simply because they have the forum to do so. As for me, I’m going to give you the straight and narrow about a really trick muscle wagon that has the ability to tear the manhood from just about every road going super car on the market today.
Let’s get down to basics shall we. If you’re smart (and I know you are) you’d option your CTS-V Wagon out with the 6-speed manual transmission, stellar 14-way adjustable Recaro seats, rear differential cooler, suede steering wheel and suede shift knob. You’d then pick it up from the dealer for around $68,000 and proceed to the nearest clear road. Once there I’d recommend the following; hold down the traction control button for a good ten seconds until a little “BONG” goes off, this signifies that all the electronic nannies are disabled. Then rev the engine to about 4-grand, dump the clutch and proceed to incinerate the rear tires in gears 1 through 3. Just remember to keep the wagon pointed in a straight line because with all that torque it feels like you’ve got plastic lunch trays stuck under your back wheels. People, this thing is a f*ckin’ riot…
If you live in, or are familiar with the roads surrounding the New York City area, then you’re well aware that they all suck. They’re strewn with potholes, tar strips and have gone through more reconstructive surgery than Joan Rivers. Because of this I felt the need to get out of the NY metro area and go for a little cruise. The question though, was where. I decided to give my buddy Brock Yates Jr. a call and pick his brain for a good destination. Now if you’ve never heard of Brock and your a performance car guy, then you should be ashamed of yourself as he runs one of the best automotive events in the country; that being the One Lap of America. Anyway, Brock suggested that I head down to Valley Forge, PA to pick him up and then we’d head over to the Simeone Foundation Auto Museum in Philadelphia. This sounded good as the Museum was about 120 miles away and provided us with enough in the way of changing road conditions to really play with Cadillac’s new uber wagon.
My buddy Paul decided to come for a ride as he was also excited to check out the wagon. I’ve driven the CTS-V wagon before, most notably around California’s famed Leguna Seca Raceway and had an absolute hoot with the thing out there. This was the real world though, not la-la land, so I was excited to see how it behaved in everyday conditions. We headed out from Queens, NY and onto the BQE (Brooklyn Queens Expressway). This is a parcel of highway that connects Queens to Brooklyn and then subsequently to the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge which helps get one out of NY. Understand that you don’t actually drive on the BQE in as much as you just sit in traffic there. It’s generally miserable but in the CTS-V Sport Wagon it wasn’t that bad. The clutch is relatively light and thanks to some tall gearing you can limp through traffic without your left leg falling off.
We cleared the BQE, went over two bridges, hit I95 South and then stumbled upon what is perhaps the CTS-V’s biggest downfall – its gas pedal. You see the go-pedal on this thing has a magnet-like tenancy that causes your right foot to go to the floor. It’s a bitch and one that you must keep under constant watch. Acceleration is brutally quick which means you’d better have all your senses intact before you decide to play. The other problem is that you’re constantly on the lookout for any type of performance car, with the sole reason being that you want to humiliate it if the opportunity presents itself. Porsche 911’s, Audi RS4’s and BMW “M” whatever’s really don’t stand a chance against this thing. It also becomes much more fun when the person your running up against does a double-take as they realize they just had their ass handed to them by two goofballs driving a Cadillac station wagon. Hell, I’m giggling now just thinking about their faces.
We made our way into Valley Forge, PA unscathed where we were treated to some remarkably good back roads. Since our car was equipped with snow tires we didn’t go buck wild, but we did manage to have a little fun when the roads were clear. With nicely weighted steering, great brakes and the CTS-V’s magnetic ride control, the CTS-V Sport Wagon had no trouble making short work of any road we encountered. Since it was cold out we left all the electronic nannies on just in case we ran into any “OH SHIT” moments.
We made it to Brock’s house, talked for a few moments and then hit the road again (with Brock behind the wheel) on our way to the Simeone Foundation Auto Museum. What’s fun about letting someone drive who really enjoys driving is watching how they react to a machine like the CTS-V Sports Wagon. The fact that this thing weighs 4200 lbs made no difference to Brock as he hopped in and proceeded to drive it like it had been his daily driver for years. There was no drama to speak of, but I have to admit that it was fun to watch him heel-toe downshift the wagon as he rolled through the back roads of Valley Forge, PA.
“The Wagon exhibited a nimbleness belying it’s size with plenty of smile-inducing power.” – Brock Yates Jr.
The museum was tucked away in the back streets of an industrial park and houses some of the most amazing automobiles in existence. There’s one of only six 1964 Cobra Daytona Coupe’s, a stunning red 1958 Ferrari Testa Rossa, as well as one of the most iconic race cars of all time, the 1970 Porsche 917LH. We toured the museum for about an hour while staring drop-jawed at the quarter-of-a-billion dollars in automobiles that lay before us. It was a true treat and a place that I’d highly recommend stopping by if you are in the Philly area.
After our museum tour, we piled back in the wagon and headed out for some good old fashion Philly Cheese Steaks before our 120 mile run back to Queens. One thing that struck me during my entire time with the CTS-V Sport Wagon was how livable this 556 hp monster was on a daily basis. I racked up almost 1000 miles on this baby within 7-days and never once did I find myself uncomfortable or fatigued. The seats are great, rear passenger room is adequate, it’s got just about every creature comfort and electronic gizmo known to man, and with the added space of a wagon the versatility it displayed was wonderful. As car enthusiasts these are the type of offerings that get us excited. Now, is the CTS-V Wagon an oddball? It sure as hell is, but that’s what makes it so wonderful, in fact this just may be the ultimate super car.
Let’s see: 191 mph top speed, 0-60 in 4 seconds, 556 hp, a 6-speed MANUAL and enough torque to pull the continents back together, yeah… we’ll take that. Now stop thinking about it, go buy one and then commence in the joy of pissing off every super car on the market. Oh yeah… also make sure to put a “Baby On Board” sticker in the window, you know, just for shits and giggles.