2018 Cadillac CTS-V new car reviews

We’re transitioning to an age of smaller, highly efficient engines. Odds are very strong, for example, that we’ll never see another V8-powered BMW M3. Hybrids are everywhere. Very small engines with turbos are the new norm. Soon they’ll be built by ants.

And then there’s the Cadillac CTS-V. Power comes from a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 that generates 640 horsepower along with 630 lb.-ft. of torque. Cadillac reports a zero-to-60 time of 3.7 seconds along with a top speed of an even 200 mph. Take that, progress.

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J.G. Pasterjak
JG Pasterjak
Production/Art Director

Here’s the thing about the current CTS-V that I didn’t realize until I drove one: It’s not a luxurious car with some fast bits bolted on to it, it’s a fast car with some luxurious bits bolted on to it.

The 640hp CTS-V is far more extreme of a driving experience than I really gave it credit for. Unlike BMW’s larger M cars and AMG’s four-doors, the CTS-V would probably NOT be my first choice for a trip across the country. Its ride is stiff, nearly harsh. The seats are race-shell firm, and the engine barks and spits through the low-restriction exhaust and is all too willing to spin the rear tires in any of the three–and sometimes four–lower gears.

Now, take all those criticisms I just leveled against the CTS-V as a street car and repeat them as praise for a machined designed as a singular ass-kicking device. The extremity of the CTS-V is both its gift and its curse. It’s so gnarly that you find yourself not really caring about the infotainment center or the multi-zone automatic climate control or the leather or really anything that’s there to impress you because they will never impress you as much as 640hp that you can use to slay pavement with the dip of your right foot.

Hey Cadillac, instead of a heated ashtray or burlwood turn signal indicators, just offer me an interior delete and roll cage option and we’re good.

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Appleseed MegaDork
10/22/18 7:29 a.m.

Standard of the World.

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
10/22/18 7:30 a.m.

They should really build another wagon. I understand why they don't, but they should. These are remarkable cars. 

poopshovel again
poopshovel again MegaDork
10/22/18 8:06 a.m.

Funny. The guy who owns the local tire shop expressed interest in buying my V2, but got online and started looking at V3s. We were just talking about it 30 minutes ago.

Personally, I don’t like the looks as much as the V2 or even the V1. They look great in pics. In person, not so much. IMHO YMMV ETC.

STM317 SuperDork
10/22/18 8:45 a.m.

Image result for 2018 cts v burnout

Image result for forever and ever amen


stuart in mn
stuart in mn UltimaDork
10/22/18 9:21 a.m.

Yes, I know it's the way things are going in the automotive world, but this part makes me sad....



ebonyandivory PowerDork
10/22/18 9:23 a.m.

I was VERY impressed with the various Cadillacs at New England Dragway yesterday.

The idea of driving in complete comfort to the track, pulling mid-11’s and driving home in a mostly stock luxury sedan is... awesome!

Harvey SuperDork
10/22/18 10:45 a.m.

So, it's bordering on uncomfortable for daily driving?

z31maniac MegaDork
10/22/18 11:03 a.m.

That. Is. Sexy.

Toebra Dork
10/22/18 11:49 a.m.
poopshovel again said:

Personally, I don’t like the looks as much as the V2 or even the V1. They look great in pics. In person, not so much. IMHO YMMV ETC.

View from the driver's seat is good though, horizon vanishing in the rear view mirror at an alarming rate.

JG Pasterjak
JG Pasterjak Production/Art Director
10/22/18 3:28 p.m.
Harvey said:

So, it's bordering on uncomfortable for daily driving?

On smooth Florida roads we can use adjectives like "uncompromising" and "extreme." But in the real world of expansion joints and potholes anf frost heaves, someone might not get an argument from me for calling it uncomfortable. 

But it's easy not to care about a little harshness when you can paint two wide striped in your mirror from a 30mph roll.

Rodan HalfDork
10/22/18 5:11 p.m.

One of these was at a trackday I was running at back in March.  On Cup 2 tires, with a good driver.  It's a seriously fast car...  And IMHO they look fantastic in person.

I talked to the driver after one of the sessions about it, and it was a lease car... cheeky

Ian F
Ian F MegaDork
10/22/18 7:56 p.m.

Unabashedly American.

CobraSpdRH Reader
10/23/18 9:10 a.m.

The V-Sport seems like the best proposition to me. I mean, obviously the V has it's place atop the hill, but used V-Sports are hovering around 25-30k, which gets you 420hp TT with Brembos and all kinds of goodies. It also has the mag-ride, which I would imagine rides better than the full-on race car "V".

11/17/18 10:34 a.m.

Great notes JG et al.    Even the older generation V's, 6.0, 400 hp, pull like a freight train, unbelievably defy physics sling shotting around corners and are "point and squirt".......so one quickly learns to have them pointed straight before tipping in.  No, they are not about the cushy cushions, but about the driving. My experience for first timers onboard is more about  "HOLY COW WHAT IS THIS".  In my small corner of the world they drove like nothing like I had every driven before.  Still have it.

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