By David Haueter
(Images copyright David Haueter)
My first experience with the Cadillac CTS-V did not come during the week I recently spent driving the car, but on the track at Lime Rock Park back in May. The occasion was the World Challenge media day, and Team Cadillac brought one of the race-prepared CTS-V race cars for Max Angelelli to give us media types some hot laps around the track. Given the direct connection that World Challenge race cars have with their road-going siblings, I was immediately impressed with the fact that this was a Cadillac, not a BMW or a Porsche, and that it felt so competent around Lime Rock's twists and turns. I came to Lime Rock with virtually no interest in driving the CTS-V road car, but made inquiries with Cadillac about possibly driving one before I even left the track.
The CTS, and more specifically the CTS-V, are at the forefront of Cadillac's brand image transformation. Let's be honest - it wasn't long ago that Cadillac was thought of as an old person's car, one that you would be impatiently following at 15mph below the speed limit on a great stretch of country road. Those cars bear little resemblance to Cadillac's product line today, and much of that credit goes to Cadillac having the intelligence to make the right decisions in developing the new V-spec cars. One of those decisions was to put racer John Heinricy in charge of development, and another was to carry out development on the Nürburgring Nordschleife, the same place where Porsche, BMW and Mercedes develop their sports cars and sedans.