Review: 2011 Cadillac CTS-V Coupe offers powerful bang for your buck

Review: 2011 Cadillac CTS-V Coupe

Before I even sat inside the new 2011 Cadillac CTS-V Coupe, I thought to myself “(insert profanity here) Cadillac you have my attention.” Coming out of the Cadillac CTS Coupe and having driven the Cadillac CTS-V Sedan, my expectations of the Cadillac CTS-V Coupe were extremely high. So before we even get into everything here, it not only met my expectations, it surpassed them.

The 2011 Cadillac CTS-V Coupe goes to battle with the BMW M3, Audi RS5 (set for release in the states in 2012) and the new 2012 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Coupe. That’s a bold statement for Caddy, which is entering this segment where the Germans have competed for generations. So is 556-hp of American muscle good enough to take them on? Let’s find out.

2011 Cadillac CTS-V Coupe Specifications:

  • Base Price: $63,660.
  • Price As Tested: $68,135.
  • Engine: 6.2 liter Supercharged V8 – 556-hp at 6,100 rpm / 551 lb-ft of torque at 3,900 rpm.
  • Transmission: 6-Speed Manual or 6-Speed Automatic.
  • 0 to 60 mph: 3.9 seconds (4.1 seconds as tested).
  • Curb Weight: 4,209 lbs.
  • Fuel-economy (city/highway): 14/19 mpg.

All Photos Copyright © Omar Rana, Nikolina Kostrevski – egmCarTech.

Review: 2011 Cadillac CTS-V Coupe


Taking a step up from the standard Cadillac CTS Coupe, the CTS-V Coupe is, visually, fairly comparable to the CTS-V sedan. Yet the CTS-V Coupe still comes with its own distinctive aesthetic touches.

The front and rear fascias have been enhanced with subtle detailing that amplifies the overall sporty appeal of the car. Complimenting the lines of the front end, the supercharger gets some necessary breathing room courtesy of a raised center section in the hood. Another front-end feature is a unique grille that doubles the car’s air intake volume. Special rear fascia traits include a twin outlet for the exhaust, which is centered like on the CTS Coupe, currently featuring a single exhaust.  A rear-track nearly an inch wider than the sedan also creates a more aggressive look.

The car rides on Michelin Pilot Sport 2 performance tires that wrap 19-inch cast aluminum wheels. Painted and polished finishes are both available. The CTS-V Coupe has looks that definitely stands out from its aforementioned German crowd. The eye-catching, aggressive sport style certainly had people flocking to get a closer look everywhere we went.

With no question that it looks like an outstanding performer, did it actually perform, or was it all show and no go? We will get there, but we have to get inside the CTS-V Coupe before we can drive it, right?

Review: 2011 Cadillac CTS-V Coupe


Visually on par again with the Cadillac CTS-V Sedan, the Coupe’s interior only significantly differs, naturally, in size.

[quote float=”left”]…this is still where any performance enthusiast would want to be, particularly those seeking a sporty yet luxurious interior.[/quote] Options include contrasting color Recaro performance seats with stitching, with an exclusive new Saffron color available for the seats and throughout the interior. The steering wheel, seat inserts and shifter are covered in microfiber, providing the luxurious character of suede, less the material’s inherent drawbacks. Our test model came equipped with ample extras, such as the Recaro seats (the two front seats also came heated), a Bose 5.1 surround system, Caddy’s navigation system, and a 40GB hard drive device with XM Nav Traffic and XM Radio.

Comparatively, the Cadillac CTS-V Coupe still lags behind its competition due to its use of plastics that tend to create minimal, although present, squeaks in the center console. This minor quality issue aside, this is still where any performance enthusiast would want to be, particularly those seeking a sporty yet luxurious interior.

Review: 2011 Cadillac CTS-V Coupe


Inside and out, I’d say we’ve had a solid start with the 2011 Cadillac CTS-V, but this is where this car really shines, and even outshines, the competition.

Under the hood is Cadillac’s LSA 6.2-liter supercharged V8 engine. As for power, the motor pumps out an impressive 556 horsepower with a maximum torque of 551 lb-ft. Mated to a Tremec TR6060 six-speed manual with a dual-disc clutch and a Hydra-Matic 6L90 six-speed automatic with paddle-shift control, the Cadillac CTS-V Coupe hits 0 to 60 mph in 3.9 seconds, or at least that’s what GM says.

[quote float=”right”]In the end, the Cadillac CTS-V is only held behind its German rivals by its weight, being the heaviest of the bunch…[/quote] We managed to run a 0 to 60 mph time of 4.1 seconds. In comparison, the 451-hp Mercedes-Benz AMG Coupe comes in the closest at 0 to 60 in 4.4 seconds. Audi’s RS5 has a 4.2-liter naturally aspirated V8 at 450-hp, that comes as a close second with 4.6 seconds. Lastly, the 2011 BMW M3 coupe is powered by a 4.0-liter 414-hp V8, with a time of 4.7 seconds.

Having only driven the latter of the three, I can only offer a true comparison between the Bavarian coupe and the CTS-V Coupe. While the BMW M3 Coupe gives you more confidence in overall driving, the Cadillac also has a respectable steering feel courtesy of its Magnetic Ride Control technology, designed to take road-handling performance to new levels. The 0 to 60 time comparison proves that the CTS-V Coupe’s off-the-line acceleration is superior. Stopping power on the Caddy proves to be finer, as well, thanks to a huge set of Brembo brakes.

So is it better, in totality, than the BMW M3 Coupe? I’d say it is a very close call. In the end, the Cadillac CTS-V is only held behind its German rivals by its weight, being the heaviest of the bunch, and a lagging automatic transmission. (Be sure to choose manual if you are inclined towards purchasing the Caddy.)

Review: 2011 Cadillac CTS-V Coupe


Cadillac continues to prove that it can hold its own on German turf and even frighten the completion with its capabilities. In short, the CTS-V Coupe destroys any negative misconceptions you may have about the Cadillac brand. The CTS-V Sedan also notably holds on strong to its “fastest sedan in the world” title. Prices for the 2011 Cadillac CTS-V Coupe start at $63,660. Our test model with all the extras totals $70,435. Is it worth the price tag? Every single penny.

Review: 2011 Cadillac CTS-V Coupe:

– By: Omar Rana

All Photos Copyright © Omar Rana, Nikolina Kostrevski – egmCarTech.