MO­TOR­ING

With co­pi­ous amounts of power and loads of tech, the 2017 Cadil­lac CTS-V stands out in the sports sa­loon seg­ment – it isn’t a sur­prise ri­vals are hear­ing alarm bells, says wheels’ Im­ran Ma­lik

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Check out the Dh326K lat­est Cadil­lac CTS-V. It’s pure power.

Ev­ery time I check the rear view, it is filled with plumes of thick white smoke. I ex­pected that as this sa­loon shares its 6.2-litre su­per­charged V8 with the Corvette Z06. The CTS-V is a smoke ma­chine, and the most fun I’ve had in a car so far this year. For 2017, it gets a few tweaks to keep it fresh (Cadil­lac has re-sculpted the front and rear fas­cia), but the most im­por­tant facet of this sports sa­loon is that mo­tor. It hasn’t changed from last year, nor does it need to. In fact, the en­gine is so darn good that if Cadil­lac stuck with it for the next decade, it’d still feel fresh – 640 horses don’t ever get tire­some.

There are some new fea­tures and pack­ages for 2017, but the high­light is still the big power, big brakes and the sa­loon’s big char­ac­ter. This year, you can spec the Caddy with a Car­bon Black ex­te­rior pack­age that ditches the chrome trim for lots of black car­bon bits and pieces, but you don’t need it (our test car came with­out it) as it al­ready has more than enough pres­ence thanks to its an­gu­lar shape (spec the pack and you get a more ag­gres­sive front split­ter, bon­net vent, rear dif­fuser and a rear spoiler all made from the mag­i­cal weave). The Cue in­fo­tain­ment sys­tem has been re­vised, it has a seg­ment-ex­clu­sive rear camera mir­ror (it dis­plays a streaming, high-res­o­lu­tion im­age) and a Teen Driver sys­tem (it al­lows par­ents to set lim­its and re­ceive feed­back on the driv­ing habits of their kids). That’s your lot, but what more can you ask of a car that al­ready de­liv­ers power by the bucket full, enough tech to ri­val a space shut­tle and a com­fort­able cabin to boot – oh, and a big boot?

Last year, the rear-wheel drive ‘four-door Corvette’ sold out and it’ll likely be the same this time around. It has every­thing go­ing for it. But it isn’t just a brute burn­ing up those fat tyres ev­ery chance it gets; it dou­bles up as a so­phis­ti­cated fam­ily hauler and with plenty of room in the sec­ond row, it’s ever so prac­ti­cal. Like that mat­ters when your right toe is in com­mand of

Last year, the rear-wheel drive ‘four-door Corvette’ SOLD OUT and it’ll likely be the same this time around. It has every­thing go­ing for it. It isn’t just a BRUTE burn­ing up those fat tyres ev­ery chance it gets

855Nm of what feels like in­stan­ta­neous torque. That this has two ex­tra doors and can ac­com­mo­date five adults in com­fort is just a bonus. What you’ll re­ally be do­ing is beat­ing Mercs with the 5.5-litre biturbo V8 and BMWs with the 4.4-litre TwinPower V8 into sub­mis­sion – and then fright­en­ing su­per­cars to within an inch of their lives. There’s an im­me­di­acy to the acceleration that its blown ri­vals seem to lack and it is cou­pled with an ex­haust note that sounds ever so men­ac­ing at full throt­tle.

With so much low-end power and torque, this car proves to be al­most too much fun. But it has tremen­dous stop­ping power courtesy of the Brembo high-per­for­mance brake sys­tem, which has been de­vel­oped for the track. And with the thirdgen­er­a­tion Mag­netic Ride Con­trol soaking up all the road im­per­fec­tions by de­liv­er­ing a 40 per cent faster damp­ing re­sponse, the ride is sump­tu­ous. I had our tester in Track mode and with trac­tion con­trol switched off for max­i­mum hoonery, it sure de­liv­ers in the thrills de­part­ment.

Aside from the reg­u­lar smoke show, equally im­pres­sive is its abil­ity to dis­patch the 0-100kph dash in just 3.7 sec­onds (it’s quicker than the M5...), not to men­tion the ZF steer­ing; the elec­tric unit fea­tures a 14 per cent greater sys­tem stiff­ness of­fer­ing height­ened feed­back. Also, the per­fectly placed (and sized) pad­dle shifters al­low your fin­ger­tips pre­cise con­trol of the snappy eight-speed.

Yes, it’s heavy and strug­gles to hide its weight when you throw it into cor­ners but a ca­pa­ble driver will catch the back end when it breaks free in spite of the best ef­forts of the fat Miche­lin Pi­lot Su­per Sport sum­mer tyres. They’re wrapped around the 19in al­loys which, by the way, are 45 per cent stiffer than pre­vi­ous CTS-V wheels. Cadil­lac says it is also 20 per cent stiffer now (it has re­vised shock tower-to-tower braces, V-braces for the en­gine com­part­ment, a strength­ened rocker bulk­head and a unique alu­minium shear panel at the front of the chas­sis) and if you ever ven­ture on to the track to put those claims to the test, then the Per­for­mance Data Recorder will come in handy. This en­ables you to record, view and analyse your laps by cap­tur­ing real-time video, cabin au­dio and per­for­mance data.

Speak­ing of tech­nol­ogy, the 8.0in Cue in­fo­tain­ment sys­tem has been re­vised for 2017 and the up­grades in­clude par­tial name recog­ni­tion, dis­play of Ad­vanced Park Assist, and Wi-Fi sig­nal strength. It also gets con­ve­nient fea­tures such as Text Mes­sage Alerts for smart­phone users with Blue­tooth and Siri Eyes Free for iPhone fans. They’re both voice­con­trolled, mean­ing you keep your phone stored and your hands on the wheel. Safety first. Cue now al­lows you to ac­cess both An­droid Auto and Ap­ple Car Play with ease; a Pro­jec­tion icon ap­pears on the screen to en­able eas­ier ac­cess to key func­tions such as nav­i­ga­tion, con­tacts, hands-free text mes­sag­ing and ap­pli­ca­tions sup­ported by Ap­ple or Google but the ca­pac­i­tive-touch hap­tic-feed­back con­trols are still an­noy­ing to use. The standard Bose sur­round sound sys­tem now fea­tures Cen­ter­point 2.0 sur­round tech­nol­ogy and this de­liv­ers a more crisp sound from the 13 speak­ers but there’s an­other lit­tle is­sue; the in­stru­ment panel – a high-def­i­ni­tion 12.3in clus­ter dis­play – shows you all sorts of graph­ics and dis­tinc­tive gauge read­outs, which is fine in the day but at night – and with Track mode en­gaged – the light is very bright and can be a tad dis­tract­ing. Just get used to it, it’s re­ally one of the few ‘lows’ this car has.

If you’re on the hunt for a lux­ury per­for­mance sa­loon but want some­thing dif­fer­ent from the tried and tested i.e. the RS 7, M5 and Merc-AMG E 63 – which all of­fer lots of re­fined power – then this is it. Noth­ing makes a bolder state­ment than this loud and brash Amer­i­can.

The cabin boasts Re­caro per­for­mance front seats, and a driver-fo­cused in­ter­face with car­bon fibre trim

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