Over its production run from 2009 to 2015 Cadillac sold more than 18,000 second-generation CTS-Vs, supercharged bombs on wheels probably more apt for Germans with mullets than the grey suits of Wall Street. That was some car, finally answering the call if not of the consumer, than of the motoring journalist. Bad call…
Hacks loved this thing — at last, here was a high-performance luxury saloon from America, not entirely made of plastic and thrown together between smoke breaks in the parking lot of a unionised factory somewhere in Hicksville, USA.
With a supercharged 6.2-litre V8 out of a Corvette making nearly 560 horsepower, it blew the established German cars out of the water on paper. It was deemed a huge success for the brand, as it should be because journalists were breathless about the CTS-V. Never mind that BMW’s M division alone sell something like 15,000 cars in the US in a single year.
The biggest draw went to the CTS-V Sportwagon, a PR coup for Cadillac, because if you give automotive journalists a fast station wagon they don’t shut up about it. Money talks though and car journalists don’t buy cars. And the people that do buy cars, didn’t buy it.
Considering how many headlines the CTS-V Sportwagon garnered over its lifetime it’s interesting to note that only around 1,200 were sold during its run. That’s 0.05 (point-zero-five!) of the entire CTS product range, which includes all the standard non-V cars.
At the time GM vice-chairman said Cadillac would only do a super-wagon if there was demand, but it seems they did it anyway. Even though it was a sales flop, and nobody really put their money where their mouth was when it came to incessant hot air about the Sportwagon, the car still garnered Cadillac plenty of attention for sticking a Corvette engine mated to a manual transmission into that thing.