Over the years, we’ve run all manner of exotics for this section — heck, we’ve even had a Ferrari California Handling Speciale — but with 640bhp the Cadillac CTS-V is hands down the most potent recruit yet, and sadly, the time is nigh to bid it farewell.
Surprisingly, though, despite the undeniable oomph, it is remarkably civilised on an everyday basis. It rides well and pootling around town there is nary a hint to the stupendous performance potential that lurks beneath that scooped bonnet. Once on the go the CTS-V is a savagely fast car, even though off the line it strangely doesn’t feel as responsive or quick as the less powerful BMW M5.
Over the past month and a half, I’ve used the CTS-V in a variety of driving situations and it has taken on everything an average day can throw at it with consummate ease. It’s been thoroughly reliable, too, with no mechanical or electrical maladies to report. The biggest upside though is the price tag. At Dh329,000, there is absolutely nothing, barring Dodge’s Hellcat duo, that even comes close to delivering 600-plus horsepower punch for that amount of money. For context, its chief rivals, the aforementioned M5 and the Mercedes-AMG E 63, are almost twice as expensive. It’s the performance bargain of the year.
However, there are predictably some niggles, too. If you drive the CTS-V the way it’s meant to be driven, you’ll be lucky to get anything less than 18 litres per 100km. Also, the haptic controls are frustratingly fidgety and the styling is a touch more brash than the Germans. And despite a relatively reasonable price tag, this car isn’t a no-brainer purchase quite like the BMW. Let me explain.
For all its positives, the CTS-V seems to lack character. And despite the prodigious power, it doesn’t quite feel as taut or as purposeful as Bavaria’s finest. Granted, the latter commands a nearly Dh200K premium, but then, it can. The M5’s built a reputation over decades.
The CTS-V isn’t quite there yet, but it’s much, much closer than you’d think.
The CTS-V is decidedly not as skittish as the less powerful BMW M5, which makes it more confidence inspiring to drive. It’s also a startling Dh200,000 cheaper than its venerable German rival. Fuel economy hovers at a wallet-burning 18 litres per 100km.
Highs: Well composed, despite huge reserves of power
Lows: Fuel economy, lacks off-the-line urgency of its competitors
The Cadillac CTS-V impresses group motoring editor Amit with its eye-widening pace, however, the inability of the transmission to deliver the same amount of precision as its German rivals disappoints.
Highs: Exceedingly fast, refined at slow speeds
Lows: Gearbox isn’t the sharpest