Everything You Need to Know About the 2018 Cadillac CTS

January 24th, 2019 by

Pull out the guts of the C7 Chevrolet Corvette Z06, drop them into a four-door luxury sedan and what do you get?

The 2018 Cadillac CTS-V.

With surging horsepower the average consumer would never use, sound volume that rocks your system and a chassis on par with classic German engineering, Cadillac hit the motherload with the CTS-V.

After driving around sunny California for the best part of a week, here is everything you need to know about the 2018 Cadillac CTS.

The Lighter Side
Dynamics are set high by the 2018 Cadillac CTS. A curb weight of 4,141 pounds makes it a great deal lighter – 374 pounds, to be exactr – than the 2018 Mercedes E63 S.

The reflexes adapt instantly when you take a corner in the CTS-V. The steering isn’t really heavy and you can adjust the dial to add more heft if you prefer. Although it doesn’t match Porsche 911 GT- grade steering, the CTS still gets the job done.

The chassis is dynamically light and brilliant. That’s a shocker when you contrast how fleet of foot it is as you push. You definitely feel the engine’s heft , but it never feels overbearing.

The Cadillac engineering design team definitely deserves applause for its out-of-this-world ability to deliver a lighter Cadillac that feels like a dream.

The Big Nasty
GM’s executive vice president of product development called the C7 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 “The Big Nasty”.

The 2018 Cadillac CTS also has the same 6.2 liters supercharged LT4 V8 getting a 640 horsepower. That’s a bit shy of the exact same engine in the Z06, but, hey, we’re talking about a transplanted four-door sedan. The only sedan with an equally outrageous engine is the Dodge Charger Hellcat.

Isn’t America great?

It’s Not Subtle
If you want to drive without people eyeballing you, the CTS-V likely isn’t for you. On either side of the grille are huge air inlets that feed very unsubtle intercoolers.

The massive vented hoods to extract heat won’t keep you under the radar either.

The huge rear decklid spoiler, quad exhaust tips on the rear and flared front fenders with functional air extractors all give the CTS-V an intimidating look.

And that doesn’t include the optional $6,250 carbon fiber package that replaces the front and rear diffusers, rear spoiler with visible weave carbon fiber, and rear diffusers.

It’s Proud. It’s Loud
If the 2018 Cadillac CTS’s exterior doesn’t generate the attention you want, the noise the CTS-V generates most certainly will. There is an active exhaust setup, but what’s the point?

Just go to Track Mode and let the exhaust sing its praises every which way. It sounds mean to say a cold start and if you find yourself in a parking garage, it probably doesn’t matter.

Though unprepared passengers might need a change of clothes, the CTS-V will drench your path with the glorious sounds of a whining supercharger and a large displacement V8. If you drive near any canyons or valleys, they’ll echo in your wake.

This Car Is Thirsty
There’s never a free lunch. All the power and sound of the CTS-V comes with an unfortunately expensive price. The vehicle gobbles gas no matter what the circumstance. Average mileage when you blast through the outskirts of town is a cringe-worthy 5.4 mpg.

Inside a town or city, the stats are better but not much – 13.4 mpg. Oh, and it needs premium fuel, so be prepared to fuel up often.

Its Weak Spot Is Shifting
Even using the Z06’s engine, the Cadillac’s 8-speed automatic transmission is different even though they have the same number of forwarding gears. The Z06’s transmission has a transaxle setup, while the CTS-V’s 8 speed is bolted to the back of the engine.

If you switch the CTS-V’s car mode from Sport to Track and to Travel, there are some subtle shifts in the algorithm and patterns, but you’d be hard-pressed to notice them. Essentially, the algorithm adapts to your driving style and uses its transmission’s programming automatically.

It gets the job done.

This is a minor issue, but it would be great if the three car modes jump started the transmission into aggressive programming to decrease the delay adoption. The steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters are placed appropriately but respond a bit slowly to input.

The Days for Brakes
You can overlook any transmission issues when you feel the sweet strength of the CTS brakes. They have enough force to knock you back in your seat. Sometimes, they’re strong enough to trigger the seatbelt mechanism.

There is a strong bite with a progressive pedal movement and exactly zero fades while pushed. The 15.3-inch rotors are snagged by 6-piston calipers, then the rear’s 14.3-inch rotors are pushed by 4-piston calipers. The end result is incredible braking power that’ll take your breath away.

All Things Considers, A Solid Value
At $86,295, the 2018 Cadillac CTS-V isn’t cheap, but it is overall a solid value.

Of course, if you add the:

$6,250 carbon fiber package
$2,500 luxury package
$2,300 Recaro front seats
1,600 performance data recorder
$1,000 California gas guzzling tax
$595 dark golden Brembo caliper brakes
$300 suede steering wheel
… and don’t forget the $995 destination charge, you reach the impressive price of $102,735.

That’s a lot of cash for most people, but I’d argue the CTS-V is still a solid value. Check out the Cadillac CTS in our model showroom for more information.

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