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      11-26-2010, 09:37 PM   #1
Kayani_1
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CTS-V Track Event @ Houston MSR

I recently was invited to a CTS-V track event held in Houston. The event was held at MSR Houston race track. It was a lot of fun. When we got there they provided us with food. We also got to hear some Cadillac folks including John Heinricy. They gave us a brief over view about the new Cadillac CTS-V.

After that we were divided into groups and then allowed to have a go at the CTS-V sedans & coupes on track. Also we had a chance to sample regular 6 cylinder CTS coupes.

The event had 3 different portions.

1. 0mph-70mph-0mph and Slalom event in black CTS-V sedans.

2. Track event with 4 laps around the MSR Houston race track in CTS-V coupes. The first lap was with the skip barber instructor behind the wheel. After which we got a chance to do 3 laps by our self with instructor riding shotgun.

3. The drag race event in regular 6 cylinder CTS coupes.


My overall impression was that it was well organized event. Maybe BMW should take some notes from Cadillac and offer free events like that. At least to the BMW owners that have bought multiple BMW cars in the past.

The best part was the ability to talk to John Heinricy in details about various aspects of the car as well as other brands including BMW and Audi. He is a very nice and down to earth guy. I really liked some of the instructors and staff there they were also very nice and quite friendly.

My on track instructor was a bit over cautious. But I can't blame him with that many non pro drivers one after another on race track all day. It is probably much better to be over cautious then under cautious. I think we maybe pushed the cars to only 75% of there overall ability. One due to the over cautious nature of the instructors. Second, due to the lack of familiarity for the race track layout. Third, I think most of us were non pro or semi pro drivers. I think we the drivers would run out of the driving ability far before these CTS-V coupes would run out of there ability as performance machines.


My overall impression of the CTS-V coupe.

1. The engine was a monster with lots of torque and the best part of the car. However, the exhaust note was not on par and left me wanting more. I wanted to hear the big muscular V8. But the only time you could really hear the engine was once you fully laid into it all the way. Then even it felt sort of subdued. I think they went a bit conservative with the exhaust note to impress the older luxury buyers. In return leaving the people that like sports flavor like me a bit wanting.

2. The magnetic ride control is no joke. Some portions of the MSR race track are not very well paved. But the car was very well composed and took the bumps without any drama. The car felt smoother then the BMW sport package equipped cars or any M car I have driven including the M5.

3. In the handling department the CTS-V coupe felt composed and tracked well. I never felt the CTS-V to be nervous and the steering felt light and accurate with plenty of feed back. My only gripe would be that the steering feel was a bit too light for my taste. The brakes on the CTS-V coupe are awesome and far better then any BMW.

4. I think the transmission was the worst part of the CTS-V coupe. The CTS-V coupe I drove was an automatic and I kept it in sports mode. But despite this it felt not up to par with the M5 7-speed SMG. I think this is where the Caddy dropped the ball big time. The automatic does not feel as sharp and immediate as the SMG. So it took away from the overall package and feel of the car specially on the track. I think if you are buying a CTS-V coupe then go for the 6-speed manual. Unless, off course your significant other can't drive a manual. Then you will be sort of stuck with an auto.

I did drive the manual CTS-V sedan in 0-70-0 event and slalom and it was a lot more fun. But when it comes to track events DCT and SMG like tranny have an edge in how they make the driver look better and more at comfort on track.


5. Looks wise I like both the sedan and the coupe. But I would probably take the coupe over the sedan. My major gripe with the coupe was the packaging. For being a large coupe the rear seats could have been more roomy. Another thing is for some reason due to huge gap between the wheel/tire and the fender. The 19" wheels looked small not filling up the wheel well. Thus, retracting from the overall aggressive look of the car.

6. The interior was only OK in my opinion. I was not too impressed and thought it was not on par with the BMW or the Audi's. I think this is another area where Caddy could use improvement.


7. Overall, I was impressed with how quickly the Cadillac is closing the gap. For the price you can't deny the value that CTS-V coupe/sedan offer. I still think they are not as good as M cars from BMW. But they are catching up fast.


8. When I got back to my 335i coupe. The things that immediately stood out out to me was the interior felt more to my liking. The car overall felt lighter and more nimble. The steering wheel did not feel as light and more to my liking. Another thing is that call me crazy but I sort of like a bit sporty stiff ride of the BMW without being too harsh. It makes you feel like you are driving a sporty car. In other words I guess for my taste the Caddy suspension was a bit too refined. However, when I get to the age when I start suffering from back pain Caddy will take the cake.


Overall the verdict is that the CTS-V is drama free super fast performance car for a decent price. However, for my taste it is a bit too much drama free. I like a bit of drama and engagement in my performance.


Last but not least i apologize for any spelling or grammar errors. As I was typing this quickly.

This man John Heinricy is no joke! It was great to talk to him and meet him.

One of his accomplishments:
2009 Cadillac CTS-V has run a 7:59.32 lap of the Nürburgring Nordschleife in the hands of GM Performance Division's John Heinricy.

CTS-V sedan (with upgraded caddy performance parts and custom white paint)



Next to CTS-V coupe with 556hp. This thing is no joke boys.

Me and the black CTS-V sedan bringing the "SEXY BACK"

Getting ready to attack the track with the CTS-V beast



This is my track CTS-V coupe I could not wait to get in

Cars lined up at the beginning of the event.


The car we used for drag racing was V6 CTS coupe not bad for a 6 cylinder. But made me miss the CTS-V coupe.
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Last edited by Kayani_1; 11-26-2010 at 09:48 PM.
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      11-28-2010, 07:30 PM   #2
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I honestly do like the coupe. I saw pictures of them and wasn't a fan, and then I saw sone in person and I really liked it.

I should be going to MSR in 2 weeks for a track event hopefully.
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      11-28-2010, 07:35 PM   #3
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I agree with heavy part the CTS-V coupe can sure gain from losing some weight. However, style wise it is different and unique. In my mind that is a good thing. I think with a nice setup of wheels that fill in the wheel well gap better and a mean exhaust the CTS-V coupe can appeal to some one like me.


Quote:
Originally Posted by maxnix View Post
Interesting post.

I like the CTS-V, but they are old tech and too heavy physically and on the eyes.
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      11-28-2010, 07:38 PM   #4
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Is that the MSR track event they are holding every two weeks or so for $150 and you can bring your own car.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bakeme521 View Post

I should be going to MSR in 2 weeks for a track event hopefully.
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      11-28-2010, 08:36 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maxnix View Post
Interesting post.

I like the CTS-V, but they are old tech and too heavy physically and on the eyes.
The CTS-V is more of a M5 competitor and weighs about the same as the E60 M5( don't get me going on how GM positioned the CTS lineup right now. Luckily, they are fixing it with the smaller ATS).

What do you mean by old tech?
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      11-28-2010, 08:50 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kayani_1 View Post
Is that the MSR track event they are holding every two weeks or so for $150 and you can bring your own car.
I think it is something like that, I will be driving my fathers car and he pays monthly or something to be a part of club. So I think we just show up and can drive, don't quote me on that but thats what I think. I'm still building my track car right now, so I'm lucky he is loaning me his. I'll post up the date when I know for sure.
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      11-29-2010, 09:51 AM   #7
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My next car. Beautiful write up!
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      11-29-2010, 01:30 PM   #8
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The CTS-V in white looks quite good.
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      11-29-2010, 11:26 PM   #9
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Good for you man. There is nothing better then a free track car and no track fees. Is your dad looking to adopt any time soon.........jk.

Yeah, I would appreciate an update man. I might check with BMW of north Houston. I know they had fliers for $150 all day track event. One of my friend might just bring his Lambo out there. He does not want to go all hardcore but rather just explore the limits of his ride.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bakeme521 View Post
I think it is something like that, I will be driving my fathers car and he pays monthly or something to be a part of club. So I think we just show up and can drive, don't quote me on that but thats what I think. I'm still building my track car right now, so I'm lucky he is loaning me his. I'll post up the date when I know for sure.
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      11-29-2010, 11:29 PM   #10
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Thank you, I am glad you liked it. It is a great choice and if you end up getting it you will enjoy it. Don't forget to post the pics when you get it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DASHOCKER View Post
My next car. Beautiful write up!
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