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Old 02-02-2011, 08:57 AM   #1
BigElm
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Default CTS-V Wagon: Cadillac's Insane, Unnecessary, Awesome Wagon

Let's say you bought this car, a Cadillac CTS-V Sport Wagon, with a 6.2-liter, 556-horsepower Corvette V8, six-speed manual transmission, magnetorheological dampers (I'll get to that), Michelin SP2 gumballs, 15-inch front Brembo brakes with six-pot calipers, and microsuede wrapping on the steering wheel and shifter. Well, first of all, you'd be one strange cat, which is to say, unusual. Notwithstanding any nitro-burning ice-cream trucks or flying boattail Rollses in your neighborhood, this wagon is about as esoteric an automobile as you're likely to find. Statistically speaking, General Motors will sell exactly none of these cars, the Detroit equivalent of Zoroastrianism.

But if you did buy one, what would you do with it? You'd have a lot of options. Like Cadillac's 3.6-liter CTS wagon—with a mere 304 hp—the V-Wagon has a useful and accessible 22 cubic feet behind the rear seats and a generous 56 cubic feet with the second-row seats folded. Among other things, you could take three weeks' worth of groceries to the test-and-tune session at your local drag strip. Zero to 60 miles per hour in this car goes by in 4.3 seconds—such acceleration momentarily takes years off your sagging jowls—and then the car really starts to move, thundering through the quarter-mile in 11.9 seconds at 116 mph, according to my colleagues at Car and Driver, who do impeccable instrumented testing.


Such a car would be useful if you wanted to duck car-pooling duty or avoid field trips with the Cub Scouts, because no child emerging weepy and jelly-kneed from the back seats of this supercharged washing machine will ever want to get back in. You'll be on cupcake duty from then on.


2011 Cadillac CTS-V Sport Wagon


You could attempt to redeem yourself for such an automotive purchase, as you should. The V-Wagon is utterly, cosmically and seismically wrong, a filthy, shameful ogre of torque that bellows and sets alight thatched roofs as it drives by—Caliban with pushrods. You owe God or somebody an apology.


Perhaps you could put on demonstrations for the local high-school physics club, using the g-meter built into the car's instrument cluster to show exactly what more than 1 g of lateral acceleration feels like. It feels like a fat lady is trying to push you out the side window. Or if not physics, the Greek club, since like Antaeus the V-Wagon maintains an Olympian grip on the earth and draws strength from it. Maybe you could help out at the police training range, letting cadets chase you to improve their hot-pursuit driving skills. Then, having been completely demoralized, these plebes will quit to become firemen. The world needs firemen.


What you couldn't do is volunteer to rush transplant organs to faraway hospitals, because if you did, you'd only arrive with coolers full of gazpacho.


This then, is a fast car, and a useful car (sort of), and a surprisingly affordable car, with an MSRP of $63,465, exactly the same price as the CTS-V Coupe—which itself is an odd fact, since the V-Wagon weighs 200 pounds more than the coupe and, even if you only measured by the pound, you'd expect it to cost more.


All of these notions—the car's price, its perversely limited appeal, its supercar limits, its utter unsuitability for the very missions it would seem tailor-made for—add up to one thing: This car is pure marketing.


The only people who will want this car are people like me, dizzy enthusiasts and car lovers, but more than that: car reviewers. Car reviewers cycle in and out of dozens of new cars every year. We buy not, neither do we lease. And because of that, we can afford to fall in love with a snot-flinging rodeo bull like the V-Wagon (or cars like the now-defunct Dodge Magnum, the Audi RS6 Avant, Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG Estate or the Europe-only BMW M5 Touring). If we were spending our own money, we might reasonably ask why a station wagon needs to be faster than a mid-1990s Lamborghini. Is it likely I'm going to uncork this bottle of hateful Champagne in the bank drive-thru?


Likewise, if we're scribbling our own check, we might think, "Well, if I want a sports coupe, shouldn't I get the model with two doors?" This is particularly apposite in the case of the Cadillac, since the CTS-V Coupe is, I think, the best-looking, most daring American car since the Auburn 852 SC Speedster.


Here's the lick, though: People in my position are easily bored. The gliding gossamer ride of a BMW 7-series is astonishing, that's true, but the miracle moment slips away as the days pass, and the car begins to feel trifling and sedate. A Ferrari 458 Italia is the best sports car in the world, but where am I going to put my golf clubs or even my golf trophies? People in my position are fussy pains in the butt, really.


The V-Wagon answers the auto reviewer's lament: Why can't I have everything and why can't it be interesting?


For Cadillac and GM's part, the calculation is simple: It costs a few million to develop this, the last and best riff on the CTS, and building it guarantees endless buff-book magazine covers; dozens of YouTube videos featuring the V-Wagon performing fluffy, white cumulonimbus burnouts; and miles of adoring type online and in print. Does it work? You're here, aren't you?


And by pricing the V-Wagon the same as the coupe, the company didn't even bother to disguise its lack of interest in a margin. Who cares? It all comes out of the marketing budget.


In a way, it's encouraging. GM is getting its mojo back, playing the game, rousing the faithful. You have to love it.



2011 Cadillac CTS-V Sport Wagon


And the V-Wagon is, above all, interesting. Where to begin? With the "World of Warcraft" mesh grille; the fractal insanity of the styling? What about the fact that, in addition to a six-speed automatic, this wagon can be had with a six-speed manual transmission, a device that's quickly becoming a drivers-only shibboleth? No ladies' clutch nor vague shift gates here. The clutch throw is heavy, the uptake sweet and progressive. The gearbox has the momentous, latch-in-place action of a switch for an electric chair. Slot it into first, ramp up the revs to 4,000 and slip the clutch. The lights in your brain dim like it's midnight on the Green Mile and wherever you were, you ain't anymore.



Like the Corvette ZR1 and the CTS-V Coupe, the wagon is set up on magnetorheological dampers, which use micro-metallic particles in the dampers to vary viscosity according to the car's dynamic sensors. The result is an easy and composed ride in daily driving, and the ease and composure doesn't diminish as you start to throw the car around. The front tires take a huge bite on turn-in, the car barely rolls and then it burrows into a corner like a tick. This car has no bad habits, particularly as you approach the limits of tire adhesion. Like the V-Coupe's, the V-Wagon's stability-control system has a sport map, and once engaged, it makes it hilariously easy to rotate the car under power. This thing is the drifting king of your kid's preschool porte cochere.


From the tuft of its excellent Recaro seats to the melty rubber bits under the tires, the V-Wagon is illicit, overpowering, sexy and a touch scary. If it were boxing gloves it would be banned by the Nevada State Athletic Commission. I recognize to love it is to be played a bit by GM's marketing guys, but I don't even care. The V-Wagon is never boring. That's all I ask.

http://autos.yahoo.com/articles/auto...awesome-wagon/
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Old 02-02-2011, 09:28 AM   #2
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The V-Wagon is utterly, cosmically and seismically wrong, a filthy, shameful ogre of torque that bellows and sets alight thatched roofs as it drives by—Caliban with pushrods. You owe God or somebody an apology.
It would be so cool to tool around in that beast. But it really does make you wonder what the GM execs are thinking. It's a very balzy move so soon after bankruptcy.
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Old 02-02-2011, 09:34 AM   #3
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My next car WILL be a CTS-V.
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Old 02-02-2011, 09:55 AM   #4
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I've said it before and I'll say it again...I will own this car one day.
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Old 02-02-2011, 10:12 AM   #5
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Love this car, love that GM is doing it. Almost makes me want to sing "The Star-Spangled Banner." I don't know that I could stomach the MPG so would likely look at the non-V wagon. Also want to see long-term reliability as I tend to hold on to cars for > 3 years.

Re development costs, compare this from the current R&T: http://www.roadandtrack.com/tests/up...-v-sport-wagon

Quote:
With most of the engineering done beforehand on the Sedan and Coupe Vs, which includes the 556-bhp 6.2-liter supercharged V-8 and the quick-acting Magnetic Ride Control suspension, the Sport Wagon was a relatively straightforward program and one that will pay for itself after only 37 CTS-V wagons are sold.
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Old 02-02-2011, 10:29 AM   #6
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I can't wait until a couple of years down the road for this car to depreciate so that I can pick one up for a bargain. The only problem may be finding a manual.
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Old 02-02-2011, 10:36 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by esbee View Post
I can't wait until a couple of years down the road for this car to depreciate so that I can pick one up for a bargain. The only problem may be finding a manual.
I have a feeling these are going to be collectors items. I can only hope the price drops into my range before it starts going up again.
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Old 02-02-2011, 10:39 AM   #8
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I can't wait until a couple of years down the road for this car to depreciate so that I can pick one up for a bargain. The only problem may be finding a manual.
While I would go with a manual as well, the auto is no slouch in this car. on the track even.

Oh, and the Recaros are borderline painful until broken it. The passenger seat in my brother's sedan caused back pain in two hours. We switched and I drove, and had no problem.
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Old 02-02-2011, 10:41 AM   #9
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I actually like the concept of this better than the sedan. These vehicles are too big and pricy to be track-whores, so why not make it a bit practical? An extra 200 lbs is irrelevant when the car's already heavy--like I said, it's not a track-whore by any stretch.

One would look nice next to a GT-R in my conscience-put-aside fantasy garage.
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Old 02-02-2011, 10:59 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by e11ys View Post
I have a feeling these are going to be collectors items. I can only hope the price drops into my range before it starts going up again.
You really think a wagon would become a collector's item? I just don't think the demand is there unfortunately. Everybody I know always asks why I have such a fascination with wagons, but on the flip side, everyone now buys crossovers which are just tall wagons.

Either way, I'm hoping I can get one of these coming off a lease in 3 years in the low-$30's.
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Old 02-02-2011, 11:09 AM   #11
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I love it.

It's looks great, goes like stink, and the sound has gotta be mean as hell. This is a proper alternative to the badass AMG wagons, and bravo to GM for having the balls to build this car and offer it at a reasonable price. Maybe one day...
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Old 02-02-2011, 11:24 AM   #12
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You really think a wagon would become a collector's item?
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Old 02-02-2011, 11:28 AM   #13
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I love this thing. If I was to purchase a reasonable vehicle, this would be it.

Nick
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Old 02-02-2011, 11:30 AM   #14
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I knew when I was typing that, someone would mention this or the Nomad. I just don't see any modern wagons becoming collector's items, but I could be wrong.
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Old 02-02-2011, 11:42 AM   #15
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I want so hard. :drool:
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Old 02-02-2011, 11:42 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by esbee View Post
I knew when I was typing that, someone would mention this or the Nomad. I just don't see any modern wagons becoming collector's items, but I could be wrong.
We can't all be the Sultan of Brunei and commission Aston and Ferrari shooting brakes, but these are attainable. Ditto the E63 AMG. RS6 Avant and M5 Touring, only if you know somebody.
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Old 02-02-2011, 11:55 AM   #17
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I love this thing. If I was to purchase a reasonable vehicle, this would be it.

Nick
Only YOU would call this a "reasonable vehicle."
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Old 02-02-2011, 12:12 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by esbee View Post
You really think a wagon would become a collector's item? I just don't think the demand is there unfortunately. Everybody I know always asks why I have such a fascination with wagons, but on the flip side, everyone now buys crossovers which are just tall wagons.

Either way, I'm hoping I can get one of these coming off a lease in 3 years in the low-$30's.
Maybe you're right. I guess my reasoning is that the lack of potential new car buyers means it's going to be so insanely low-volume. This seems like a car that not many people will want to pony up and buy new, but that lot's of people would love to own. New car buyers will probably either jump for the coupe or sedan, or drop down to the CTS wagon (non-V). Rarity, in my mind, will drive the price up and make it more sought after as a used car. I could be wrong though.
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Old 02-02-2011, 12:12 PM   #19
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Gosh I LOVE this car!






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Old 02-02-2011, 12:45 PM   #20
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I've said it before and I'll say it again...I will own this car one day.
I feel the same way. If they only found a way to make it AWD, I bet it would actually sell stupidly. Then I could go buy me some bread, eggs, and milk in style when it snows.
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Old 02-02-2011, 01:03 PM   #21
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Count me in as another for AWD. The sedan and coupe are fine RWD but if you are looking for something fast, practical and luxurious it may as well have all-season drivability too.

This isn't meant to be tracked it's made for the man (I highly doubt any women would buy this) who needs space for a family or cargo but occasionally wants to haul some ass after the kids have been dropped off at school.

This is the same reason I bought the STI, for me I’d like something bigger, more luxurious but that I can still drive in the snow and carry all my children’s crap or handle a trip to COSTCO while putting a ****-eating grin on my face.
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Old 02-02-2011, 01:06 PM   #22
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I'd rather have the sedan. I don't really care for the styling of the -V coupe or wagon.
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Old 02-02-2011, 01:29 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by wildnuts View Post
I feel the same way. If they only found a way to make it AWD, I bet it would actually sell stupidly. Then I could go buy me some bread, eggs, and milk in style when it snows.
Quote:
Originally Posted by design1stcode2nd View Post
Count me in as another for AWD. The sedan and coupe are fine RWD but if you are looking for something fast, practical and luxurious it may as well have all-season drivability too.

This isn't meant to be tracked it's made for the man (I highly doubt any women would buy this) who needs space for a family or cargo but occasionally wants to haul some ass after the kids have been dropped off at school.

This is the same reason I bought the STI, for me I’d like something bigger, more luxurious but that I can still drive in the snow and carry all my children’s crap or handle a trip to COSTCO while putting a ****-eating grin on my face.
I think the size of the tires on this thing alone make it a poor choice for winter driving. But if you could afford to daily drive one of these beasts, why not invest in some snow tires? That would solve your problem right there. You'd probably have to compromise with some smaller rear tire widths...I wonder what the widest snow tire you can buy is.

edit: Looks like Tire Rack recommends 255/40/19. I guess that's the max. Not too bad.

Last edited by e11ys; 02-02-2011 at 01:42 PM.
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Old 02-02-2011, 01:35 PM   #24
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If I had the money for a CTS-V, i'd get the wagon.
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Old 02-02-2011, 03:18 PM   #25
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I've been entertaining the thought of replacing the GXP for either this or the sedan, or just pay it off and get a used one relatively 'cheap'
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