• Dec 14, 2009
Michael Cooper and his Cadillac CTS-V-challenging BMW M3 - click above for high-res image gallery

This guy. So, some of you no doubt remember the Cadillac CTS-V Challenge. If you don't, here's a refresher: General Motors vice-chairman Maximum Bob Lutz challenged any journalist to bring a CTS-V competitor to California's Laguna Seca where the 77-year-old Lutz would mop the floor with he/she and whatever fancy-pants, Euro sedan they done brung. Of course, the event got moved to New York's Monticello Motor Club, and to guarantee that the Cadillac didn't lose, GM brought in a backup pilot, John Hienricy, the company's noted hot shoe engineer and race car driver. And then every other manufacturer (Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar) decided not to play into GM's marketing ploy, and withdrew their cars' support.

To be frank, we here at Autoblog toyed with the idea of throwing our hoon-hat in the ring, but after Heinricy became Cadillac's ace in the hole, we figured the whole challenge was unwinnable (we've driven with Mr. Heinricy – he's that good). While it would no doubt have been fun, totally playing into General Motor's hands like that (by also losing), well, not so much. Luckily, privateer Michael Cooper and his BMW M3 wasn't in on our conference call.

Mr. Cooper showed up to the Caddy Challenge and laid down a 2:50.424, beating not only Bob Lutz's 2:56.321 in the way more powerful CTS-V, but our pals Lawrence Ulrich (2:53:026) and Jack Baruth (2:51:153), both of whom were driving the big supercharged Caddy. Not surprisingly, Heinricy blew the doors off of every single person, ripping off a 2:46.560. Probably while flossing. But let's not overlook young Michael Cooper, who with 142 less horsepower and a boatload less torque to work with came in less than four seconds behind John (ringer *cough* ringer) Hienricy.

BMW was so taken by Mr. Cooper's feat of good driving that they reportedly invited him down to their North American headquarters in New Jersey and gave him a BMW Performance Multifunction Steering Wheel. How else to thank the guy that tossed such an effective monkey wrench into GM's marketing plans? BMW installed the wheel in Cooper's M3 while he was given a ride in a special BMW Performance enhanced 335i Sedan. So, one more time, a hearty Autoblog congratulations to Michael Cooper and his Cadillac CTS-V challenging BMW M3. The one with the fancy new steering wheel.



[Source: BMW Blog]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 83 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      IIRC he was on a Bimmer forum saying that if he was driving the CTS-V he most definitely would've ran a better time than he did in his M3.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The show was on Speed this weekend- how the RS4 didn't mop the room on the wet track goes to show how the drivers were chosen.

      Johnny O'Connell should have run every car himself to take the driver out of the equation. In an anonymous Stig-like manner.

      Enjoy the wheel Cooper.
        Carlos
        • 5 Years Ago
        That makes more sense to me, having the same driver would eliminate one variable in this competition, but it wasn't really much of a competition as much as it was a poorly executed marketing attempt. It'd be nice to see an independent company do a 1 lap competition with the CTS-V and its competitors.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Anyone else think this was a Pontiac G8 at first glance? The lighting washes out the side bone line and the guy is covering up the headlight. I just saw a double kidney grill, fender vent, and Hoffmeister kink. Of course the wheels are better than anything from the general, but overall it says good things about the G8 (God rest its soul).
      • 5 Years Ago
      haha awesome
      • 5 Years Ago
      He should drive a X6 M...I think it is faster than the M3.... is'nt it?
        • 5 Years Ago
        do you have a comparison between X6 M to M5?
        • 5 Years Ago
        But it can cut across the field...
        • 5 Years Ago
        It may be faster on the straight, but once it gets on the corners it's slower.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Pretty cool story, always thought a M3 sedan would bet a CTS-V on the track. Thats a pretty cool steering wheel too, it has a performance computer built into it, and has a display at the 12 position.
      matthew
      • 5 Years Ago
      This story makes BMW look much better than it makes Cadillac. It would be nice if all the fans of the bankrupt bailout Cadillac would STFU.

      The guy beat up on the Cadillac with an M3, not an M5, which is the CTS's direct competitor.

      The fact that a professional racing driver won with the CTS in the end doesn't impress me at all. Way to go BMW and Michael Cooper!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Sweet, a free steering wheel!

        • 5 Years Ago
        I wish the stig showed up!!!
        • 5 Years Ago
        Bitterspeak: I know...the OP made fun of it, but it's a pricey gift.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @Luis

        But he didn't have to pay for it... hence... free.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Um, that "BMW Performance Multifunction Steering Wheel" is like, $1,000. Not including installation.
        • 5 Years Ago
        BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Way to go, Michael!
        • 5 Years Ago
        bitterspeak,

        Zoom!
        Robert
        • 5 Years Ago
        They should have just taken care of his service for the "lifetime" of his BMW. That would have been a real nice gesture. Afterall, he went out, laid the smack down at his vehicles expense. Instead, they probably voided his warranty or noted it in the computer that the car was used on the track. But hey, He got a nice wheel.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Props to BMW for showing some class and kindness here! Also, well done Cooper!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Beating a 76 old man is kind of up there with a trivia challenge with a 5 year old. If you lose, "ha-ha" on you. If you win, big whoop.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Little did he know that BMW did this so they could take down his VIN and void his warranty for track abuse.
        • 5 Years Ago
        slolx

        I intended the comment as a ruse. If you reread my comment, I think you'll understand. I meant to say that unless we're doing a monetary comparison, the 2 cars aren't really equal in performance.

        That Cooper went to the track, severely underpowered, was a big deal. That should be praised. And you can make that comparison with other autocross events, too. A Corvette can fit into a "STOCK" class the same as a WRX, Miata, S2000, or any other unmodified car. Unless you find SOME point on which they're all level, this is an unfair comparison.

        So we go back to my Miata comment. Sorry, I don't have a sarcasm font.

        I'd ask you to join the International Sarcasm Society.

        Like we NEED your support...
        • 5 Years Ago
        I see what you did there.
      • 5 Years Ago
      i meant if the M3 and M5 are slower.
      Goddamnit!
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