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
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.