The world's automakers are introducing around 20 new vehicles this week at the 2010 New York Auto Show. Some of those cars are pretty interesting, but here's the juice: In 20 years, there is exactly one car being shown here today that people will still be whispering about. That car? The Cadillac CTS-V Sport Wagon. You're reading this correctly. Cadillac, former maker of landau-roofed Boca Rotan retirement sleds will soon be offering a station wagon stuffed with a 556-horsepower, supercharged and Corvette-derived 6.2-liter V8. If that's not loony enough for you, yes, you can order it with a six-speed manual. Wowza.
We first glimpsed the V Wagon last night at a fairly gala Cadillac cocktail reception, complete with GM design boss Ed Welburn and none other than Maximum Bob Lutz, the man who may have single handedly willed pistonhead fantasy into production. The CTS-V Sport Wagon took center stage flanked on either side by the plain old CTS-V and our Detroit Show favorite CTS-V Coupe. To put the spectacle in photographic terms, even though it was surrounded by some pretty desirable metal, the newest V managed to "pop."
We pressed the flesh and asked our full battery of penetrating, hard hitting questions ("Can I go to the launch?"), but the general theme from Cadillac seemed to be this: They known they're not going to sell many, and they just don't care. Sometimes doing what logic dictates you shouldn't do makes the most sense. Remember the Buick GNX? There was simply no rational reason for GM to allow that monster off a production line. Yet 23 years later, what Buick are we still talking about? To our minds, the CTS-V Sport Wagon has a similar, skull-cracking je ne sais quo about it.
But should a recently Chapter 11 company be in the business of building small volume, high-performance station wagons? Well.... yes, absolutely. Here are all the reasons why that we can think of. First, when was the last time an American luxury brand offered a full line of anything? For decades now, BMW has been happy to sell you a 3-Series coupe, sedan, wagon and convertible. Cadillac has had... the CTS four-door. Until now. Besides, having a low production halo version of your halo vehicle is the stuff that builds legends.
Or how's this, BMW sells a hopped up M3 coupe, convertible and sedan, but no wagon. Sure, BMW makes the M5 Touring (i.e. wagon), but they won't sell it to Americans. And Audi won't sell us either of its hot rod grocery haulers, the RS4 and RS6 Avants. We know Mercedes-Benz will be making an E63 AMG Wagon, but will they sell it here? Dunno.
But Cadillac will happily sell you a CTS-V Wagon for just a small premium over the Sedan. Figure about $65,000 or so. And if you haven't been reading between the lines, a bangin' five-door might help Cadillac strengthen its tenuous foothold in Europe, especially if this show car's leather/Alcantara interior and massively bolstered Recaro sport seats make it to production. Either way, Caddy just dropped a mighty big gauntlet.