The love for the CTS-V is in the 400 horsepower engine. The nice seats, satin chrome trim and Bose stereo are all nice window dressing but the heart and soul of the car is the rumbling beast under the hood. And boy does it rumble.

Wherever you stop, traffic light, parking lot, drive-thru etc., the car shimmies as the engine idles. In almost every way the car reminds me of the new Pontiac GTO. Maybe it?s just that rumbling and the tough shifter that ?intelligently? shifts from 1st to 4th to save gas that makes me think of the GTO. But really it?s the cold-stop to cheek pulling velocity that show off the family resemblance.

What the CTS-V really offers is an all-American luxury sedan that can go to 60 mph in under 5 seconds. And it doesn?t give up too much of the creature comforts. Even with 18-inch run flats, the road manners are quite cushy in comparison to most sports oriented sedans. Highway driving is nice and quiet and the car handles bumps a lot better than one would think. Even though the handling has been tuned on the Nurburgring, the CTS-V does not turn like a German car. It is a much more vague connection to the road that will turn off BMW M and Audi S owners.

A few people wrote in about the price tag being a bit too much to handle. But the way I look at it, you?re getting the power of a $44,000 Corvette and the practicality of a $30,000 CTS in the same vehicle. Plus there?s all that exclusivity.

Tomorrow I?ll tackle what I don?t like about the monster Caddy.




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