Cadillac CTS-V Black Diamond Edition
Power: 556hp, 551 lb-ft
Engine: 6.2 L Supercharged V8
Fuel consumption: 12 city, 18 hwy
Price as tested: $70,490
Cadillac states the design of its all-new CTS-V Coupe was inspired by an archer drawing its bow. We more so picture a dude wielding a Batarang. Now for 2011, its special Black Diamond Edition takes that super-heroic look even further. OK, so maybe it’s still a touch too refined for the Caped Crusader himself, but if there ever was a car a real-life Bruce Wayne would rock, this is it.
Expanding on the coupe’s dramatic wedge design, the Black Diamond Edition comes dipped in paint that looks about the furthest from factory you’ll find on US shores. Cadillac says that the hue’s striking special effects are achieved through a custom tri-coat paint, embedded with SpectraFlair Bright Silver Pigment. "While other luxury makers offer metallic paints, Black Diamond is created through a meticulous process that gives the paint added dimension," explains the official statement. Added dimension is an understatement—this thing has so much metal flake, you’d think it’s been sitting uncovered in a machine shop for months. Add satin graphite 19” wheels with massive canary-colored Brembo calipers to the V’s exterior, and you got a whip that'll ensure Wiz’s “Black and Yellow” will never leave your iPod.
Pop the soft-touch hidden door-pull, and you’ll quickly realize that the walk-around was little more than an appetizer of what the V-coupe really is. Slide in and make sure you take a minute to tweak its power Recaro seats every which way (they do everything short of buckle you in). Twist the keyless start, and you’ll notice one thing is absent: the roar you might expect of the 556hp, 551 lb.-ft., 6.2-liter blown V8. As sport oriented as the CTS-V family is, they’re still of course, Cadillacs, and no expense has been spared to ensure that noise cancellation has been optimized to the fullest potential. Disappointed? Don’t fret, the sweet sound of supercharger whine is just a stomp away. Before you get going though, take a minute to appreciate the delicate balance of sport and luxury accoutrements Cadillac has achieved here. While the Midnight Sapele wood trim looks like it was sourced from a rockstar tree from Mars, the rest of the cabin is a blend of power and refinement typically only found on European luxe-sport rides. The two-tone leather/Alcantera seats are even comfortable when you're seated in the back. It may take a bit of contortionism to get to them, and you may have to ask the people upfront to scoot their chairs up a bit, but their deep bucket design delivers surprisingly adequate headroom for the average sized adult.
Enough style talk. Yeah, it’s impressive inside and out, but this is a car you bought to drive, right? Good. Mash the gas, and the CTS-V throws you back in your seat with a force that’ll make you grin ear-to-ear. As crazy as that may sound, you are, after all, harnessing Gallardo-level power in a ‘Lac. But this angular powerhouse isn’t just about straight-line performance. Dip into some twisties, and the Coupe stays planted on terra firma through a suspension that’s been tuned with just the right balance of stiffness and comfort. No, you won’t float over bumps in typical Caddy fashion, but do you really want to? Simply put, the V delivers track car handling and feel, with a ride your girl probably won’t hate. Probably. Speaking of your girl, opting for the automatic transmission in this case is not the least bit feminine. For those that choose against the manual, Cadillac has another trick up its sleeve. Rather than implement the typical “look at me, I’m sporty!” shift paddles used by cars that don’t deserve or need them, the CTS-V opts for hidden shift buttons, stealthily mounted behind the wheel for when drivers desire a bit more control. Yet even in standard ‘D’ mode, the automatic is still aggressive and more than a pleasing interface to your right foot. Just watch the gauges, this is one of them rides that’ll do 100+ mph and have you feeling like you’re going 60.
Is the CTS-V coupe a true supercar? No, but in all fairness it’s not trying to be. Although with an engine and powertrain that delivers performance on par with Europe’s finest, this new addition to Cadillac’s stable delivers brute-force performance at a price point that, in comparison to the alternatives, is a downright steal. Go get your roll on.