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Here's Why the New Cadillac CTS-V Is Worth Over $100,000

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author photo by William Byrd October 2017

The Cadillac CTS-V Sedan has been around for over a dozen years -- and it once started at just $49,300. The second generation debuted in 2009 and the MSRP got a bit higher -- by then, reaching close to $60,000. The latest generation, including a 2017 model that I just spent a week with, starts at almost $86,000. Add in $16,270 in options and there's a $103,260 car that Cadillac just parked outside my house. So is this really a six figure car, or did the CTS-V double in price and lose its manual transmission option over the last decade for no discernible reason? Let's find out!

Ok, let's talk numbers. In today's money, the original CTS-V would cost $62,546.49, and the second generation would run you $76,121.49, which are both still a far cry from the $85,995 base price for the latest car. So there's more than just inflation at work here.

The first V-series car was a revelation, a proper V8 super sedan that hit 60 in 4.6 seconds, ran low-13s in the quarter mile, and pulled a 7:59 on the Nurburgring Nordschleife. That's all still fairly quick in today's world. The first-generation V car was built on the Sigma platform, which was a Cadillac-specific midsize rear-wheel drive layout that GM used for a decade to carry most of the luxury brand's lineup. The CTS-V was much beefier, with larger roll bars, better springs and big Brembo brakes -- and the star of the show was the LS V8 from the C5 Chevrolet Corvette Z06, as well as the same Tremec 6-speed gearing found in the 2-seat Chevy. It was an impressive start.

The second-generation CTS-V was an evolution of a good thing, using the Sigma II platform -- which was a larger, wider version of the original Sigma. Technically, it only ever hosted the 2nd generation CTS, but in reality it was quite similar to the Zeta platform used in the re-introduced Camaro and modeled off a decade of use Down Under at Holden. The LS9 from the Corvette C6 ZR1 now gave the V a monstrous 556 horsepower and 551 lb-ft. of torque -- and it still had a manual transmission option. Plus, Cadillac would now sell you a coupe and wagon version of the mighty CTS-V. You could get to 60 miles per hour in under four seconds and hit high 11s in the quarter. That's fast.

Weight continued to increase, though: The original CTS-V weighed in at 3,850 pounds, and the second-gen was 4,250 pounds. So progress came at a price, although it's hard to argue with the performance numbers.

Which brings us to today: The latest Cadillac CTS-V seen here has a 6.2-liter supercharged LT4 putting out 640 hp and 630 lb-ft. of torque -- and it technically weighs less than the second generation at 4,145 pounds. But those are just numbers; the car I've been driving feels supercar-fast while remaining incredibly comfortable. Even if you don't spring for all the options in my loaner car, you still get a beast of a car, with a multi-mode exhaust that makes all the right noises. Seriously, this thing is addicting, and I found myself downshifting almost every time I came to a stop. With the exhaust -- I mean "engine sound management system" -- set on "race" mode, it pops and burbles like the Pratt and Miller SCCA World Challenge CTS-V.

In the twisty bits, the big V shows its size, as it's not exactly light on its feet. I know it's a cliche, but this is more of a GT bomber than a track attack car. And that's OK, as the average buyer is more likely to take it to a valet than VIR. If they do, there's a setting for that too, so that no unapproved burnouts happen while you're having appetizers.

But at $103,260, is the Cadillac worth it? Competition is stiff, and that's big money, but you have to put the Cadillac's price in context. A new E63 AMG sedan starts at $104,400 -- and it only has 603 hp. The long-time king of the segment, the M5, is coming back in 2018 with all-wheel drive and 600 hp from a 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8. Expect a dynamic drive and a similarly dynamic starting price of well over $100,000.

So the CTS-V MSRP doesn't seem quite that insane in comparison. Fully equip a new one with literally every package and option box checked and you max out at $107,985, which is just $3,585 more than the starting price of the AMG car. Sure, you won't have a German super sedan, but you'll have an incredibly super American sedan -- and I think the price is completely justified. Watch the video for more, if for no other reason to hear that sweet, sweet, exhaust note. I already miss it.

Based in Northern Virginia, William is professional writer and editor and acts as the Editor-in-Chief of Right Foot Down. He misspent most of his youth on tracks in the Mid-Atlantic, as well as killing cones in parking lots, and he once taught at a teen performance driving school.

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Here's Why the New Cadillac CTS-V Is Worth Over $100,000 - Autotrader