AW Cover Story - 471HP Mallet Cadillac CTS-V

Discussion in 'OT Driven' started by TriShield, May 31, 2004.

  1. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    M5-Killer: The Mallett Cadillac CTS-V

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    By BOB GRITZINGER
    (08:30 May 31, 2004)
    (All photos © 2004 Jim Fets)

    This speaks volumes: as we sit idling at a rural intersection waiting for traffic to clear for our Cadillac CTS-V, we can't help but notice a teenage boy all but ejecting himself from a passing school bus window, pumping his arms to get our attention. When, we ask, was the last time anyone under 20-hell, anyone under 50-really noticed anything with a Cadillac crest on its grille?

    Times have changed. Cadillacs, even Cadillac sedans, are cool again, and worthy of attention, acclamation and, yes, even tuning. While Cadillac is responsible for laying the foundation for this renaissance with its hip-hop-friendly Escalades, Corvette-based XLRs and Nürburgring-bred CTS sedans, we have to admit that the car provoking the grinning middle-schooler's double thumbs-up is no garden-variety CTS, or even an ordinary CTS-V. This rumbling, low-slung, black-lacquered beast is the 2004 Mallett CTS-V, a 471-hp version of the Corvette-powered performance CTS-V now on sale at your Cadillac dealer.

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    Picking up where GM engineers leave off with the CTS-V, Mallett reworks the 5.7-liter LS6 V8 heads with custom ports and adds a special cam and valve springs with lightweight spring retainers. A performance stainless-steel exhaust system completes the modifications that boost the horsepower by 71 over the 400-hp stock CTS-V; torque increases by 38 to 433 lb-ft at 4600 rpm.

    Suspension modifications are limited to beefier front and rear antiroll bars and a three-quarter-inch-lower ride height, a tribute to the base car's already strong platform. Steering is enhanced to allow more immediate response and a tighter turning radius, despite an upgrade from standard 18-inch CTS-V tires to wider 19-inch wheels and tires (though at lock the tires sometimes lightly scrub the wheel wells).

    Mallett's billet short shifter improves on the already competent shifter in the CTS-V, providing noticeably more precise control over the Tremac T56 six- speed gearbox.

    The car's large stock brake rotors (13.9-inch fronts, 14.3-inch rears) are slotted and then the rotors and pads, along with the clutch plate and clutch disc, are cryogenically treated (read: frozen) to minus 300 degrees Fahrenheit, not once but twice, in a process traditionally used to harden military artillery barrels. Owner Chuck Mallett says the treatment improves brake and clutch response and increases service life, but he and Mallett engineer Dave Sarafian admit they're really not sure what the process does to the treated parts.

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    "It's a black art," says Sarafian.

    Mallett badging, understated but evident, adorns the car's fenders, decklid and wheel centers; inside, seat headrests get Mallett embroidery, and each car comes with a Mallett serial number plaque and aluminum shifter ring. Mallett proudly notes his "serialized" conversion cars are built to a high enough standard that they receive a separate listing in NADA appraisal guides-some comfort to those spending big bucks on conversions with no sense of how much the car will be worth a few years down the road. Mallett also warranties his conversions for two years or 24,000 miles.

    Is it all worth the $66,495 a Mallett-prepped CTS will set you back? After putting a few hundred miles on a CTS-V, followed by some street and track time in the Mallett CTS-V, we agree with that enthusiastic, arm-waving teenager. As much as we like what Cadillac has done with its performance CTS-V-which is good enough to draw stoplight dares from (gasp!) BMW M5 owners-this Mallett-tuned model would rise to that challenge even more. At 3890 pounds and 471 hp, the Mallett CTS-V's power-to-weight ratio takes on all comers, working out to 8.3 pounds per hp, which outdoes the C5 Corvette (9.2 pounds per hp), Mercedes E55 AMG (8.5 pounds) and-you guessed it-the M5 (10.2 pounds). On paper, the Mallett CTS-V's 4.3-second 0-to-60-mph time would readily dispatch the M5s of the world, but is it really that good?

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    A snick-snick short shifter manages the six-speed manual gearbox.

    Mallett thinks so-and his pedigree supports his assertion. The longtime Corvette tuner, whose Berea, Ohio, shop is lined with race-tuned Vettes, was champing at the bit two years ago to help develop the V version of the CTS. Mallett's shop worked on powertrain bits for the V, but Mallett didn't stop there. "I love the Cadillac program-it's the first time you have a four-door domestic sedan that runs like a sports car. It's a badassed Cadillac, that's all there is to it."

    Running the racetrack at nearby Nelson Ledges (quickly, while a cycle racing clinic is on a lunch break), we find the Mallett CTS-V offers considerably more punch than the standard CTS-V, which itself is no slouch. We ran the car hard in "competitive driving mode," which shuts down all but the fail-safe stability and yaw controls, and found it easy to handle, not the major handful we expected based on experience in other top-end tuner models. The car's power is matched by its almost perfectly neutral handling. Steering is straight, true and responsive, yet without any sense of twitching and tramming we might expect with the optional extra-wide 275/35-19 Michelin Pilot Sport tires combined with super-sensitive steering. The beefy four-pot Brembos on the standard CTS-V are bled for maximum pedal response and it shows when immediate stopping power is demanded. But like the steering, the brakes aren't overly touchy in regular use.

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    Mallett's model comes with an extra 71 horses under the hood.

    Comparisons are hard to come by, but here is one that makes sense, not so much as a direct comparison between cars of different caliber, but at least as a way to understand CTS degrees of separation: Audi A6, S6 and RS6. While the base CTS is no A6 fighter, and the CTS-V would be hard-pressed to woo an S6 buyer, like the RS6 the Mallett CTS-V sits atop the heap, a refined rocket ship ready to run a racetrack one day and deal with the daily commute the next. No need to don your fire-retardant suit and driving shoes or strap on your kidney belt for every tour of duty; this super-tuned V is just as conducive to suit, tie and briefcase.

    For those who need even more, Mallett offers a range of upgrades, including 6.1-liter and 7.0-liter V8 setups (515 and 580 hp, respectively) with billet cranks, rods and forged pistons. Still not enough? Building on those engines, Mallett adds turbos that push output to 615 hp for the 6.1-liter engine and up to 750 hp for the 7.0-liter. If you're looking at those options, be ready to add another $30,000 to your check made out to Mallett.

    Other options include Mallett/Penske nonadjustable or double-adjustable custom shock absorbers, coilover suspension setups, competition brakes (with 14-inch front rotors), one- or three-piece forged aluminum wheels, performance tires, performance exhaust systems and body mods (front splitter, fender flares, custom hood and decklid, spoiler).

    We've heard reports out of Germany that Cadillac performance engineers are running the 'Ring, readying their own CTS-V "Plus," a supercharged 480-hp car aimed squarely at the next-generation 500-hp M5 due next year as an '06 model. But for those who want a domestic M5-tamer today, the Mallett CTS-V package is available and can be ordered through Mallett (mallettcars.com) or through select Cadillac dealers nationwide.

    Yeah, it will cut into your lunch money, but it will have you grinning like a school kid in no time.

    MALLETT CADILLAC CTS-V

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    ON SALE: Now
    BASE PRICE: $66,495 (including $16,500 Mallett performance package)
    POWERTRAIN: 5.7-liter, 471-hp, 433-lb-ft V8; rwd, six-speed manual
    CURB WEIGHT: 3890 pounds
    0 TO 60 MPH: 4.3 seconds


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  2. court-jester

    court-jester I love dykes

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    mullet caddy!
     
  3. Kevin

    Kevin New Member

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    oh my
    that car is beautiful
     
  4. yer mom

    yer mom Pelvic THRUST

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    :wackit:



    i fucking love CTS-V's.
     
  5. BigBronco

    BigBronco OT Supporter

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    yep, that car is gorgeous and i can not wait to test drive one!! if i can get a chance too... :(
     
  6. BLoG

    BLoG Scented Meat

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    did they fix the wheel hop? :o
     
  7. drumbandit

    drumbandit New Member

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    I'd still take an M5 over that. :o
     
  8. Idea of Evil

    Idea of Evil Struggle

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  9. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    Yes.
     
  10. BLoG

    BLoG Scented Meat

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    ET?
     
  11. M4A1

    M4A1 :)

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    what an ugly, ugly, ugly car
     
  12. dmora

    dmora Guest

    True
    Story.
     
  13. Rob

    Rob OT Supporter

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    the more I see the CTS-v's the more I like them. :drool:
     
  14. g1ock

    g1ock Guest

    :rofl:
     
  15. Thats fucking shweeet! :cool:
     
  16. Supertrapped

    Supertrapped President of 2:73

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  17. dmora

    dmora Guest

    :love:
    ugliest car in recent memory.
     
  18. frankelefritzsux

    frankelefritzsux OT is a mental disorder OT Supporter

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    i dont like caddys very much :dunno:
     
  19. Dr. Woo

    Dr. Woo Guns don't kill people

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  20. Sibs

    Sibs FUCK THIS TEAM

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    id kill for a CTS-V
     
  21. Leaf

    Leaf OT Supporter

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    mmmmmmmmm
     
  22. psykosis

    psykosis Go placidly amid the noise and the haste

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    nice...
     
  23. dmora

    dmora Guest

    Negative. :)
     
  24. Corvettes4Life

    Corvettes4Life New Member

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    very fn nice :wackit:
     
  25. Jericho

    Jericho Active Member

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    Once the initial vanity of the new Cadillac looks wears off, you realize how crappy they actually look.
     

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