C&D, AW, R&T Previews - 2004 Cadillac CTS-V

Discussion in 'OT Driven' started by TriShield, Aug 20, 2003.

  1. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    PRESIDENTIAL TOWER, GREAT AGAIN, NY
    Cadillac builds one for us.

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    BY CSABA CSERE
    September 2003

    The pieces just keep falling into place at Cadillac.

    Two years ago, the division unveiled the CTS, a distinctive-looking luxury sports car with a capable chassis. Earlier this year, we took our first drive in the SRX, a luxury crossover that combines performance with three-row seating. Three months ago, we were charmed by the XLR lroadster. Now we've had a crack at the division's first dedicated high-performance model, the CTS-V, and Cadillac has really wowed us this time.

    At its essence, the V-series is a CTS energized by the LS6 V-8, which normally resides in the Z06 Corvette. Rated at 400 horsepower—82 percent more than the current V-6—the V-8 transforms the CTS into a completely different animal. And as you might expect, there's more to the V-series than just a powerful engine.

    In addition to exterior cues, such as a Bentleylike stainless-steel wire-mesh grille, a new front fascia with additional air intakes, low-slung bodywork all around, stainless-steel exhaust tips, and numerous interior alterations, the CTS has been thoroughly reengineered to properly harness the V-8's 400 ponies and 390 pound-feet of torque.

    By the way, these figures, which are 5 ponies and 10 pound-feet down from the Z06 application, seem pessimistic. With more room for free-flowing intake and exhaust components in the CTS than in the Corvette, it's hard to see why the LS6 would lose any output.

    Shoehorning the 5.7-liter V-8 into the CTS engine compartment wasn't terribly difficult, but it did require a new accessory-drive package, dedicated engine-mount brackets, new exhaust manifolds, and several other minor changes. The engine is coupled to a Tremec six-speed manual transmission that has the guts of the Corvette's close-ratio Z06 gearbox in a new housing. This was necessary because the CTS doesn't share the Corvette's transaxle layout.

    An enlarged driveshaft 70 millimeters in diameter, fitted with heavy-duty constant-velocity joints, transmits the powertrain output to a limited-slip differential with 3.73 gears, oil baffles, and extra cooling fins cast into its housing.

    To cope with the massive power, the V-series gets hefty Brembo disc brakes with four-piston calipers at all corners. The front rotors measure 14.0 inches across and 1.3 inches thick—2.1 inches bigger in diameter than the discs on the standard CTS. Along with the heroic brakes, the CTS-V gets tauter monotube shocks that have grown from 36mm to 46mm in diameter, 27-percent-stiffer springs, and a larger front anti-roll bar.

    Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar 245/ 45ZR-18 96W run-flat tires mounted on 8.5-inch-wide aluminum wheels provide additional grip for the muscular CTS. A host of subtle modifications ranging from a shock-tower brace in the engine compartment to heavier-gauge metal in the rear powertrain cradle ensures that the V-series body doesn't flex under the increased acceleration, braking, and cornering loads it must bear.

    All this hardware was carefully honed on the Nordschleife, the northern loop of Germany's legendary Nürburgring racetrack, where the original CTS was also developed. Quite proud of its creation, Cadillac invited us to the Ring to try out its BMW beater to be.

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    Whether tossed into the air over one of the track's numerous violent humps or crushed down to its bump stops through the pavement's high-speed compressions, the CTS-V remained secure and sure-footed. The car inspired tremendous confidence flying through the Ring's linked, blind bends, thanks to great grip and exceptional handling balance.

    Mild understeer is the car's basic mode, but as you approach the cornering limit and apply more power, you can drift the tail out with micrometer precision. This is true, classic power oversteer, not the lift-throttle, toe-out-induced variety.

    Although the car's steering effort is on the light side, it builds naturally with speed and cornering force. Moreover, the mechanism is fluid enough that you can feel the effect of the tires' contact patches shifting as you fly through the track's many camber and pavement changes.

    This chassis competence is critical because the CTS-V gains speed ferociously. When we test one, we expect a quarter-mile in the low 13s at close to 110 mph and a top speed in the low 160s, unless tire durability demands a governor in the 155-mph area. Those figures make the V-series quicker than the BMW M3 and M5. More important, the CTS-V has lapped the Nordschleife in 8 minutes and 19 seconds—a better time than either M-car can turn.

    On the road, we were struck by how refined the V-8 felt and sounded in the CTS. Idle quality was excellent, engine noise was minimal when cruising on the highway, and even at full throttle and 6500 rpm, the engine produced a refined shriek that is far removed from the more guttural roar it generates in a Corvette.

    Blessed with fairly close ratios, the gearbox is well matched to the engine, although its shifter is a bit too rubbery to ever be confused with a Honda or BMW device. We would also like a steering column with finer tilt adjustments and the ability to telescope.

    Otherwise, the V-series cockpit provides a happy driver's environment. Although the seats are hardly changed from the standard CTS chairs, suede inserts provide sufficient additional lateral support to work even at the Nürburgring while providing excellent comfort on the road. A new cluster with white-on-black instruments lends a more businesslike air to the cockpit. Several satin chrome touches collaborate with subtle contrasting stitching to dress up the V-model's interior, although the basic CTS layout has never struck us as particularly rich-looking.

    Pricing was undefined at press time, but base will definitely be less than $50,000, which should include everything but a sunroof, navigation system, and XM radio. For a roomy, well-equipped sedan that can run with the sportiest Germans, that's an amazing bargain.

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    CADILLAC CTS-V

    Vehicle type: front-engine, rear-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door sedan
    Estimated base price: $48,000
    Engine type: V-8, aluminum block and heads, port fuel injection

    Displacement: 346 cu in, 5665cc
    Power (SAE net): 400 bhp @ 6000 rpm
    Torque (SAE net): 390 lb-ft @ 4800 rpm

    Transmission: 6-speed manual
    Wheelbase: 115.2 in
    Length/width/height: 194.5/70.6/58.1 in
    Curb weight: 3850 lb

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    V is for Velocity

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    Cadillac’s CTS V-Series will rock the sport-sedan world

    By MAC MORRISON
    (00:01 Aug. 11, 2003)

    We haven't seen Ken Morris for a while. Truth told, that’s a good thing. Don’t misinterpret us: We like the program-engineering manager for General Motors’ new Performance Division. He is well-spoken, affable, and a levelheaded guy. Still, when we cross paths we feel those familiar pangs of jealousy: We want his job.

    Especially today. Especially here.

    Here is the old Nürburgring, and the venue drop-kicks our adrenal gland into overdrive as it did when we last saw Morris (AW, Aug. 13, 2001). The ’Ring is the Mount Everest of racetracks. To conquer it at speed is the driver’s equivalent of a successful climb up the world’s tallest mountain. Throw a 400-hp Cadillac CTS into the mix and...

    Wait a minute! A 400-hp Cadillac? CTS? Yes, and it’s a Caddy honed at the ’Ring by Morris and other Performance Division engineers. The CTS V-Series—GM’s first product to benefit from the work of the in-house garagistes—is about to strafe the sport-sedan world. Let us say this loud and clear: With the Cadillac CTS V, GM has proven it can make a performance sedan sing and dance, and be competitive.

    The CTS V is Cadillac’s answer to BMW’s M3, Audi’s S4 and Mercedes-Benz’s C32 AMG ultra-high-performance sedans. It is the most powerful production Cadillac ever, and the most fun to drive by a long shot. The car signifies Cadillac and GM’s commitment to meet the Europeans head-on in the most important slice of the sport-sedan segment. You don’t last long in this league if you can’t wring world-class performance from your hardware. Right away. There’s no partial credit given, no marks for effort, and GM knows it.

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    “We want to be recognized for having the best performance cars in the world, that’s the bottom line,” says Performance Division director John Heinricy. “We’re doing it with our own in-house group because we believe we’re as good as anybody at doing it.” It’s not just powertrains, either. Everything from exterior to interior falls under the in-house wing; there will be no outside help. GM believes wholeheartedly in its people’s ability to match the European benchmarks. Not long ago, you might have laughed at such an assertion, but these Performance Division guys are serious. And experienced. Heinricy worked as assistant chief Corvette engineer on both C4 and C5, and the lessons learned from such programs carry over to the CTS V.

    With intake and exhaust systems designed specifically for the Cadillac, the car’s 5.7-liter, all-aluminum, V8 is the same LS6 used in the Corvette Z06. The output lost relative to the Corvette application is minor, with 400 hp at 6000 rpm and 395 lb-ft of torque at 4800 rpm (this is a 5 hp and 5 lb-ft loss at the same revs). The only transmission offered is the Corvette’s Tremec T56 six-speed gearbox (the 1-4 skip-shift remains), which works with a clutch-type limited-slip differential and 3.73:1 final drive to drill power to the road. The V can spin its 245/45R-18 Goodyear Eagle F1s to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds. World-class territory for sure.

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    Newfound harmony: The CTS V’s interior features aluminum instead of wood trim, while suede seat inserts help to hold you in place

    Sounds good, but there is only one way to find out how the CTS V feels on the limit. The Nordschleife (the ’Ring’s 12.8-mile North Loop) is clean and devoid of the locals who normally queue up to drive—and often crash—all sorts of random machinery through the Eifel Mountains. The sky is blue and Morris is flying in the Caddy.

    “Normally, I’d be flat here,” he says as we turn in for Fuchsröhre. “But since you’re in the car, I’m lifting a little.” Right. We slice through the left-hand kink in the neighborhood of 135 mph, and Morris can’t stop talking. He bounced with excitement as soon as we arrived at the track and now grins wider with each lap.

    With more than 500 flat-out Nürburgring laps under his safety harness, Morris is more than capable of taking a car to the edge; it’s the only way he can enjoy himself here. You can tell he is qualified to do so by how effortlessly, how easily—and gently—he grips the wheel and taps the pedals to coax speed from the CTS V. “I hate driving around here slowly,” he says, and for a split second we could swear physical pain reflects from his face at the thought.

    Once we eject Morris from the driver’s seat, it doesn’t take long to understand why: This place is sick. The variety of corners—all 177 of them—challenges car and pilot capability like no other place on earth. If it had arms, the circuit would smack you across the face with its gauntlet and challenge you to a duel. Given the number of cars and motorcycles extricated from the wall each week, there is more than a fair chance it would win.

    From the pilot’s seat, you pick out landmarks to help determine your location, but it takes more than the 10 or so laps we have to learn the proper, fast line. By the time you survive the first few turns, it is easy to see why Sir Jackie Stewart dubbed this “The Green Hell.” Approach a bend and strain your eyes to spot turn-in points and apexes. Then strain and wait some more; many of these turns are so blind that to get your car out of its proper track position is easy, even if you’re just cruising, and the trees and guardrails that line the track linger in your mind. The disaster potential here is enormous; the concentration mandated is interminable. If your car doesn’t handle well, then, gute nacht.

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    The LS6 has a new home, and it fits in nicely

    We have no such concern today. The CTS V behaves fabulously better than a straight-line superstar. Suspension revisions ensure its response is easily anticipated and well matched to the thunderous LS6 power. Up front, the aluminum control arms remain unchanged from the standard CTS, but shock stiffness increases while diameter grows from 36 mm to 46 mm. The Performance Division installs stiffer springs and a larger, 26.6-mm antiroll bar, which help to cope with the V’s higher, 3833-pound curb weight (the base 3.2-liter CTS weighs 3568, while the new-for-2004 3.6-liter car checks in at 3694). A steel brace spans the underhood area between shock towers, and the front cradle is hydroformed from thicker-gauge steel. Finally, welded-steel gussets reinforce key stressed areas. The rear cradle, shocks, springs and antiroll bar are similarly upgraded, though shock diameter is unchanged from that of the base car. However, the V’s standard, self-leveling Sachs Nivomat shocks have internal pumps that automatically adjust spring and damper rates based on suspension load and road condition.

    Even when you know the CTS V has been dialed-in for track use, there is a need to adjust your personal information processor; you just don’t expect to go this fast in a Caddy. The test session confirms the point when you look at the VDO instrument cluster as it indicates 140 mph (there are still 22 mph to go before you top out). With each stab at the throttle, you feel the LS6’s ruthless torque coarse through its meaty prop- and half-shafts, and you know you shouldn’t go any faster. But of course you do. This chassis makes you susceptible to the suggestions of that little devil on your shoulder (he looks like Morris): “Go ahead,” he whispers. “Do it.”

    Through high, medium and low-speed corners, this car is world-class, yet still delivers more than a modicum of luxury livability. Turn-in is quick, and it gives good feedback on-center and throughout its range. The suspension does not wallow, but it is not so stiff that it requires race-driver reflexes when pushed hard. The 52/48 front/rear weight distribution helps to keep the pendulum effect well under control. Enter a quick corner and the CTS V takes a smooth, predictable set, and holds it throughout the radius. Even the exhaust note balances the need for auditory fulfillment with that for civility. Think Corvette soundtrack dialed back: You won’t get the same satisfaction as with the Z06, but nor will you offend the in-laws when you pick them up at the airport. Oh, and will they have a ride to remember.

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    Your ability to explore the outer edges of the V’s performance is made easier by the four-mode StabiliTrak traction and stability system; the much-touted magnetorheological ride control found on some GM cars is not offered. In the default mode the StabiliTrak leaves traction and stability control in full effect. Push a steering wheel-mounted button once to cancel traction assist. Punch it again within five seconds and activate the competitive mode, which leaves your right foot as the only wheelspin sensor and also reduces the amount of stability control intervention. If you really feel you’ve got game, hold the button for five seconds to cancel both traction and stability assist.

    For most of our laps we choose competitive mode, and it seems a wise decision. You can easily push the CTS V into neutral drifts or full-fledged, tail-out hooligan antics. The pillar-vented, four-piston Brembo brakes are always on standby if you overcook it, and are the best you will find in the sport-sedan niche. Pedal feel is extremely firm, and we never managed to induce fade or increased pedal travel. If these brakes don’t die at the ’Ring, we don’t reckon they will die anywhere. However and wherever you choose to drive, you’ll encounter a sport-sedan experience unique to the CTS V.

    GM’s Performance Division has combined muscle car velocity with a sublime sedan package, and it works equally well on street or track. On public roads light-impact harshness can be mildly irritating over rough pavement, and the firm (but hardly leg-breaking) clutch and somewhat blocky shifter may grow tiresome during rush-hour gridlock. If that is the case, forget this car now. The CTS V provides enough comfort, performance and enthusiast-oriented details—from the low, aggressive front and rear fascias and aerodynamic rockers, to the driver information center that displays current and peak lateral g forces, among other data—to match anything the competition offers.

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    World-class? It might be in a class of its own.

    ON SALE: January 2004
    BASE PRICE: $45,000
    POWERTRAIN: 5.7-liter, 400-hp, 395-lb-ft V8; rwd, six-speed manual
    CURB WEIGHT: 3833 pounds
    0-60 MPH: 4.5 seconds

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    This Caddy is a true "Ringer"

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    This is one Cadillac that speaks with a German accent.

    By Douglas Kott
    September 2003

    "They didn't quite know what to make of us at first," says Ken Morris, Program Engineering Manager of the Cadillac CTS-V, "but I think we've earned their respect now."

    Cut to the Karussell's exit, as Morris expertly flicks the CTS-V out of this concrete-lined cereal bowl, perhaps the most famous turn on this automotive developmental playground known as the Nürburgring's Nordschleife. The car unweights out of the transition and Morris countersteers, then upshifts with the sort of hummingbird quickness you might expect from a wiry F1 driver, not a soft-spoken engineer with a linebacker's build. A lap later, through a scary-fast, plunging downhill kink known as Fuchsröhre, both he and the car are pillars of composure. Blind, stomach-knotting crests at more than 100 mph? His throttle foot doesn't flinch (I do, though).

    A Cadillac at the Nürburgring? Hallowed testing ground of BMW and Porsche, and sanctuary of European performance? You betcha. The CTS's rear-drive Sigma platform was fine-tuned here, and the development continues with the CTS-V, a muscled-up, hunkered-down M5 killer with a V-8 heart straight from the Z06 Corvette.

    Now you may be thinking, why didn't Cadillac use some variant of its Northstar V-8 here? Well, Morris explains that a supercharged version was tried but was too wide. The Vette's slimmer 5.7-liter V-8 slipped in without any sheet-metal changes.

    The engine's accessory drive was squeezed about 1.5 in. closer to the block for proper longitudinal fit, and the deeper oil sump and cast-iron exhaust manifolds are new for packaging purposes. The intake tract from the airbox to the manifold is redone, and incorporates three separate inlets to keep the charge as cool as possible. On the exhaust end, 2.5-in. stainless-steel pipes merge into a substantial central resonator, then branch back out to dual mufflers and oval tips, for a throaty, mellow sound that's like driving a Corvette with cotton balls in your ears.

    The LS6's considerable force — 400 bhp at 6000 rpm, 390 lb.-ft. of torque at 4800 — channels through a Tremec T56 6-speed manual transmission, a variant of the Corvette's gearbox. A sturdier propshaft, CV joints and halfshafts deliver the torque, aided by a clutch-pack-type limited-slip differential whose aluminum case has been strengthened and modified with 3-in. cooling fins.

    At 3833 lb., the CTS-V weighs 264 lb. more than a base CTS, the V-8 accounting for 60 lb. of that. The rest is high-quality hardware: 4-piston Brembo fixed calipers clamping enormous (14.0-in.!) Italian rotors, Speedline wheels mounting P245/45ZR-18 Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar run-flats, thicker-gauge steel subframes with double-thickness attachment points for the suspension; revalved 46-mm monotube shocks, bigger anti-roll bars, and 27- percent-stiffer springs. The only change to the basic structure is a bolt-on shock tower brace that spans the engine bay.

    It's weight well spent, as our small group of journalists found during our 10 or so glorious laps of the Ring. The CTS-V feels impressively locked down when you need it, yet thoroughly chuckable thanks to perfect 50/50 weight distribution and chassis tuning that yields only mild steady-state understeer.

    Ride is taut, yet compliant enough to bounce off the curbs without upsetting the chassis. The V-8 pulls with locomotive-like authority and the firm-pedal brakes encourage you to try deeper and deeper forays into corners. Steering is nicely weighted and revised valving here reduces the low-speed effort, but not at the expense of high-speed feel
    .

    Dynamically, this is an extremely satisfying car, with a couple of exceptions — the shifter's throws are on the long, especially when you're used to the delicate, precise throws of the 3.2-liter CTS's Getrag 5-speed, and the seats could use more side bolstering to cope with the increased cornering forces the CTS-V is capable of.

    This hot-rod Caddy is a highly desirable performance sedan that should sell in the "mid to high forties," in any color as long as it's black or silver. Expect to see the CTS-V in Cadillac showrooms by November or December.

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    If you're thinking this isn't the Nürburgring, you're absolutely correct. Our Cadillac trip started in France with a trip to the ruins of the famous Reims circuit.

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    Ah, we're here! This machine-turned metal sign in the shape of the Nürburgring's Nordschleife announces the entrance to the track.

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    How much for a hot lap? That'll be 14 euros, about $16 U.S. A Jahreskarte (annual pass) costs 700 euros, and allows unlimited laps for a year.

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    Peek over the chain link at the start/finish gate and you can see a portion of the Nürburgring's longest straight. The CTS-V routinely reached 160 mph here.

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    Such speeds require commensurately big brakes, and the CTS-V stops quite confidently with its big Brembo 4-piston fixed calipers all around.

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    The CTS-V employs sturdy aluminum control arms for its front suspension. The subframe has been reinforced to cope with increased cornering loads.

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    A Botts dot's view of the CTS-V's rear suspension and exhaust. Check out those 2.5-in. stainless-steel pipes and the impressive central resonator.

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    The safety talk before our small group of journalists was allowed to run amok. Cadillac's Ken Morris (far right) knows this legendary track well, having driven some 600 laps.

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    When your growling stomach drowns out the exhaust note, it's time to eat. Try the Pit Stop Grüne Hölle at the track's starting gate and staging area.

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    MORE PHOTOS OF THE CADILLAC CTS-V

    http://www.dieselstation.com/archive/Cadillac-CTS-V/index.html
     
  2. BLoG

    BLoG Scented Meat

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    gimme one
     
  3. SamuraiX

    SamuraiX New Member

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  4. mucky

    mucky .

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    IBBMWvsCadillacDebate
     
  5. BLoG

    BLoG Scented Meat

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    I wonder how hard it is to fit some real tires under that bitch. 245s are kinda weaksauce for such a ballsy car.
     
  6. Tom Ridge

    Tom Ridge Guest

    I want!
     
  7. Ichiro

    Ichiro Guest

    im impressed :eek3:
     
  8. jorgeva

    jorgeva New Member

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    You're like the elite Metallic Blue of cars
     
  9. Chris87

    Chris87 flatoutperformance.com

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    i'll take 2!
     
  10. xxpanipuri

    xxpanipuri Gideeyup Motherfuckers....

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    i'll take one in silver please... thank you!
     
  11. mads.

    mads. OT Supporter

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  12. BLoG

    BLoG Scented Meat

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    I think i'd need some exhaust cutouts for it :o
     
  13. troutie

    troutie New Member

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    that's it, im taking donations :hs:
     
  14. mucky

    mucky .

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    3 articles in one thread? Don't let me see one more fucking CTS-v thread from Trishield for the rest of this week....:squint:.
     
  15. hoabegrubn

    hoabegrubn Active Member

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  16. BLoG

    BLoG Scented Meat

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    What's stock tire width on a syty?

    275 all around for me. I desperately wish i could afford some beefier wheels and tires.
     
  17. KDubb

    KDubb everyday I'm hustlin'

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    + heads + cam + 100 shot + tires = KILLER RIDE
     
  18. Ichiro

    Ichiro Guest

    if that car wasn't so ugly, i might buy one
     
  19. B-Lo

    B-Lo The new beast mode :x:

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  20. 330R

    330R New Member

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    i said gawd dayam
     
  21. kaldurak

    kaldurak Gimme some sugar baby.

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    Hi, yeah, I want one.


    I have 2 testicles, a kidney, and a Servent coughgrandmothercough for sale!!!
     
  22. jinushaun

    jinushaun New Member

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    Looks are starting to grow on me. Even the awful grille.
     
  23. 00soul

    00soul halfsharkalligatorhalfman

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    impressive car, but id still rather have a M5 (any year M5)
     
  24. Bobby Ballsack

    Bobby Ballsack I could be a friend to you

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    Jesus, that thing is fucking sweeeeet.

    I used to hate the looks...But now :wackit:
     
  25. sonicsuby

    sonicsuby New Member

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    The only American made sedan I've liked since the 98 Impala SS :big grin: That car looks bad ass.
     

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