MT Road Test: Cadillac CTS-V vs. Jaguar S-Type R

Discussion in 'OT Driven' started by TriShield, Apr 1, 2004.

  1. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    The 400-Horsepower Club: The New World Order's King of the Hill

    [​IMG]

    By Todd Lassa
    Photography by David Freers
    Motor Trend, 2004-04-01 00:00:00

    The Players

    Cadillac's new Corvette-powered CTS-V--America's bargain-priced M5, starting at $49,995--takes on the super-smooth, 390-horsepower, $63,120 Jaguar S-Type R.

    The Game

    Both of these midsize four-doors pack more punch than standard spec CTS and S-Type models, yet cost less than uebercommando sport sedans like the Audi RS 6 and Mercedes-Benz E55 AMG. Which is best?


    -----

    Rivalries this pointed are surprisingly rare in the automotive world. There's BMW versus Mercedes-Benz, Ford versus Chevy, Honda versus Toyota, Britney versus Christina. Continental Europeans may care about Peugeot versus Renault, but that's about it. So it's no small thing that Motor Trend has discovered a new matchup: Cadillac versus Jaguar.

    Over the years, our King of the Hill contests have pitted Eldorados and Escalades against Mark IVs and Navigators, but when you're perusing the marketplace for a 400-horse sport sedan, it's the Leaper's supercharged S-Type R that squares off neatly with the Wreath and Crest's Corvette-powered CTS-V.

    It didn't take many miles behind the wheels to find similarities with the BMW M versus Mercedes AMG rivalry. We're revealing our most important conclusion early here, so pay attention: The CTS-V and S-Type R come closer than the last presidential election in terms of layout and performance, and yet they're distinctly different like the two cars they most want to be: the M5 and E55 AMG. You can figure which is which: The Cadillac CTS-V, like the M5, comes only with a six-speed manual gearbox, while the Jaguar S-Type R's six-speed, like the five-speed in the E55, is an automatic. To shift the six-speed automatic yourself, you must use Jaguar's clunky, long-in-the-tooth J-gate shifter. (Hint: It's not worth it.)

    Both cars are relative bargains. Buy the Jaguar instead of the Mercedes, and you'll save $16,950, enough to get your teenager a new Honda Element. Buy the Cadillac instead of the BMW, and you'll save $23,200, enough to get your mom a new Buick Century. And that's assuming you can still find a 2003 M5 on your BMW dealer's lot--there is no 2004, and the M version of the new 5 Series is a year away.

    [​IMG]

    Each marque attacked the midsize performance-sedan question with distinct, yet well-proven methods of achieving horsepower and torque. The Jaguar's supercharged 4.2-liter V-8 is a blown version of the current AJ-V8 engine series, rated at 390 horses at 6100 rpm and 399 pound-feet of torque at 3500 rpm. It certainly gets the job done, with a drama-free, yet 1960s musclecar-like 5.2-second 0-to-60 run and a 13.69-second quarter-mile time.

    Don't bag on Cadillac for cribbing a Chevy V-8 for its hyper CTS. What this all-aluminum 5.7-liter Gen-III small-block lacks in cams, valves, and superchargers it makes up for in cubic inches and results. The CTS-V has been tuned to 400 horsepower at 6000 rpm and 395 pound-feet at 4800 rpm, off five each in horsepower and torque from the C5 Z06.

    Cadillac didn't design the CTS to accommodate a V-8 engine. Although it's close to the 5 Series in size, it was supposed to play 3 Series to the 2005 STS's (Seville) 5 Series. With the recent mandate to build an autobahn version, the Vette motor emerged as the most expedient way to stuff a V-8 under the hood, and one that won't overshadow future Northstar V-8-powered STS, SRX, and XLR V-Series models. The LS6 pushes the CTS from 0-to-60 mph a bit quicker than the supercharged S-Type, and the Caddy at 5.1 seconds is just 0.21 seconds quicker and 4.02 mph faster than the Jag XKR through the quarter.

    [​IMG]

    As legit sport sedans, these two need to be light on their feet on twisty roads and racecourses. Last year, the Jaguar S-Type got an all-new front suspension with aluminum bits and a revised rear suspension, plus retuned springs, dampers, bushings, and anti-roll bars. The aluminum suspension parts cut weight by about 100 pounds versus the old 4.0-liter S-Type, and the S-Type R weighs 172 pounds more than a normally aspirated S-Type 4.2-liter. The R adds computer active technology with two-stage damping to the front and rear suspension. A 32mm front anti-roll bar and an 18mm rear bar are unchanged from standard versions. Wheel size is up one inch in diameter over the standard V-8, with 245/40ZR18 front and 275/35ZR18 rear tires. Like the Cadillac V-Series, the Jaguar R gets big Brembo brakes.

    The General Motors Performance Division (GMPD) beefed up the front suspension and cradle of the CTS to handle the V's higher horsepower and torque. The front cradle has higher-gauge hydroformed steel, and the hollow front anti-roll bar is 3.6 millimeters thicker in diameter (26.6 millimeters) than the standard car's bar. Spring rates are up about 27 percent, and the monotube shocks are about 0.4 inches wider, with revised valving. Ride bushings are tuned for more positive feel, and the steering gear is revised for more precise steering tuning, on-center feel, and response. The changes helped GMPD desensitize the steering for less feedback and offset 84 more pounds of unsprung weight.

    Like the S-Type R, the CTS-V has 18-inch wheels, using P245/45WR18 rubber all around. The big seven-spoke alloys look like the ones meant to fill these wheelwells in the first place. And while the car's origami styling still leaves us a bit cool, Cadillac was smart enough to offer the V in the car's two most flattering hues, black and silver. Interior color options are ebony or light neutral, with tasteful brushed- aluminum accents to break up the monotone of the steering wheel and center console. Still, if the exterior styling matches new BMW design for outlandishness, the interior is like that of the stark, Teutonic BMWs of the 1960s and 1970s. The CTS-V's contoured leather and suede seats are great at holding the driver and front passenger in place, even on snaking two-lanes, and an adjustable lumbar control addresses a fatal flaw of the standard CTS's seats. Some will find the CTS-V's front seats too hard for daily use--those who sleep on firm mattresses will appreciate the support for longer drives.

    It's interesting that both Jaguar and Cadillac chose a similar grille mesh for their high-performance variants; this look was made popular on racing Bentleys of the 1920s, but it still works.

    Changes to the Jag's interior for the sport model are even more understated than in the Caddy. The only visual clues inside include the "R" logo embossed into the front-seat headrests, a red "R" on the gearshift knob, and the word "supercharged" in small script on the rev counter. The Jaguar has good backseat space, like the CTS-V, except for the headroom, which is a bit cramped due to the car's sloping roofline. Stoplight competitors will be alerted only by the big wheels, subtle badging, cool mesh grille, and rear decklid lip spoiler. The CTS-V's styling speaks to Bad Boys with Money, and the clubby atmosphere and feel of the S-Type R is for stylish, sporting types who look like they've just stepped out of a Ralph Lauren Polo ad in Vanity Fair.

    Loud versus quiet also describes the differences in dynamics and feel. The two cars might have similar performance numbers, but the similarities end at the turn of the ignition keys.
    The S-Type R idles as one expects--you have to glance at the rev counter to make sure it's running (so you don't screech the starter by keying it again). That's not a problem with the CTS-V. It's not 1969 Camaro Z/28 lumpy, but the gently loping burble does betray the car's hot cam. Cadillac worried that the CTS-V wouldn't sound slick enough for prestige buyers, but once you let out the clutch and dig into the throttle, the lumpiness gives way to a rich, polished V-8 rasp. The car announces its arrival with an attitude that does the M5 proud. Thumbs up to the authoritative, progressive exhaust note that accompanies a rapid run through the six gears.

    Thumbs down, though, on the car's rear-axle hop, which made launches for 0-to-60 and quarter-mile times tricky. Sure, the car has been Nuerburgring-developed and feels best running up and down the gears on winding roads and racecourses, but it's still V-8 American luxury, which suggests it should be able to hold its own at the dragstrip. It doesn't feel dragstrip-ready, however. Hard launches in the 2500-2800-rpm range left a staccato thumping of tires and little black squares instead of proper black stripes.

    [​IMG]

    The CTS-V redeemed itself, at least, by actually handling like a large sports car instead of a big American sedan with too-wide tires--typical of traditional sport-package GM models. Like the BMW M5, the CTS-V's ride quality is good, even on Detroit's harsh roads. The suspension is progressively firm, allowing a bit of roll initially in the corners, but then hardening like concrete, allowing zigs and zags a Catera owner could only dream of. The steering is quick, direct, and with good feel, among the best GM has ever done in a production car.

    All this road aggression, the good and the bad, emerges from the CTS-V in an overt manner. It screams, "Yeah, I'm bad!" Not so the Jaguar S-Type R, its power emerging in quiet clubroom whispers, with a steady stream of locomotive-like power and torque. Good for collecting freeway traffic--100-plus mph is...right...there, and collecting speeding tickets as you try to explain, "Why, no, officer. This is a luxury car, not a performance car."

    [​IMG]

    Like AMG products, the Jag R has a supple ride, with firmer damping for superior control and handling. So its demeanor seems well suited for an automatic, and the ZF six-speed will make all but the most extreme of enthusiasts forget the need for a clutch pedal. It shuffles ratios at part- or full-throttle with exceptional smoothness and selects shift points with tranny-textbook correctness. The car's only uncivil behavior is a tendency to transmit a bit too much info through the steering wheel while on ragged metropolitan road surfaces. But if you have to choose between too much or too little steering feedback, this is obviously the better way to go.

    Handling differences between the Jag and the Caddy are really little more than variations on a theme. As you can see from the 600-foot- slalom speeds, those variations produce virtually the same results. The CTS-V manages the slalom at 65.0 mph even, as does the S-Type R. That's a draw in any match.

    So in our New World Order King of the Hill competition, we end up with two distinct sport sedans with the same mission and startlingly similar performance numbers. One is, to dredge up a tired marketing cliche that suits it so well, "in your face" in the way it drives as well as the way it looks. The other is a fast phantom that whispers its power and is gone before you have a chance to notice it.

    Which is the better piece? Both do their jobs so well; your personal choice will depend on which attitude, marque, and perhaps transmission suits you best. If you like BMW's M cars, the Cadillac CTS-V is more likely your taste. If you prefer Mercedes AMGs of any and all stripes, and you're happy letting the car shift its own gears, buy the Jaguar S-Type R.

    Our choice, in spite of the CTS-V's not-insignificant price advantage, is the Jag. It's quick, engaging, and displays more elan than one should expect from a two-ton car. And when you're in the mood--or in the traffic--best suited for a pure luxury car, the R coddles and soothes. It also fills a smart niche that exists between the 300-or-so-horsepower V-8 versions of most premium-luxury sedans and super four-doors like the E55 and Audi RS 6. Yet if your needs shout "sedan" while your psyche shouts "Corvette," you won't be unhappy with the hot-rod-hearted CTS-V. This pair represents two cool, different-yet-similar ways to carry five--and haul buns.

    [​IMG]

    Different yet the Same

    The Jaguar is all curves and contours, while Cadillac continues with its crisply folded edges. Handsome 18-inch wheel/tire combos do a lot for both. The CTS-V takes the American approach to power--one cam and lots of cubes--while the R goes high tech with twin-cam heads, lots of valves, plus a blower and intercooler.

    Cadillac CTS-V

    What's Hot
    · Another worthy vessel for the LS6 engine
    · Slick six-speed manual
    · True sport-sedan handling

    What's Not
    · Exterior styling too "distinctive"
    · Interior styling too Teutonic
    · Axle hop and lumpy idle

    Don't Miss - Center armrest is reengineered to make it easier to use the six-speed manual shifter

    Bottom Line - America's bargain-priced M5

    Jaguar S-Type R

    What's Hot
    · Smooth, effortless power
    · Supple ride, sharp handling
    · Elegant, understated interior

    What's Not
    · No manual gearbox option
    · Nose would look better without the Leaper
    · More than $10 grand costlier than the Cadillac

    Don't Miss - Black mesh grille, tasteful lip spoiler on rear deck

    Bottom Line - Needs only a bit more power to make it the equal of the Mercedes-Benz E55 AMG


    -----

    TEST DATA

    2004 Cadillac CTS-V
    2004 Jaguar S-Type R


    Powertrain/Chassis

    Drivetrain layout
    Front engine, rwd
    Front engine, rwd

    Engine type
    90* V-8, cast aluminum block and heads
    90* V-8 supercharged, cast aluminum block and heads, LEV

    Valve gear
    OHV, 2 valves/cyl
    DOHC, 4 valves/cyl

    Bore x stroke, in/mm
    3.89x3.62 / 99.0x92.0
    3.39x3.56 / 86.1x90.4

    Displacement, ci/cc
    345.7 / 5665
    257.1 / 4211

    Compression ratio
    10.5:1
    9.1:1

    Max horsepower @ rpm
    400 @ 6000
    390 @ 6100

    Max torque @ rpm
    395 @ 4800
    399 @ 3500


    Max engine speed
    6500
    6200

    Specific output, hp/liter
    70.6
    92.6

    Power to weight, lb/hp
    9.6
    10.4

    Transmission
    6-speed manual
    6-speed automatic


    Axle/final-drive ratio :)1)
    3.73 / 2.09
    2.87 / 1.98

    Suspension, front; rear
    Upper & lower control arms, coil springs, anti-roll bar; upper & lower control arms, coil springs, anti-roll bar
    Upper & lower control arms, coil springs, anti-roll bar; upper & lower control arms, coil springs, anti-roll bar

    Brakes, f;r
    14.0-in vented disc; 14.4-in vented disc, ABS, EBD, BA
    14.4-in vented disc; 11.8-in solid disc, ABS, EBD, BA

    Wheels, f;r
    18 x 8.5; 18 x 8.5 aluminum
    18 x 8.0; 18 x 9.5 aluminum

    Tires, f;r
    245/45WR18; 245/45WR18 Goodyear Eagle F1
    245/40ZR18; 275/35ZR18 Continental ContiSportContact

    [​IMG]

    Dimensions

    Seating capacity
    5
    5

    Wheelbase, in
    113.4
    114.5

    Track, f/r, in
    61.1 / 61.4
    60.4 / 60.7

    Length, in
    191.5
    192.0

    Width, in
    70.6
    71.6

    Overall height, in
    57.3
    56.0

    Headroom, f/r, in
    38.9 / 36.9
    38.6 / 36.4

    Legroom, f/r, in
    42.4 / 36.2
    43.1 / 37.0

    Shoulder room, f/r, in
    56.6 / 56.2
    56.4 / 56.7

    Cargo volume, cu ft
    12.5
    14.1

    Curb weight, lb
    3850
    4046

    Weight dist, f/r %
    54 / 46
    52 / 48


    Turning circle, ft
    35.5
    38.7

    Fuel capacity, gal
    17.5
    18.4

    Test Data

    Acceleration, sec to mph

    0-30
    2.0
    1.8

    0-40
    2.9
    2.9

    0-50
    4.0
    4.0

    0-60
    5.1
    5.2


    0-70
    6.5
    6.8

    0-80
    8.2
    8.7

    0-90
    9.8
    10.7

    0-100
    12.3
    13.3

    1/4 mile, sec @ mph
    13.48 @ 105.33
    13.69 @ 101.31

    Braking, 60-0 mph, ft
    121
    109

    600-ft slalom, mph
    65.0
    65.0


    Top-gear rpm @ 60 mph
    1600
    1600

    Consumer Info

    On sale in U.S.
    Currently

    Base price
    $49,995
    $63,120

    Price as tested
    $51,195
    $63,120


    Stability/traction control
    Yes/yes
    Yes/yes

    Airbags
    Dual front, front-side, side curtain
    Dual front, front-side, side curtain

    Basic warranty
    4 yrs/50,000 miles
    4 yrs/50,000 miles

    Powertrain warranty
    4 yrs/50,000 miles
    4 yrs/50,000 miles

    Roadside assistance
    4 yrs/50,000 miles
    4 yrs/50,000 miles

    EPA mpg, city/hwy
    16/25
    17/24


    Range, miles, city/hwy
    280/438
    313/442

    Recommended fuel
    Unleaded premium
    Unleaded premium

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2004
  2. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    Ford vs. Chevy - only more luxurious. :o
     
  3. Blindsight

    Blindsight Guest

    you are TriShield :coold:
     
  4. L7

    L7 Mr Negativity

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    IE: We wear panties.
     
  5. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    It wasn't meant to be a dedicated drag boat either.
     
  6. Fortune

    Fortune Guest

    S-Type R > * Sedan

    Love that fucking car. I want one in white. :eek3: E55 is my favorite sedan, but it's not worth the extra 15 grand over the R imo.
     
  7. TheRemains

    TheRemains If I sound disrespectful, it's only because you're

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    :rofl: so far the CTSV has lost to EVERYONE
     
  8. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    Fun Fact - I drove a few S-Type Rs in Minneapolis last fall, my father was considering buying one.

    :o
     
  9. B17A

    B17A Now with more ///M

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    I've never heard of the S-Type R. :o How long have they been out?
     
  10. Dr_Trac

    Dr_Trac doh!@

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    :werd:

    i'd take a CTS-V over that oogly S-type any day of the week.
     
  11. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    Two years I believe...

    Nice rides, and very unique in a world obsessed with BMW Ms, and AMGs.
     
  12. B17A

    B17A Now with more ///M

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    Most definately. I've always thought the XJRs were hot, and I'd imagine the S-Type R in person would be similar.
     
  13. Jericho

    Jericho Active Member

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    Jaguars are ugly.
     
  14. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    $$$?
     
  15. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    $200 and it runs 4.5 to 60 and low thirteens in the quarter?

    Sweet.
     
  16. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    The CTS-V will be offered in two additional colors this summer, one of them is dark metallic red. The other escapes me.

    Dealer installed options include carbon fiber trim, BADASS aluminum wheels, and a Corsa dual exhaust among other things.
     
  17. Possum Stomper

    Possum Stomper The Great Bird of the Galaxy

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    :eek4:
     
  18. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    Up for day crew.
     
  19. 2DR Vette

    2DR Vette We don't freestyle the Eyes of Texas, Big Boy.

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    Why don't you go buy one? You were looking at 360 Modenas- obviously you have the money. :rolleyes:
     
  20. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    Oh come on, this isn't a five page flame war by now?

    What's wrong with OT today? :nono:
     
  21. Patrick Bateman

    Patrick Bateman Active Member

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    who gives a rats ass, both are domestic pos chevy vs. ford.
     
  22. 2DR Vette

    2DR Vette We don't freestyle the Eyes of Texas, Big Boy.

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  23. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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  24. Scooby

    Scooby Growing up too fast...

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    cts-v :coold:
     
  25. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    Both of these > Infiniti M45

    IBpage10
     

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