R&T Cover Story - Cadillac V-Series

Discussion in 'OT Driven' started by TriShield, Feb 3, 2005.

  1. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2001
    Messages:
    132,737
    Likes Received:
    1,604
    Location:
    PRESIDENTIAL TOWER, GREAT AGAIN, NY
    Back in the Game — Cadillac takes on all comers — including BMW’s M5 — with its world-beating V-Series.

    [​IMG]

    By Matt Delorenzo • Photos by Guy Spangenberg
    February 2005

    [​IMG]

    The low-pitched rumble of the supercharged V-8 breaks the still autumn air as the silver 4-door sedan streaks down the straight, topping out at 138 mph before braking hard on the tight right-hander. The engine revs as the transmission clicks down two gears and the car roars back up the hill, racing off to the carousel, when the engine will fall almost silent as the driver feathers the throttle, waiting for the suspension to load up with the car's nearly 4300-lb. curb weight before unleashing 440 horses and 430 lb.-ft. of torque to the rear wheels.

    A series of constant-radius curves leads out onto the back section of the track, to a section of decreasing-radius turns that opens into some quick uphill esses. A tight right-left-right complex tests the car's composure before it feeds out onto a bit of oval banking and the long main straight. The driver continues to lap until a tank of fuel is exhausted. The scene, with the sounds of high-revving engines, screaming tires and the sight of taped prototypes attacking a hilly road course, could be taken from an industry test day at Germany's Nürburgring. But we're in suburban Detroit at General Motors Milford Proving Grounds standing on the edge of a new high-performance loop as Cadillac's STS-V races by.

    [​IMG]

    This latest incarnation of the world-challenging (and by some standards, world-beating) V-Series of high-performance offerings is yet further evidence of how far and fast Cadillac has come in reasserting itself among the premier marques that combine luxury-car attributes with the verve of a racing machine. It's not an easy task and only a few, principally German makes, have been able to do it. Think BMW and M, Mercedes-Benz and AMG, or Audi and S. Now there's Cadillac and V.

    In a way, the V-Series crystallizes the very essence of Cadillac's turnaround, more so than the Art & Science moniker attached to the division's razor-edge styling. While Art & Science says much about what Cadillacs look like as well as how they differ in styling from the Euro sedans with which they compete, V is more about how the product feels and performs. And since V is all about hardware, it speaks volumes of how profound the change is at Cadillac. These cars just don't look different from previous Cadillacs, they are engineered and built differently from everything that has come before them. And it's a difference that's being felt in the non-V cars as well.

    "You can generate a lot of interest with the look of a car to signal change and freshness," says Jim Taylor, Cadillac's general manager, who adds, "but you have to back it up with legitimate hardware. If you don't have no-excuse cars, we wouldn't earn our way back to credibility."

    Taylor should know. Before taking over the top job at Cadillac, he was the vehicle line executive in charge of the Sigma platform, which underpins the CTS, STS and SRX, vehicles that are critical to Cadillac's new image. In his new position, he not only inherits the job of moving the iron he helped create, but also gains responsibility for the rest of the line that includes the XLR, the facelifted '05 DeVille (which will be called DTS) as well as the Escalade, a vehicle that he freely admits helped give the division a more youthful appeal when NBA players and hip-hop artists adopted the line of SUVs as semi-official staff cars.

    [​IMG]

    For enthusiasts, if their staff car was the CTS-V, their flagship in the STS-V is about to arrive. Unlike the 400-bhp CTS-V, which borrows the LS6 pushrod V-8 from the previous-generation Corvette Z06, the STS-V is all Cadillac. Beneath the hood is a supercharged 4.4-liter dohc Northstar V-8 that boasts a GM-patented Eaton Roots-type supercharger integrated with the intake manifold. This engine is mated to a new 6-speed automatic transmission with a manual sequential shift feature. The transmission electronics are mounted directly on the transmission case and hardwired to the servos that select the gears for increased responsiveness. Cadillac promises 0-60-mph acceleration in less than 5 seconds.

    The exterior styling of the STS-V follows the themes laid down with the CTS-V. Large mesh upper and lower grilles open up the front end for the additional air required by the engine and the 4-piston Brembo brakes. The hood is taller to accommodate the blower and has additional character lines, which give the STS-V a more aggressive look than its softer civilian version. A lower chin spoiler, rocker extensions, a large rear decklid spoiler and a rear fascia with additional mesh vents add to the sporty good looks of the V. The car rides on 18-in. front and 19-in. rear 6-lug alloy wheels shod with Pirelli Extended Mobility tires that measure P255/45R-18 in the front and P275/40R-19 in the rear. The Brembo brakes clamp down on larger 14.0-in. front and 14.3-in. rear rotors.

    [​IMG]

    As befitting a flagship, Cadillac paid special attention to the interior, covering the upper and lower sections of the instrument panel in leather, which is offset by dark olive burled ash accents. A chrome strip is used to mark the division between the upper and lower dash and similar accents are used on the door panels, which also have leather upper and lower sections. The steering wheel is covered in leather, with aluminum accents that match those used on the instrument bezels.

    The leather buckets feature additional bolstering and suede inserts to provide more grip, and standard equipment includes DVD navigation, XM radio and the 5.1 Bose premium surround sound audio. Thanks to all these touches, the cockpit of the STS-V has the same kind of high-quality feel found in its European competition. This is a response to one of the few criticisms of the CTS-V where it was felt the interior execution didn't match the expectations triggered by the higher sticker price. While no prices have been announced for the STS-V, given that the stock all-wheel-drive model sells in the mid-$60,000 range, it's not unreasonable to expect the V version to command something in the neighborhood of $75,000.

    So how will the STS-V fare against the competition? For answers, we sought out John Heinricy, GM's director of high-performance vehicle operations, who is in charge of all V-Series development.

    "Naturally, there will be a lot of similarities between the STS-V and the last-generation BMW M5. They really set the mark for the whole market segment," Heinricy said. "Where we look to differ is that we are working hard to make the car more comfortable as a daily driver than the M or the AMG. The blend between track and street is to have a more comfortable balance, that performance/luxury feel. But the competence has to be there when you drive it fast or take it to a track. I'm working to equal or better the competition both on track and on the road."

    [​IMG]

    Heinricy said the difference will be felt in the damping, tire choice and steering calibration. The revisions start with a drivetrain mounted 0.5 in. lower than the stock engine to bring down the car's center of gravity. Higher spring rates front and rear, combined with larger 1.4-in. front and 1.0-in. rear anti-roll bars help control body roll and weight transfer under acceleration and braking. Faster 17.2:1 steering is also part of the package, as is additional bracing connecting the tops of the front shock towers. This additional stiffness adds to the steering precision.

    According to Heinricy, the STS-V "has better behavior than the [previous] BMW M5. It has a little better body control and is more precise in the steering and brakes."

    Running with BMW's M cars is just one element in Cadillac's overall strategy. The V-Series, combined with Cadillac's efforts in motorsports where it competes with a factory effort in the Speed Channel World Challenge series, is part of the division's holistic approach in reaching the enthusiast market.

    "We are in a long-term campaign to close our credibility gap," Taylor explains. "The reality of our hardware and the general misperception of the overall buying public still exist. The V-Series is shouting that we have performance and to take a look. We want to bring the general public up to speed on what's happening at Cadillac. Part of that is getting the right kind of drivers into our products who will spread the news by word of mouth. If we give them a piece of hardware that is satisfying to drive, we've got them in our boat and have made them advocates."

    [​IMG]

    As a result, the V-Series will grow. Next up later in the year will be the XLR-V, which will also use the 4.4-liter supercharged Northstar V-8. While not meant to compete with the likes of the Corvette Z06, the XLR-V will have the same 6-speed automatic used on the STS-V, and it will break some new ground in suspension technology by being the first car of its type to capitalize on the magnetic ride shocks found on the base car.

    This effort of repositioning Cadillac as a head-on competitor for BMW and Mercedes has global implications. There's a renewed effort in export sales and all Cadillac car models, including their V iterations, have been developed with global markets in mind.

    "If you're going to be a legitimate luxury brand, you have to be able to be competitive enough to sell in Tokyo, Stuttgart and Chicago. You can't be a top-tier luxury player and just sell in the U.S.,"
    Taylor said. While the CTS represents the entry level in the U.S., in Europe it is considered too large and expensive to go head-to-head with lower-spec 3 Series, C-Class and A4 models. As a result, GM is looking to use its Epsilon platform (which is used for the Saab 9-3) to create an all-wheel-drive baby Cadillac for international markets. Taylor said that while final board approval for such a plan has not been given, it is under serious consideration. He stressed that such a car is not meant for America. However, he allowed that a V-Series model, although not on the table right now, is intriguing, especially if limited U.S. volume could be figured into the mix.

    [​IMG]

    As for the CTS-V, don't look for many changes on the horizon, or at least until an all-new CTS bows in two years. As for the use of the pushrod engine, Heinricy is pleased with its performance, noting that the package is lighter if not more powerful than its normally aspirated overhead-cam rivals in the segment. As for those spy pictures of the CTS-V "plus" that have been circulating, both Taylor and Heinricy admit that the division is looking at offering a club racing version of the car that would incorporate many of the features developed in the factory racing program.

    Cadillac's plans are wide-ranging and ambitious, but they need to be able to go toe-to-toe with BMW and Mercedes-Benz on a global scale. With this second installment in the V-Series on the way and the promise of more to come, all we can say is: Welcome to the club.

    Simon Cox, On Design

    [​IMG]

    At most major car shows, it's easy to spot Simon Cox, the British designer who runs GM's Design Center in England — he's the man always wearing black. He's not a bleak guy; rather, the 45-year-old is an upbeat personality, and has spent 90 percent of his seven years at the Birmingham Design Center doing advanced concept work for Cadillac. Although Cadillac Design is very much a cooperative effort with North America and England, Cox's experience makes him very knowledgeable about the current design direction at Cadillac, and therefore just the man we needed to grill with questions. We caught up with Simon by phone, just as his team in England was pulling an all-nighter putting the final touches on another Detroit auto show concept. — Andrew Bornhop

    Where did Cadillac's edgy Art & Science styling theme originate?

    It had two champions, Wayne Cherry and John Smith, who at that time was the head of Cadillac. He had a strong vision. He did not want to break with the past in terms of what Cadillac stood for — the quality, technology and style. He just knew that Cadillac needed a fresh approach, and he really championed it. He gave Wayne the opportunity to pursue it. He was 100 percent behind it. Art & Science really does sum up what Cadillac is about. It's the blend of art, design, style and technology.

    Did you feel a need to be controversial?

    Definitely. We needed this break, and sales have proven us right. Design has to divide. Not to the point where you produce a vehicle that really alienates so many people it isn't viable from a business point of view. But you need to make a statement. You need to get people saying, "I really want this vehicle."

    I think we have a great opportunity to develop vehicles that cover a wide spectrum, from a real luxury limousine like the Sixteen at one end to quite a high-performance small vehicle at the other. I don't think Cadillac needs, like Mercedes or BMW, to have one look or feeling that covers everything. Each product needs to be tailored for its own specific purpose, whether that's performance, luxury or refinement, or whether it's racing dynamics. This is the way I personally see Art & Science.

    Is Art & Science a deliberate attempt to get away from soft organic curves, such as those on a Jaguar?

    Not necessarily. I don't think we ever meant it to be like that. We just felt this was a look that could help us make a clear cut with the past in terms of form vocabulary. Cadillac is the leading edge of GM. It has a look derived from the description of what Cadillac is, or what a future Cadillac should be.

    Are there any retro cues in any of the current Cadillacs?

    Certainly the tailfins. They were an important part of what Cadillac was. Personally for me, the upright front lamps are very important. We developed a strong bone line through the body side and put a very dynamic arch into it. The trapezoidal grille, that's very important. I took the vertical lamp cue at the back and put it on the front. Other people now are starting to look at it, you know? Before we did that, every headlamp was horizontal. People like Infiniti now are looking at vertical lamps.

    What's the current direction of Cadillac styling?

    Well, with the last couple of concept vehicles, the Cien and the Sixteen, we have developed the form language. At the beginning, the image we were looking at was the F-117 Stealth jet fighter. Now, when I was working on the Cien, it was the F-22 Raptor. When you look at those two planes, one is very, very shear. One is very angled. The newer one is more curvaceous, but with edge. That's the way I would describe the direction Cadillac is going. It's more curvaceous with edge, more akin to the new Stealth than the old one.

    Ringing It Out

    [​IMG]

    The importance of Germany's Nürburgring in Cadillac's renaissance cannot be overstated. It is the one place where all the major manufacturers test, where the stopwatch separates the poseurs from the real deal.

    Jim Taylor, who was the vehicle line executive involved in the Sigma platform before becoming Cadillac's current general manager, used his experience and connections at Opel to test the original CTS at the Ring. To him, testing at the track is the critical element that differentiates the merely good from the truly great.


    "You look at the hardware kings, which are the Germans. How do they get there differently?" Taylor says. "They may have some actual parts that are different, but you can buy that stuff. The real difference lies in the black magic in developing a car, finalizing its handling in a truly demanding test environment." The 14-plus miles and more than 175 turns of the Nürburgring is that environment.

    "Any glitches or shortcomings of the car in handling, cooling or brake feeling come to the fore very quickly and by quite a large margin at the Nürburgring," says John Heinricy, GM's director of high-performance vehicle operations. "If you make a car competent here, there's no place it can't handle."

    So impressed with what they have been able to learn in developing cars in Germany, GM's engineers decided to bring a piece of the Ring home and built the Milford Road Course (MRC), a 20-turn handling loop carved out of the center of a 2.0-mile oval at the company's suburban Detroit proving grounds. The track, which features an overall elevation change of about 100 feet, can be reconfigured in various circuits ranging from 2.9 to 3.6 miles.


    "It can be inconvenient and costly to ship hardware to Germany," Taylor explains, "so we extracted some key elements from the Nürburgring and incorporated them into the MRC. This hasn't replaced the Ring; we will still go over there and test. There are certain elements of sustained high-speed running at that track we can't replicate here. And also, there is an element of being in the performance club…it's not just how quickly you can go around a turn, it's the lap time around the whole Ring. Doing it in 8 to 8 1/2 minutes puts you into the club."

    The MRC has been open for about a year and Heinricy said it allows engineers the opportunity to do a lot of baseline work before going to the Nürburgring, which, in turn, makes the time spent in Germany much more efficient.

    The MRC includes not only some elements of the Ring, such as a version of the Karussell, affectionately known as the "toilet bowl," and fast sweeping constant-radius turns, but also uphill esses copied from Virginia International Raceway. The key to making it all work, according to Heinricy, is elevation change. "The site itself has significant elevation changes. We want to have major loading and unloading of the chassis in turns. It allows us to work on the car's damping as well as transmission calibration. Still, the MRC doesn't replace the fact that we need to go to the Nürburgring at least twice a year. We just can't afford to not go there." — MDL

    GM Powertrain Performance Build Center: It's All About the Engines

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    The special nature of the Cadillac V-Series is not limited just to the on-road performance of these limited-volume vehicles, but rather in the way they are put together. Integral to this concept of a specialty vehicle is the GM Powertrain Performance Build Center, a 100,000-sq.-ft. facility in Wixom, a Detroit suburb, where all the V-Series engines, which include the 4.4-liter supercharged Northstar V-8 for the STS-V and upcoming XLR-V and the 5.7-liter pushrod V-8 in the CTS-V, are built. Also coming out of the facility are the 7.0-liter LS7 engines to be used in the Corvette Z06.

    The nature of the 4.4-liter supercharged Northstar demands this sort of special attention. Rated at 440 bhp at 6400 rpm and 420 lb.-ft. of torque at 3600 rpm, the Northstar SC is the most powerful production Cadillac engine ever.

    As a result of the forced induction from a new Eaton Roots-type supercharger, engine displacement has been reduced from the stock Northstar's 4.6 to 4.4 liters with 2.0-mm-smaller bores that now measure 91.0 mm. Compression has also been reduced from 10.5:1 to 9.0:1. An all-new induction system, which includes the supercharger and intercoolers, as well as a revised accessory drive to turn the blower, also requires extra attention in the assembly process.

    When operating at capacity, the 80-person work force will assemble up to 15,000 engines a year, with a twist. A single technician is responsible for building an engine from start to finish. The facility's craft approach to building engines has two benefits — ownership on the part of the worker putting the engine together, which ensures precision and high quality, and the ultimate in flexibility, allowing the facility to tailor output specifically to market demand. Like BMW's M products and Mercedes' AMG line, which began essentially as an engine shop that grew to encompass complete vehicle development, the Performance Build Center is an essential element in developing the credibility the V-Series needs to compete on equal footing with the European giants. — MDL

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  2. acabrera

    acabrera Rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated.

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2003
    Messages:
    50,277
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Miami Beach, FL
    [​IMG]

    First Caddy I've ever liked
     
  3. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2001
    Messages:
    132,737
    Likes Received:
    1,604
    Location:
    PRESIDENTIAL TOWER, GREAT AGAIN, NY
    There's a leftover 04 CTS-V near here marked down to $45k. It's tempting. :hs:
     
  4. DMClark

    DMClark Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2001
    Messages:
    37,589
    Likes Received:
    0
    do et!
     
  5. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2001
    Messages:
    132,737
    Likes Received:
    1,604
    Location:
    PRESIDENTIAL TOWER, GREAT AGAIN, NY
    I think I like the GTO better and it costs less. I also think the dealer can wiggle a little more on the price since it stickers for $52k. :o
     
  6. VicenteFox

    VicenteFox Does your mother still hang out at dockside bars?

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2001
    Messages:
    65,226
    Likes Received:
    51
    Location:
    Pacific Coast Hwy, Ca
    what ever happened to the v-10 (12?) Escalade? wasn't that supposed to be shown at this years NAIAS?
     
  7. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2001
    Messages:
    132,737
    Likes Received:
    1,604
    Location:
    PRESIDENTIAL TOWER, GREAT AGAIN, NY
    It will likely offer a V-12 when it's redesigned.
     
  8. Steve Kerr

    Steve Kerr 6 Time NBA Champion OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2001
    Messages:
    20,384
    Likes Received:
    0
    BMW > that.
     
  9. RobsMob

    RobsMob Guest

  10. domestictuner

    domestictuner Watch your mouth, before I shove these gators up y

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2003
    Messages:
    5,659
    Likes Received:
    0
    there is one here too, they would come down to 45 on, i drove it this weekend, insane amount of power for a four door, the salesman that let us take it was polishing a vette he just sold when we got back, said that is would walk the vette, (vette was left over 04 350hp 6speed) i believe it too
     
  11. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2001
    Messages:
    132,737
    Likes Received:
    1,604
    Location:
    PRESIDENTIAL TOWER, GREAT AGAIN, NY
    i-Drive and weird styling kills the appeal.
     
  12. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2001
    Messages:
    132,737
    Likes Received:
    1,604
    Location:
    PRESIDENTIAL TOWER, GREAT AGAIN, NY
    You never know what tricks could be under the hood. :cool: :cool: :cool:
     
  13. HoVa

    HoVa New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2003
    Messages:
    27,871
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Vietnam
    id pimp that caddy, but damn 75K is a lot of $$$$$..
     
  14. jeeps4u

    jeeps4u OT's Master Tech

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2001
    Messages:
    12,391
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Yarmouth Port, MA

    the 500 cubic inch V-8 in the late 70s was rated at 190hp/380ftlbs, but realistically put out 300hp/500ftlbs stock :dunno:
     
  15. RobsMob

    RobsMob Guest


    M5 - iDrive = :yum:
     
  16. mucky

    mucky .

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2001
    Messages:
    44,972
    Likes Received:
    0
    BMW M5 > Cadillac STS-V
     
  17. Cdiesel

    Cdiesel OT Supporter

    Joined:
    May 19, 2004
    Messages:
    13,628
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    NY
    im loving the new line up caddy is settng up
     
  18. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2001
    Messages:
    132,737
    Likes Received:
    1,604
    Location:
    PRESIDENTIAL TOWER, GREAT AGAIN, NY
    E39 M5 > new M5
     
  19. CitznFish

    CitznFish Don't live life by a single sentence OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2002
    Messages:
    130,896
    Likes Received:
    282
    Location:
    SoCal
    This has probably been asked a million times, but TRISHIELD, do you work for a magazine or something?

    :dunno:
     
  20. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2001
    Messages:
    132,737
    Likes Received:
    1,604
    Location:
    PRESIDENTIAL TOWER, GREAT AGAIN, NY
    E39 M5 > STS-V > new M5
     
  21. CitznFish

    CitznFish Don't live life by a single sentence OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2002
    Messages:
    130,896
    Likes Received:
    282
    Location:
    SoCal
    i think you're alone on that one. Have you tried using iDrive? While driving a car, not just sitting in one, or at a BMW display...
     
  22. Rob

    Rob OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2002
    Messages:
    88,621
    Likes Received:
    39
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    I was at the Caddy dealership in Grand Rapids last weekend.....the 04 CTS-V that they had on the showroom last year is now burried in a pile of snow. They brought 2 of them to the dealership a black one and a silver one. Neither sold. :mamoru:
     
  23. mucky

    mucky .

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2001
    Messages:
    44,972
    Likes Received:
    0
    I won't argue against the E39 M5 as far as whole package especially exterior, but both the STS-V and new M5 are ho-hum in the looks department.

    New M5 507hp V10 > STS-V 440hp supercharge 4.4L V8
     
  24. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2001
    Messages:
    132,737
    Likes Received:
    1,604
    Location:
    PRESIDENTIAL TOWER, GREAT AGAIN, NY
    The dealer near here is in a small town and has had theirs since last summer, it was also buried under snow. :hs:
     
  25. Rob

    Rob OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2002
    Messages:
    88,621
    Likes Received:
    39
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    :sad2:

    The one did manage to rack up 3,000 miles on it though. I bet it was ragged on seriously. They are offering it for 49k. :ugh:
     

Share This Page