The 750 hp D3 Cadillac CTS-V -- TUNED

Uploaded by drive on 30.07.2012


MATT FARAH: If you've ever watched a video on Drive, then
you know what this is.
It's the Cadillac CTS-V. It has larger grill openings to
feed the supercharged engine and Brembo brakes.
It has a G-Meter, which is a cool feature even on a wagon.
And since 2009, it has been the go-to example for every
American YouTube commenter responding to any comment
regarding any vehicle wearing a badge that says either AMG
or M. Some of them, amazingly, have a point, since it's
faster and cheaper than almost any other super
sedan money can buy.
Others argue that it still suffers from issues which
plague all GM vehicles, that, despite the performance, it's
simply not as satisfying to drive, or as solidly built, as
something from Germany.
But that's not why we are talking about it.
We're here today because the Cadillac CTS-V makes an
amazing platform for tuning.
And of all the companies that modify these vehicles, D3 is
one of the best.
In an effort to make the CTS-V more interesting to people
like me, D3 has done something that I wholeheartedly approve
of, added a [BLEEP]
load of horsepower.
Let's see how that feels.
Traction may be an issue here.
Let's go to manual mode.
All right, now, first things first, this is
an automatic car.
And that's because the customer uses it as a daily
driver around LA.
So I don't entirely disagree with his
choice of the automatic.
However, the automatic does do one thing, and that is over
exaggerate that the LS engine is sort of lazy, for lack of a
better word.
In automatic mode, it doesn't really want to rev. It keeps
everything below 2000 RPM, unless you really mat it.
So, I would go with a stick because
that's just how I roll.
But such is life.
We've got paddles, and we'll make it work.
Sounds brilliant, doesn't it?
Now this car makes approximately 750 horsepower
at the crank, 650 horsepower at the wheels, and 640 pounds
of torque at the wheels, which is a ton of power to move
around the car.

Sounds incredible--
long tube headers, X-pipe, big Corsa exhaust, three inches
all the way back.

MATT HARBER: The LSA engine really likes to take anything
that you throw at it.
The engine itself also takes a lot of internal work as well,
if you want it to go above and beyond on anything.
So the platform is great.
It's easy for us to engineer, to basically kind of dream up
horsepower numbers and go chase after them without
having to rip apart and, basically, make it a totally
different car.

MATT FARAH: This is what they call their
Stage 4 Power Upgrade.
And what you get for that, for such a high number, is
actually not all that much.
It helps it breathe better.
You get an intake, a throttle body.
It gets more fuel in there, a bigger fuel
pump, bigger injectors.
And, they get more boost out of the blower.
They have a smaller pulley on there to make more boost.
But in order to reduce the strains on the blower, they've
added a spacer, which gives the blower more displacement.
That way you can add more boost to it without worrying
about heat and that kind of stuff or over revving the
And it works pretty good.

The one thing you really want to worry about when you're
modifying a car with a Roots blower on it is heat soak.
A Corvette ZR1, a lot of these cars, will get one, two,
really good dyno pulls.
And then the blower gets heat soaked, and you start losing
power really fast.
Now in order to fight that, D3 has added a massive
It's 5 and 1/2 inches thick.
MATT HARBER: We designed an intercooler that holds about
1.6 gallons of fluid and also added a 20-gallon per minute
pump to keep that fluid cycling through as quick as
possible without any lag time to address the heating issues
that come with running a supercharged car.
Our intercooler is the biggest possible intercooler that we
can fit in that car.
It basically--
we left maybe an eighth of an inch on each side, and the
bumper fits back on to stock.
So it still has that stock look, but we maximized the
space underneath there and ate every little
square inch of it up.
MATT FARAH: Now D3 offers packages, like the Stage 4
Power Upgrade, but they also want to customize to the
owner's taste for what they want to do with the car.
This owner daily drives the car, but he also races it
competitively in the Cadillac Challenge Series, which is a
time attack series.
So, in order to back up all that power and keep things
under control, they upgraded the brakes.
There's a two-piece Brembo floating caliper now up front.
And they've upgraded the discs as well to cross-drilled,
vented, two-piece discs.
They're the same size as stock, but they work better
with a better fluid compound, better pad compound, and the
stainless steel brake lines.
And actually, let's see how those feel
going down into second.
They're very good, actually.
I'm kind of impressed by that.

Oh man, does that sound amazing.
Now, the suspension--
the magnetic ride control that comes with this car is very
good on the street.
It's got the dual mode, comfort, and sport, and it's
pretty good for the track.
But if you're actually going for lap times, pushing the car
to its limit, and sometimes even beyond its limit, it's
just not enough, which is why they installed the KW Variant
3 coil-over set up.
Now we come to our first problem, ride height.
You see, it's a fine line between what looks cool at a
show, works on the track, and is actually
practical for the street.
Now I went through this with my own Corvette, and I, quite
frankly, made it too low, and it rubbed everywhere.
And that's what's happening here.
You see, there's only about three inches of ground
clearance here.
So instead of pulling off into the dirt, like a normal person
would do safely, I literally cannot clear this little
three-inch curb without scraping the entire
undercarriage of the car.
I understand if it was an exclusively track car, but
honestly, this suspension needs to be raised up at least
an inch if you want to drive it on the street.

You've got a lot of horsepower.
One of the things you really have to worry
about is grip, of course.
And on that front, they have taken steps
to improve the grip.
My Corvette, by example, makes 420 wheel horsepower, but has
12-inch rear tires on it, 305s to be exact.
This car has 50% more horsepower than that, but it
only has 9 and 1/2-inch rear tires.
So managing that throttle coming out of a corner is
extremely important here.
On the other hand, they've switched to a square stance.
The CTS-V comes with 255s up front from the factory, but
now they're running 295s all around.
And what that does is, by getting more meat upfront, it
dials out a bunch of the factory understeer that comes
with this car.

This is, honestly, too much car for this road.

MATT FARAH: This thing will run an 11-second quarter mile
all day, low 11s.
In fact, it could even run in the high 10s with the right
set of tires on it and a good driver, if you
could launch it properly.
But it also handles.
I mean, it's a 4,200, 4,300 pound car.
And with this suspension setup, I'm feeling pretty
confident going through these corners right now.
Although the body work on the CTS-V is basically stock,
there are a couple of parts that have been changed, such
as this carbon fiber wing blade here.
Now, while I was at the shop this morning, I noticed some
of their body work was excellently done, especially
the wide body kit.
I do have to question this piece because it's basically
just a double-sided tape piece of carbon.
And it's coming up here, and see that?
That's the tape coming unstuck.
And so I might question the more expensive body work if
it's like this.

The question I want to leave you with--
is this car a sleeper?
Can it be a sleeper?
I mean, yes, it is based on a 556-horsepower production car.
And anyone who knows and sees that chrome grill coming and
the V badge is going to know what's under there.
But on the other hand, at first glance, it looks like a
car you can rent from Hertz for $65 a day.
And certainly no one's going to expect that under a
stock-looking CTS-V is 750 horsepower worth of nut sack.
So can it be a sleeper?
Can you call this car a sleeper?
I think you can.
I think if you can call a CTS-V wagon a sleeper, you can
call a fully-worked CTS-V sedan a sleeper.
I think that's OK.
But I want to know what you think.
Is it a sleeper, or is it just too fast and
too new to be a sleeper?
So let me know, leave a comment on that guy.
On paper, the car does everything as advertised.
It's way faster than stock.
It stops way shorter, and it corners way better than when
it was stock.
But the feel of driving it somehow just isn't as fun as I
wanted it to be.
It could be the annoyingly low suspension or the fact that I
got little weird noises that I wasn't expecting and that you
wouldn't really want from the refinement of a Cadillac.
It could be the ill-fitting carbon fiber wing.
But really, it's the automatic transmission.
That transmission just sucks the life right out of this car
and makes it so much less fun than if it were stick or even
a proper dual-clutch transmission.
It doesn't match the set up, and that's
what I'm talking about.
If you're going to put all this money into a car, all
this performance into a car, why ruin it with an automatic?
So guys, your car's awesome but please, next
time get me a stick.
Until then, I'm Matt Farah.
And you're been watching Tuned, right here
on the Drive Network.