Cadillac CTS-V World Challenge Rips Up Detroit GP - SHAKEDOWN

Uploaded by drive on 08.06.2012


LEO PARENTE: We're here in Belle Isle for the IndyCar,
Grand-AM, and World Challenge racing.
Racing's back to Detroit, first time since 2008.
But we're here focused on the World Challenge event,
production-based racing.
You love that stuff.
We're here with Cadillac Racing.
80% of their car is production based or production derived.
So we're going to talk to
everyone involved in Cadillac--
the drivers, the engineers and technology people--
to find out how this race car works, how it transfers to the
CTS-V road car, and how this thing works on a race
environment like Belle Isle.
MARK REUSS: Cars are still exciting.
It's still a big reflection of who you are.
I think that's very important.
Every time we race, it makes our engineers better.
LEO PARENTE: Let's talk a little bit about what World
Challenge is.
I think you know it, but let's cover the details.
There's a diversity of different type of cars in this
series, from the all-wheel drive turbo Volvo, obviously
to CTS-V V8 powered Cadillacs, Audi R8.
There's a Ferrari in the series, but not here.
A lot of different cars competing in that GT class.
And then in GTS, Mustangs, Camaros,
things like the Acura.
It's a sprint race format.
And that has an effect on the design of the cars, different
from and endurance racing, the Corvette racing cars and the
Ferraris that run at Le Mans.
LEO PARENTE: I'm going to spoil the tease a little bit.
We got a chance to go for a ride in two of the World
Challenge race cars, the Volvo all-wheel drive and the
Cadillac racing CTS-V coupe.
And it was very interesting to feel.
First impression, they're real race cars.
Even though 80% production based or production derived by
weight in the Cadillac, there's no question, this is a
race doing race car things.
LEO PARENTE: Mark Ruess, earlier, for General Motors,
in particular talking about Cadillac, talked about the
technology connection between production and race car.
And it's really easy to kind of dismiss that as just a
marketing claim.
But what we're going to get a chance to do is dive into the
facts and look at those direct connections.
MARK REUSS: Every time we compete, it breeds that
competitive edge into our products.
So that's very important for us.
But there's things like direct injection and some of the
sophistication of the thermal systems that go into Cadillac
in particular.
STEVE COLE: For sure there's electronics, items from ABS to
traction control, and aerodynamic situations that
certainly present themselves that we learn with a race car
that can be transferred to the street car and vice versa.
They have volumes of knowledge about the CTS-V, as an
example, in wind tunnel conditions.
ANDY PILGRIM: Well this particular-- it has the same
wheelbase as the street car.
The unibody starts at the same place.
So the car has the same basic characteristics.
When you turn in with a longer wheelbase car,
you've got a nice--
you can feel the car turn in.
It's not the shorter wheel-based car.
It feels more like a go-cart.
This thing, if you're slow with your hands,
the car will respond.
And it does drive very similar, in a sense, to the
street car.
LEO PARENTE: Now, I heard this morning, on the web session,
you guys were tuning the traction control maybe even a
little to the ABS.
And I learned that those same adjustments are possible in
the road car.
ANDY PILGRIM: Oh absolutely.
Yeah, yeah, absolutely.
You've got adjustment in the street car as well.
It's slightly different, but you've got adjustability
between sport and non-sport in the street car.
Yeah, the street stuff now is for many manufacturers.
But in particular the V, because of all that power, you
have to make sure that you can control it.
But the guys that want it a little more sporty, they want
to be able to turn some of it down.
And that's a big benefit.
ED PIATEK: One of the things you have to do when you're
designing a high-performance car is make sure you've got
enough powertrain cooling airflow.
And the fact that we're able to use pretty much the same
front end and same grill openings on the race car as
the street car tells you the attention to detail we
actually had.
ANDY PILGRIM: It's actually-- for a race car, it's got
pretty good compliance.
The compliance, we put softer springs in, very, very heavy
anti-roll bars so it stops it rolling.
And we've got a great shop package.
But the springs themselves are reasonably soft.
MALE SPEAKER: One of the things, when you have sort of
a fast back, is you have to make sure you manage the
airflow off the car.
And if you have too fast or too slanted a roof back there,
you end up having a lift issue.
So one of the ways we balance that on the production car--
and you see something similar on the race car--
is what we call CHMSL, center high-mount stop lamp, is
actually working also as an air spoiler.
And we get about 50 pounds of down force from that spoiler
at 150 miles an hour.
Again, helps keep the car planted.
LEO PARENTE: You must be managing the air around the
side of the car as well?
You'll notice that on the production car we've got sort
of a splitter on the front end that helps keep air from
getting under the car.
That helps prevent lift.
And then we carry that length of the car.
We've got lower rockers.
And the actual ride height of the car is lowered about 15
millimeters from a regular CTS, all in the intent of
keeping air from getting under the car and causing lift at
high speed.
LEO PARENTE: Tell me if I'm right or wrong.
It looks like the car is pretty balanced as it's
and again, that's due to a lot of the work done by Cadillac
racing over the last winter.
Last year was the first year running this car.
We learned a lot.
Over the winter we did a lot of work in the wind tunnel and
looking at a lot of data.
So the guys have given us a better package this year.
LEO PARENTE: You've driven the road car.
You've driven the race car.
Give me a dynamic that's comparative.
MALE SPEAKER: Oh god, yeah, I got to-- as a guy that drove a
Corvette for 10 years, I love my street car.
The CTS-V is--
and it's also wild because in all those years, when I was in
my Corvette, maybe twice a year people would say, hey
man, I like your car.
It is literally every week in my CTS-V that somebody comes
up to me and says, dude, I love your car.
So what I like about it is the athleticism of it but still
being very comfortable.
And you know what?
I can get more than four people in it.
LEO PARENTE: I'm liking driving race cars again.
You like when I drive them as well.
I appreciate that.
But I can't do it all the time.
Here at World Challenge, I've got a chance to ride in two
race cars, Cadillac CTS-V World Challenge car and the
Volvo all-wheel drive turbo.
And around the Belle Isle street course is an
interesting and different experience with each car.
Cadillac, much more refined--
frankly, a closer connection to refined road car.
It just did the transition better and went through the
ripples of the pavement in a much more balanced way.
The Volvo, a very, very abrupt and rough race car--
quick transition, settling itself in a mega-turbo boost
coming out of the corners.
But the connection to the road car was wider.
This was a real harsh road race car.
This is a refined road car.
But at the end of the day, they're both really, really
good race cars, production-based or not, and
really carry speed around this track.
LEO PARENTE: So one thing hopefully we're all learning
about the essence of a good production-based race car from
this World Challenge experience is just that.
If the roots of a road car are good, it makes for a much
better, much more successful race car.
All of that translates to a driving feel and dynamic that
everyone wants in their enthusiast car.
That's pretty much what production-based
racing is all about--
why you like it, why it seems to work for the manufacturers.