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From inception, Cadillac designed the 2014 CTS Vsport with tangible dynamic performance at the forefront. The weight saving measures that the company took to create this lean, mean sport sedan are extreme. The lightweight aluminum doors, a first on a GM production vehicle, aluminum front sub frame, shock towers, hood, bumper beams, and front-suspension arms together with the magnesium engine mounts show Cadillac’s vested interest in performance and fuel savings by eliminating unnecessary heft. The 2014 CTS is almost 250 lbs lighter than its predecessor and 400 lbs lighter than Caddy’s primary European target, the benchmark BMW 550i.
And while the car itself may be lightweight, the performance certainly isn’t. Acceleration is exhilarating, mashing the throttle to the floor means a dramatic rush from 0-60 mph in 4.4 seconds. The electronically boosted steering is accurate and provides just enough feedback to keep things interesting, but remains unobtrusive.
Handling, due in part to the rigid chassis, 18-inch wheels, and multi-mode magnetic ride control, rivals purpose built two-seater sports cars. The massive Brembo brakes assure quick, compliant stops. Driving the CTS Vsport inspires confidence; you want to push this car.
The Aisin eight-speed transmission, which has settings for tour, sport, track, and snow/ice, works to provide a balance between economy and performance. The eighth gear allows the engine to relax at constant highway speeds, providing an EPA 24 mpg, although in my time with the Vsport I was able to get as much as 28 mpg while cruising at a moderate speeds on the flat as a pancake Florida interstate.
Mashing the gas pedal to the floor forces the transmission to hold gears to redline, and when the car is in sport or track mode, the CTS Vsport continues to keep the car in high revs until you almost completely take your foot off the pedal. This can take a bit of getting used to, and certainly is not something that saves fuel, but it does keep the car in boost and allows for instantaneous torque with the flick of the accelerator.
If there is any criticism of the drive train, it may be the softer full throttle shifts that the Aisin gearbox provides. Unlike units from BMW’s M division that literally bang from gear to gear under full-throttle, the Cadillac eight speed offers a less visceral shift, more like the knock on the door from a tentative salesperson, first day on the job.
The CTS design steals a play from the sports car book. The aggressive nose, chiseled lines, mile-long hood, and muscular, yet aerodynamic roofline terminate in a short trunk and dual exhaust integrated rear bumper. The front grille and unique headlamps make the Cadillac instantly recognizable in a large parking lot, progressive touches that remind me of the futuristic concept car drawings that captivated me as a child.
The Cadillac interior continues the manufacturer’s 112-year tradition of providing unprecedented comfort and quality, many surfaces crafted from exotic woods, aluminum or carbon fiber depending on your preferences. The hand cut and sown leather seating is attractive and comfortable. The front seats are adequately bolstered for spirited driving and the rear passengers have ample legroom.
The 2014 Cadillac CTS Vsport starts well equipped at $59,995, a price that represents excellent value in today’s competitive sport sedan market. As an automotive journalist, I am blessed with the rare opportunity of being able to extensively drive and review new cars. After spending an inspiring week analyzing the luxury, performance, comfort, real world functionality, and value of 2014 CTS Vsport, I am comfortable in publicly announcing that Cadillac’s sport sedan sits very close to the top of the list of cars that I would purchase.
Copyright: 2014 AutomotiveAddicts.com
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