2011 Cadillac STS Review by automobile.com

Review

With the recent changes to the structure of General Motors, entire car lineups are changing. The Cadillac DTS has been merged with the STS, and there has even been rumors that the 2011 Cadillac STS will not make it to market. While it is currently expected to be released in late 2010 as a redesign, those plans could change, and a 2012 Cadillac XTS could come in its place instead. This vehicle is expected to come to market without the V8 engine that many people have come to expect from this brand.

Specifications

This is what we know at this point about the 2011 Cadillac STS’s specs:

  • Pricing: car pricing will probably rise some; the vehicle should end up with a price around $48,000 MSRP
  • Fuel economy: fuel economy will probably improve from the current mileage of 18 mpg city/27 mpg highway
  • Engine: 3.6-liter V6 engine; 3.6-liter turbocharged, direct-injected V6 (could get about 350 horsepower)
  • Acceleration: the current V6 has strong acceleration and a 0 to 60 mph time of 6.5 seconds. That should continue or improve with the new model.
  • Car safety features: antilock brakes, front side airbags, side curtain airbags, traction and antiskid control. Options should include lane departure and blind spot warnings, and obstacle detection.
  • Suspension: strut suspension in front, multilink suspension in back
  • Warranty: four-year/50,000 mile basic warranty; five-year/100,000 mile powertrain warranty and roadside assistance; six-year/100,000 mile corrosion coverage

Exterior Features

The exterior of the 2011 Cadillac STS is likely to see changes. Basic features that should continue into the new model year include 17-inch wheels, automatic halogen headlights, and heated door mirrors. Higher level trims and options could include wooden trim, upgraded brakes, a rear spoiler, auto-high beam xenon headlights, rain-sensing windshield wipers, headlight washers, adaptive suspension, a sunroof, and a different grille. This vehicle is the merging of the DTS and last year’s STS, so trim levels and options could change significantly.

Interior Features

Interior features on the 2011 Cadillac STS are likely to be impressive. Heated and cooled cupholders may be introduced for the new model year. LED lights will also probably be added. The base model should have two zones of automatic temperature control, powered leather front seats, keyless entry, OnStar, and a sound system with satellite radio. Upgraded models and options are likely to include a CD changer, Bluetooth, heated seats throughout, ventilated seats in the front, driver seat memory, blind spot and lane departure warnings, and adaptive cruise control.

Performance

The 2011 Cadillac STS is expected to be available with a six-speed automatic transmission. Because there will be changes to both the body (and perhaps weight) and engine of the new STS, it is too early to tell how well this new vehicle will perform.

How the 2011 Cadillac STS Compares to Other Luxury Cars

The 2011 Cadillac STS will not be the first luxury vehicle to produce an all V-6 lineup. Lincoln’s MKS already is offered as a V6-only vehicle. As energy becomes more costly and government mandates for fuel efficiency come into place, Cadillac may be joined with other manufacturers. The new STS is not available for road tests, but some of the STS’s competitors are likely to be:

At this point, it is difficult to tell how the STS will perform compared to these other vehicles. This vehicle is expected to be released in late 2010, if it is not scrapped in favor of the XTS only.

Fred Whiting, retired South Dakota Senator donated TV to SDSMT

Kevin Fannin, Heather Fannin, Fred Whiting

Fred Whiting, retired South Dakota Senator, donates TV to SDSMT

Rapid City, SD, December 30th, 2010—As the Rapid Chevrolet One Warm Coat Drive draws to an end, a generous Rapid City citizen emerges. Fred Whiting brought in four coats to donate to the coat drive and was drawn as the winner from over 400 raffle tickets. When contacted to pick up his new “50 Plasma TV, Mr. Whiting was overcome with surprise as he stated, “I never win anything”. Today he announced that he is donating his new TV to the International Students Inc., the South Dakota Mines and Technology campus ministry. Heather Fannin of ISI stated, “We are so excited and grateful to Mr. Whiting for the new TV. We will use it in our student common where the students enjoy watching soccer and cricket.”

Rapid Chevrolet Cadillac mission was to collect clean, gently used coats and jackets as part of the One Warm Coat community service project. Coats of all shapes and sizes were welcome. One Warm Coat is dedicated to distributing re-usable coats, free of charge, directly to local children and adults. Rapid Chevrolet Cadillac chose to give collected coats to the Corner Stone Rescue Mission and Youth and Family Services. They will collect coats through the 1st of the year but as of date have collected 435 coats as well as snow pants, hats and gloves. The silent auction earned $1,765 dollars for Youth and Family Services.

Rapid Chevrolet Cadillac Would like to thanks the Black Hills area sponsors of the Silent Auction: Mobile FX, Rapid Chevrolet Sales Department, Street Image, Olive Garden, Dark Canyon Coffee, Dale’s Tire, First Gold, Allure Spa, A Plus Carpet Cleaning, Pirates Table, Leo Thomas Salon,

Rapid Chevrolet Parts Department, Rapid Chevrolet Accessories Department, Best Buy and Eileen’s Colossal Cookies. Thank you to everyone who brought in coats this year and donated to the auction.

 

2011 Cadillac Escalade Review

Review

For years, Cadillac has led the luxury SUV class with its classy and sport Escalade. Over the last decade, the vehicle has been on the cutting edge in its class, setting trends for on-road performance and outpacing the competition with interior amenities. In 2011, it appears that Cadillac has truly swung for the fences, hoping to blow away not only the in-class competition, but also its previous versions of the Escalade. The new entry has a higher price tag than usual, but it comes with much more for those people who are truly interested in the epitome of luxury on the road.

Specifications

For years, the Escalade has been clocking in at just north of $60,000, but 2011 has brought about a a nearly 33% bump. MSRP for the 2011 edition sits at $82,290, making it one of the most expensive luxury SUVs on the market. The engine is a characteristically large and powerful 6.2 liter V8, providing 403 horsepower and 417 ft/lbs of torque. A fuel-injected system equipped with a 26-gallon tank, the 2011 Escalade gets 20 miles per gallon on the highway and 14 around town. It comes equipped with an all-wheel drive system, an automatic transmission, and the ability to reach 60 MPH is just over 7 seconds.

  • Pricing: base model should start at around $82,300 MSRP
  • Fuel economy: current fuel economy car ratings of 14/20 mpg city/highway is expected to remain the same
  • Engine: 6.2-liter, 403-horsepower V8
  • Acceleration: with all-wheel drive, the 0-60 time of the Escalade is just over 7 seconds
  • Car safety features: current safety equipment will carry over for 2011
  • Architecture: the 2011 Escalade is based on a new Lambda frame
  • Warranty: ten-year/100,000-mile transferable powertrain warranty likely

Exterior Features

The Escalade is currently in its third generation and has progressively further distinguished itself from its cheaper GM relatives, such as the Yukon and Tahoe. Standard exterior equipment includes 18-inch alloy wheels, xenon headlights, auto-dimming driver’s side mirror, remote start, and a power liftgate. Popular options, such as the chrome 22-inch wheels and sunroof, will most likely remain for the 2011 model year.

Interior Features

The 2011 Escalade retains many of the interior features that made the 2010 version special. It still seats 8 passengers with plenty of room for each. The vehicle makes driving comfortable by offering a Bose surround sound system, providing standard OnStar, and the added safety of a rear camera. The 2011 version features an easy to use navigation system to keep drivers on track.

Drive Quality

The Escalade has always provided very civil handling on the road for an SUV of its size. What’s more, the abundantly powerful V8 offers enough horsepower to propel the large truck from 0-60 in a respectable 7.4 seconds. The vehicle comes equipped with an adaptive suspension system that has long provided an exceptionally smooth ride. For a car with such size, it truly does drive like a small sport sedan. Acceleration has been a bit of an issue in the past, but the 2011 Escalade seems to have corrected some of the problems. The engine provides a type of smooth power that makes the driver feel in control. The vehicle has crossed over from its old “truck style” architecture to the new Lambda system, which makes it drive much more like a car. The level of handling won’t make drivers confuse the Escalade for a Ferrari, but it outpaces almost all large SUV competitors.

Performance

The 6.2 liter V8 is one of the most powerful engines to go in any vehicle in 2011. Providing more than 400 horsepower in just the basic Escalade models, it provides incredible torque on the roadways. For a vehicle of such large size, the acceleration time from 0 to 60 remains impressive, and the fuel economy is a plus as well. The standard Escalade will keep drivers above 20 on the highways, and the Cadillac Escalade Hybrid version will offer even more economy.

Why purchase the 2011 Escalade?

The fact of the matter is that the 2011 Escalade has taken power and performance to new levels. Its engine is hard to beat and no luxury SUVs can come close to offering the same level of torque. Its new drivetrain makes it seem like you’re out for a Sunday stroll in the old sedan. Likewise, it offers enough room for the whole family and a comfortable interior.

Why not the 2011 Escalade?

The price is a bit high for some, as they don’t feel as if it offers enough of an upgrade over last year’s model. Likewise, the 14 miles per gallon around town can be somewhat taxing for those who do a lot of shuttling.

*Credit for this review goes to automobile.com*

Popular Mechanics Review

By Kevin A. Wilson

June 15, 2010

Rocky Gap, Md.—Sure, the bottom dropped out of the personal-use commuter truck market, but that won’t happen in the heavy-duty segment of pickups weighing in at over 6000 pounds. These vehicles are tools of the construction and agricultural trades, and they get used for hard towing and hauling massive cargos, demanding periodic replacement despite being built to sturdy standards. There’s no import competition, and the Detroit Three have customarily introduced their new 3/4 and one-ton trucks on a staggered schedule, such that one company or another always had bragging rights as the “newest.”

However, revised federal emissions rules for diesel engines, favored by about 40 percent of the market, pushed the reset button so all three manufacturers have fresh entries in the dealerships now. The Silverado and Sierra, sisters under the skin targeted at different buyers, boast segment-leading diesel power output and, in most trim levels, the industry’s top ratings for towing and cargo capacity. We drove both models, in both gasoline- and diesel-fueled configurations, hauling simulated loads and real trailers over the challenging mountain roads of western Maryland, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

The Specs

Chevy revealed its Silverado 2500 and 3500 HD trucks at the Chicago Auto Show and we told you about the hardware at that time. Final power figures on the 6.6-liter Duramax V8 diesel came in at 397 hp at 3000 rpm and a massive 765 lb-ft at 1500 rpm. That’s 50 hp and 115 lb-ft more than advertised for the 2010 Dodge Ram with its 6.7-liter Cummins inline six-cylinder, first of the new breed to arrive. It’s also 7 hp/30 lb-ft over Ford’s claims for its all-new 6.7-liter Power Stroke V8 as used in the recently introduced F250 and F350 Super Duty models. Although GM marketers wanted to round their figure up to 400 hp, GM has committed to publishing the actual SAE measurements. “It came in at 397, and that’s what we’re using,” says Duramax chief engineer Gary Arvan.

GM says its revamped Duramax is not only more powerful than last year’s 365-hp model and cleaner-burning (with DEF injection), but 11 percent more fuel efficient and up to 50 percent quieter at the most common operating speed of 1500 to 1600 rpm. The claim of 680 miles range on a 36-gallon tank of diesel equates to 18.8 mpg. The engine also will run on B20 biodiesel with a slight decrease in range. GM couples its diesel to a six-speed Allison automatic transmission. (Bare chassis and box-delete models use a version of the diesel that meets certification standards for “incomplete vehicles,” incorporating an EGR system. Output is rated at 335 hp at 3100 rpm and 685 lb-ft of torque at 1600 rpm). It also boasts an exhaust-brake system that creates added backpressure using the variable vanes in the turbocharger, to help manage heavy loads on steep grades.

While attention centers on the redesigned diesel, the standard 6-liter small-block V8 hasn’t been ignored, with its power output up to 360 hp and 380 lb-ft (322 hp and 380 lb-ft in box-delete models or in chassis rated for GVWR over 10,000 lbs)—strong enough to demand that engineers beef up the six-speed Hydramatic 6L90 to take the extra strain.

There’s a lot more than powertrain upgrades going on for 2011, despite the shortage of evidence on the outside. While the HD models share most sheetmetal aside from hood and grille with the light-duty 1500s, and those exterior stampings are unchanged from a year ago, there’s a whole new truck underneath, starting with a fully boxed frame that’s five times stiffer, in terms of torsion, than before. This allowed chassis engineers to improve ride quality even as they upgrade hauling capacity. Unique to the segment is GM’s decision to stay with a fully independent front suspension, albeit a really beefy setup, rather than the solid axle found on competitive trucks. Axle rating on the front end is up 25 percent, and, unlike in previous years, all of GM’s 4×4 HD pickups can now carry a snowplow. Torsion-bar adjustments allow quick changes in the ride height for plow on/off uses.

On the creature-comfort side, GMC has added the upscale Denali trim level to the HD range for the first time. GMC product marketing director Lisa Hutchinson says the Denali version will match up against Ford’s King Ranch models to compete for the handful of personal-use buyers who use such trucks to pull horse trailers or the like. As with King Ranch, a working Denali is likely to be driven by the owner of a construction or agricultural operation. With HD ability, now the boss’s truck can be pressed into duty moving equipment to and from the worksite. Many such trucks are also used as mobile offices, and you don’t need to step up to Denali’s plush accoutrements to opt for the rolling WiFi hotspot abilities offered through GM partner Autonet Mobile.

Heavy-Duty Pickups Test Drive Gallery

The Drive

Specs, shmecs—what are these beasts like on the road? For one, they’re surprisingly civilized, especially for anyone with experience in similar rough-and-ready trucks as recent as two generations ago. Jumping in on the cushy end, we started in a GMC Denali with the gas V8, 4WD and the 2500HD rating (3/4-ton in trucker parlance). Sharing driving and navigating duties on the two-plus-hour drive from the airport in Baltimore to Rocky Gap State Park in mountainous western Maryland—mostly on interstate freeways—we found the ride compliant despite lacking any load in the bed (there were four people in the cab and a couple roll-aboard bags out back under the tonneau, but nothing serious).

“An improved sense of control was a top priority for our customers,” said Rick Spina, a GM vehicle line executive, and the truck delivered that loud and clear on our first drive.

Even rough pavement didn’t jostle the occupants, and when at the wheel, we found the feel of the steering a marked improvement over every HD pickup we’ve ever driven. Later, in back-to-back comparisons with the latest Ford and Dodge competitors, both the GMC Sierra and Chevy Silverado HD trucks provided the best sense of full control of steering and also brake modulation on winding roads through the mountains. During our stints in the back seat both from and, a couple days later, back to the airport, we employed the mobile hotspot to handle email and even Facebook while on the roll. On our return trip, we were in a Silverado pulling a fifth-wheel travel trailer, no less comfortably. Simply managing a laptop keyboard in the backseat of earlier heavy-duty trucks while in motion would be unimaginable—too much banging around to do more than cursory typing, let alone negotiating a touchpad to browse the web. In the 2011 models, however, we were connected and productive on all but the roughest roads.

On the day between airport journeys we went to work in a couple of Silverados, a 2500 and a 3500, the first with ballast representing a near full-capacity load in the bed, and then in the dually with a ton of ballast in the bed and a trailer—a flatbed carrying a compact skid-steer loader that together weighed over 12,500 lbs. Aside from the seriously quiet-running diesel and the relatively soft ride compared to our earlier experiences in heavy-duty trucks, the real revelation was the sense of control offered.

Especially on downgrades, the integration of the exhaust braking effect, the tow/haul mode in the Allison transmission and the engine ECU and—in some circumstances—even the cruise control, we never broke a sweat. This despite navigating roads better suited to lightweight sports cars and on 13 percent grades. The scariest bit came when towing down a steep grade on a slight curve: A semi-tractor with an empty flatbed pulled into our path without so much as a wave of thanks. A single tap on the brake elicited a double downshift from the transmission and a lot of help from the engine (revved up to 3500 rpm, it was plenty audible but not annoyingly loud) to slow the vehicle. The trailer sway control didn’t even step in—to our knowledge, anyway.

A rookie could tow a heavy load in this rig and—if he paid attention to the road and let the phone take messages—arrive safely most anywhere. What’s more, he wouldn’t be worn out from the drive and could get to work right away. Which is really the point of making such trucks easier and more comfortable to drive: a less-fatigued driver is a safer driver and a more useful employee.

The Bottom Line

GM’s weakest link is styling, at least for those customers who put priority on freshness. These are handsome trucks, but if you really want folks to notice you have the latest and greatest, the modest grille/hood changes aren’t likely to do that job (though the louvered GMC hood certainly makes the occupants know it’s there all the time). The Denali is particularly good-looking while avoiding gaudiness, but some folks would want more glitz for the outlay. More significantly, the interiors are essentially the same as those introduced on GM’s trucks four years ago. While functionality is roughly equal, the other guys—most notably Ford—have moved ahead on the cabin environment. The previously unavailable Denali trim helps, but only at the top price.

Still, GM is putting up some strong numbers on the functional side of the game, including 17,000 pounds of conventional towing capacity, 21,700 pounds with a fifth-wheel rig and 6635 pounds payload in a 3500HD or 4192 pounds in a 2500HD. All those are best-in-class.

Note, however, that cargo and towing capacity figures aren’t standardized or regulated—manufacturers set their limits based on internal standards for durability and performance, with the marketing side’s drive to inflate the figures offset by the need to satisfy the customer and maintain reasonable costs on warranty claims. Tow ratings, at least, will be standardized to an SAE-established regime by agreement of the makers beginning in 2014. For today, though, variations of 100 pounds or so in payload or tow rating probably aren’t very meaningful—the margins GM will advertise heavily are mostly bigger than that.

As for the bottom, bottom line, the gas-engine GMC Denali 4×4 crew cab 2500HD we drove had an MSRP of $51,855, with a starting base price at $45,865. The $5000 in options included $2250 for a navigation package, $850 for the 20-inch wheels, $650 for heated and cooled seats, another $150 for a heated steering wheel, $395 for side-impact airbags in the front seating positions and $250 for a power sliding rear window. A base rear-drive Silverado 2500HD with the 6-liter gas-burning V8 and six-speed automatic starts at just under $29,000, including the $995 destination fee. The diesel engine and the required Allison transmission upgrade together cost $8395, an option cost unchanged from 2010. We saw a dually diesel 3500HD with many options that pushed the sticker to just under $60,000. That’s a pretty expensive tool, but when you need it to get the job done, you need it.

So who needs it? Not your mortgage banker anymore, not even if he’s commuting to that office in Dallas, though such folks used to style at the wheel of such trucks as often as they wore cowboy boots and big hats. Genuine oil rig, farming and construction workers all keep America moving from behind the wheel of trucks like these though, and they’ll want new ones long after the profilers have disappeared. Hutchinson and Spina both told us today’s market for new heavy-duty trucks is still soft but rebounding with the economy. As the housing and construction segments recover, pent-up demand for replacements and the improved abilities of the new model will drive sales. “We’re poised to pick up market share as the economy rebounds,” Hutchinson says. As GM emerges from bankruptcy and cash flow loosens up, expect it to invest in some fresh exterior sheetmetal and updated interiors in the years ahead—Chevy and GMC have the hardware underneath handled.

American Hunter Magazine Review

2011 Chevy Silverado HD 4X4 Duramax Diesel

The 2011 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD wins the war on power, torque and towing capability.

By Nick Hromiak

12/20/2010

If high-capacity towing and the ability to carry a heavy payload are necessities, a diesel-powered pickup is the way to go for hunters. And the 2011 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD wins the war on power, torque and towing capability. The new 6.6-liter Duramax V8 diesel under its hood tops the competition with 397 hp and a whopping 765 lb.-ft. of torque at a low 1,600 rpm (up from 365 hp and 660 lb.-ft. on 2010 models).

Combined with an Allison six-speed automatic transmission, the 2500 has enough gusto, it seems, to pull a mobile home off its foundation. This power spike translates into a 17,000-pound towing capacity (up from 13,000 in 2010). Need even more towing capacity? Chevy’s fifth-wheel version is rated for 21,700 pounds, an industry high at the moment. Silverado HD 2500’s payload also has increased and is now rated for up to 4,192 pounds, more than Ford F-250 or Ram 2500, says Chevy. Its GVW garners a 10,000-pound rating.

A host of other improvements and upgrades have been made, too. The new Duramax gets 11 percent better fuel economy over its predecessor, for a range of 680 highway miles. It can run on B20 biodiesel fuel, too, and runs cleaner with a 60 percent reduction in emissions. All this is done without sacrificing performance; the diesel Silverado can do 0-60 in less than nine seconds.

The upgraded front suspension is rated for 6,000 pounds (a consideration when attaching a snow plow), and its independent setup allows each wheel to react individually over rough terrain while keeping each one planted on the road. The rear suspension now has 3-inch-wide leaf springs.

There’s more. A standard new exhaust brake system creates backpressure to slow the vehicle, which reduces brake fade and prolongs brake life. And additional “Auto” grade braking automatically downshifts the transmission to help slow the truck when you apply the brakes while descending long, steep grades which is especially important when towing a heavy trailer.

The 2500 HD is surprisingly smooth for a ¾-ton truck. Shod with LT-285/70R18 Wrangler SR/A tires, the truck rides better than my Explorer Sport. Load the cargo bed with an ATV or hay bales and it rides even better. It’s planted and quiet with only a tad of exterior diesel rattle. With the cab windows closed, it’s hush quiet.

Handling is impressive; however, the long four-door Crew Cab I tested made parking in a tight spot tough. If there’s one option that was missing, it was the rear-view camera system that would ease aligning a trailer coupling. A locking tailgate is needed, too, as they get stolen for resale.
I liked the four chromed tie-down hooks on the top of the bed rails. They fit flush when not needed and pop up for use. There are also four fixed ones on the bottom corners of the fender walls protected with vinyl bed-liner lids.

The sedan-like cabin requires a high, 25.5-inch step-in, but the cloth seats are soft and comfy with decent lateral support. With the huge center console flipped up, there’s room for a third passenger up front. Rear seats, too, are comfortable, set as they are at a comfortable angle. Six occupants can sit comfortably. Flip the 60/40 rear seat bottoms up against the bulkhead and there’s ample room for guns and gear.

The 2500 is available in Regular, Extended and Crew Cab models, and in WT, LT and LTZ trim levels. The base price on my LT was $38,860, which included lots of standard features. The options list included an interior package costing $745; HD trailering package for $780; On-The-Job package (bed liner, protectors, hooks), $495; Duramax diesel, $7,195; six-speed automatic trans, $1,200; 18-inch forged aluminum wheels, $545; and rear window defogger, $175. All told, the sticker price was $50,990, including delivery. With that comes a three-year/36,000-mile warranty, five-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty, five-year/100,000-mile roadside assistance, five-year/100,000-mile courtesy transportation and six-year/100,000-mile corrosion coverage.

Diesel Engine Comparison

Model Engine
HP Torque
2011 Silverado 6.6L Duramax V8 397 hp 765 lb.-ft. torque @ 1,600 rpm
2011 Ford 6.7L Power Stroke V8 390 hp 735 lb.-ft. torque @ 1,600 rpm
2010 Ram 6.7L Cummins I6 350 hp 650 lb.-ft. torque @ 1,500 rpm

Edmonds Review of the 2011 Silverado HD

Current Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD – Edmunds

The Silverado 2500HD is available in regular-, extended- or crew cab designs, with a long or short wheelbase and with rear- or four-wheel drive. The extended and crew-cab body styles are offered in three trim levels: Work Truck, LT and the top-line LTZ. The regular cabin can only be had in Work Truck and LT trims.

Standard on all Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD pickups is a 6.0-liter V8 that makes 360 horsepower and 380 pound-feet of torque, paired to a six-speed automatic transmission. The burly Duramax 6.6-liter turbodiesel V8 that puts out 365 hp and 660 lb-ft of torque is optional. Its standard Allison six-speed automatic is well-suited for towing and hauling large loads.

We placed the last-generation Silverado heavy-duty on top of its Ford and Dodge competitors in a comparison test and have no reason to doubt a similar outcome today. In our experience, the Silverado is now more competent, refined and easier to drive. Although multigenerational brand loyalty may dictate what heavy-duty pickup you take home, sticking with (or switching to) the Silverado 2500HD is a solid decision.

Car and Driver – 2011 Silverado Heavy Duty Reviews

2011 Chevrolet Silverado HD / GMC Sierra HD – First Drive Review

Same skin, new bones. GM completely reworks its workhorses everywhere you can’t see.

BY STEVE SILER
June 2010

Decades ago, passenger cars were redesigned or retouched every year or two, and trucks evolved at a glacial pace. Nowadays, trucks—both pickups and SUVs—have picked up their evolutionary pace, and this includes pickups earmarked for heavy-duty use. Case in point: Three years ago, GM introduced its current Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra HDs, and they’re already being massively upgraded for 2011.It’s interesting, then, that they don’t look any different. GM developed a new, fully boxed ladder frame; beefed-up front and rear suspension components; bigger and better brakes; and a new Duramax diesel engine that offers stratospheric torque and better fuel efficiency. But other than a full-width chrome bumper and the relocation of the fake hood louvers, there is little you can see inside or out that broadcasts to the world that there’s anything new about these trucks.

Is That Some Torque in Your Pocket, or…?

The fact that there’s so little to brag about on the outside is curious because, under the hood, GM is winning the old game of “mine’s bigger” against Ford and Dodge. Although we provided a thorough rundown of what’s new on the 2011 Silverado and Sierra HD back in February, what GM didn’t release then were the all-important horsepower and torque ratings for its slightly revised 6.0-liter Vortec gas V-8 and heavily reworked 6.6-liter Duramax diesel V-8. Only after Ford announced the output figures for its Super Duty pickups in March did GM toss out its own figures: 360 hp and 380 lb-ft of torque for the gasoline V-8 and 397 hp and a monstrous 765 lb-ft for the Duramax turbo-diesel, which comes with a bespoke Allison six-speed automatic transmission. (The gas engine’s peak figures are unchanged from 2010, but the torque curve is broader and efficiency is said to be improved.)

The gas figures place the Vortec V-8 behind the 385 hp and 405 lb-ft of the Super Duty’s new 6.2-liter V-8, as well as the 383 hp and 400 lb-ft of the Ram 2500’s 5.7-liter Hemi. But the Duramax vaults way out in front of the 350 hp and 650 lb-ft of torque of the Ram’s 6.7-liter Cummins inline-six turbo-diesel and even the mighty 390 hp and 735 lb-ft for the Super Duty’s Power Stroke turbo-diesel V-8. So although it’s not an across-the-board smackdown, it can be argued that in the HD world, where diesels are the keys to the kingdom, the Duramax wears the crown.

Additionally, the Silverado 3500 is rated to tow up to 21,700 pounds with a fifth-wheel hitch, whereas the Dodge is rated for 17,600 pounds max. The Ford can pull up to 24,400, albeit only in even burlier 1.5-ton F-450 form. The F-350 tops out at 20,300 pounds. Still, there are few purposes for which 10 tons of towing ability (or the Dodge’s eight tons, for that matter) aren’t enough. The Silverado’s 6635 pounds of bed capacity is equally impressive, although we’re not sure what exactly weighs about as much as a Hummer H2 and can fit in the bed of a pickup.

In reality, disparities of 7 hp and 30 lb-ft among trucks weighing nearly four tons are minute. Unladen, the Ram, the Super Duty, and the GM HDs are equally overqualified for the task of basic transportation. Indeed, lighting up the rear tires in the 2011 Silverado or Sierra is absolutely no problem—GM claims a 0-to-60 time of fewer than nine seconds for the Duramax-powered 2500 and a quarter-mile time of fewer than 16 seconds. Accelerator travel is long, a deliberate decision to allow better management of all that torque, and the engine is amazingly quiet and smooth for such a humongous and powerful oil burner.

Stops and Turns, Too

The adjacent pedal controls a significantly updated system. Much was done for 2011 not only to upgrade the brake hardware but also to enhance the pedal feel. As with the steering, the effort makes the truck feel far more comfortable and, dare we say, more carlike. Diesel models now come standard with a button-actuated exhaust brake, which uses the engine’s compression to slow the vehicle. This is done seamlessly and quite effectively. Even with heavy loads in the bed, the HDs we drove thus equipped required little use of the brake pedal even on some of the steep Appalachian grades we descended on our drive. With the cruise control on, it was a set-it-and-forget-it affair.

The roads we drove were generally silky smooth. We encountered only a few rough patches, which we found to be managed heroically well for such a strong and sturdily sprung truck. Credit the independent front suspension—still a GM exclusive in the HD segment—the asymmetrical leaf springs, and the rock-solid, fully boxed chassis. The steering isn’t too light but rather nicely weighted for a big truck. It’s quite precise, too, with a semblance of life on center—something of a rarity in the HD-truck segment.

Specifications

VEHICLE TYPE: front-engine, rear- or 4-wheel-drive, 2–6-passenger, 2-, 2+2-, or 4-door pickup

BASE PRICE: $28,460

ENGINE TYPES: pushrod 16-valve V-8, iron block and aluminum heads, port fuel injection; turbocharged and intercooled pushrod 32-valve diesel V-8, iron block and aluminum heads, direct fuel injection

Displacement: 364 cu in, 5967 cc (gas)/403 cu in, 6599 cc (diesel)
Power (SAE net): 360 bhp @ 5400 rpm (gas)/397 hp @ 3000 rpm (diesel)
Torque (SAE net): 380 lb-ft @ 4200 rpm (gas)/765 lb-ft @ 1600 rpm (diesel)

TRANSMISSION: 6-speed automatic with manumatic shifting

DIMENSIONS:
Wheelbase: 133.6–167.7 in
Length:
225.0–259.0 in
Width: 80.0–95.9 in Height: 77.2–78.3 in
Curb weight (mfr’s est): 5800–7900 lb

PERFORMANCE (C/D EST):
Zero to 60 mph: 7.8–8.4 sec
Standing ¼-mile: 15.8–16.2 sec

FUEL ECONOMY:
EPA city/highway driving: not available

2011 Chevy Corvette Review by Edmunds

What Edmunds.com says

When it comes to performance, the base model of the 2011 Chevrolet Corvette is one of the world’s best bargains. The Corvette Z06 has one of the world’s best engines, while the ZR1 is one of the world’s best sports cars, period. The Corvette’s only disappointment is an interior that doesn’t live up to the rest of the car.

Pros

Tremendous acceleration; glorious mechanical soundtrack; handles like a sports car yet comfortable; large trunk.

Cons

Not as agile as some of its competitors; old-fashioned interior; Z06 and ZR1 models lack styling distinction.

What’s New for 2011

For 2011 the Chevrolet Corvette Z06 is now available with a new Ultimate Performance option package (“Z07”), which incorporates the Corvette ZR1’s adaptive suspension and wheel-and-tire fitment. A Carbon Fiber package is also new for the Z06 that adds the lightweight bodywork pieces of the ZR1. Other notable changes this year include upgraded tires for the Z06; option package for the Corvette Grand Sport that combines Z06 tires with ZR1’s Magnetic Ride Control suspension; and the addition of a USB port and auxiliary audio jack for the navigation system. Finally, the Corvette Engine Build Experience option allows a Z06 or ZR1 buyer to help assemble the car’s engine at the GM facility in Wixom, Michigan.

2011 Chevrolet Corvette Review — Edmunds.com

Introduction

The 2011 Chevrolet Corvette is pretty much the automotive equivalent of a summer action movie. Lots of noise, lots of action, lots of sexy bodywork, but not all that sophisticated in terms of plot. For some, this could be enough to head over to the local art cinema for something German with English subtitles. But for us, the Corvette still represents great automotive fun, even with the big explosions and silly dialogue.

Naturally, the Corvette’s special effects are directly related to what’s under the hood. Even the base coupe and convertible come with a thumping 6.2-liter V8 good for 430 horsepower. From here you can move up to the Z06, which is the racetrack-oriented model that gains a 7.0-liter V8 cranking out 505 hp. Then there’s the ZR1, which sees your Rambo and raises him by a Terminator, because it has a supercharged V8 that flexes its biceps to the tune of 638 hp.

The current-generation Corvette (it debuted in 2005) is getting a bit familiar, but Chevy has been doing its best to keep this sports car fresh. Last year it introduced the Grand Sport, which created an intermediate step between the base Corvette and the Z06. This time around, Chevy has come up with a new package to fill the gap between the Z06 and ZR1. Basically, selecting the Ultimate Performance package (commonly referred to as the Z07 package) for your Z06 gets you the ZR1’s trick adaptive suspension and grippier Michelin tires. It’s a move of which we wholly approve, since the result represents the Corvette at its best when it comes to handling, yet the package is also priced with some sense of affordability.

Unfortunately the Corvette’s underlying weaknesses still remain, the most notable one being its ho-hum interior, which gets more disappointing the higher up the ‘Vette food chain you go. And if you do indeed prefer your cars with more sophistication, this leaves the door open for other choices like the BMW M3, Nissan GT-R and the Porsche Boxster/Cayman and 911. On the cheaper end, Ford’s 2011 Shelby GT500 is a very worthy competitor to a base Corvette. At the end of the day, though, America loves its summer action movies, and that puts the Corvette in a very good place indeed.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2011 Chevrolet Corvette is available as a coupe with a removable roof panel, a fixed-roof coupe or a convertible. Trim levels include the base Corvette, Grand Sport (GS), Z06 and ZR1. The fixed-roof body style is exclusive to the Z06 and ZR1.

Standard on the base (1LT) coupe and convertible are 18-inch front cast-aluminum wheels and 19-inch rears, xenon headlamps, cruise control, keyless ignition/entry, full power accessories, OnStar, leather seating, a six-way power driver seat, a manual tilt steering wheel and dual-zone automatic climate control. The standard seven-speaker audio system includes a CD/MP3 player, satellite radio, steering-wheel-mounted controls and an auxiliary audio jack.

The 2LT Package adds Bluetooth and power, leather-upholstered sport seats with power-adjustable lumbar support and supportive side bolsters. The convertible gets a power-operated top with the 2LT package. More equipment can be found on the 3LT, including a head-up display, a power telescoping steering column with manual tilting, heated seats, driver memory settings and a Bose audio system. The top-level Corvette 4LT is similar to the 3LT but adds an exclusive two-tone leather interior (with leather covering the dash top, the console storage cover and the more thickly padded armrests).

The GS is available as a coupe or convertible with the same four equipment packages and then adds a sport-tuned suspension, vents in the front fenders, appearance stripes on the front fenders, wider front and rear fenders, a front splitter and rear wing, unique alloy wheels, upgraded brakes and tires, specific manual-transmission gear ratios and a specific rear axle ratio on automatic-equipped models.

The coupe-only Z06 largely mirrors the base and GS models in terms of feature availability, but gains a race-inspired 7.0-liter V8, the more muscular rear fenders and other bodywork, a lighter frame and body panels, a stiffer suspension, big brakes and special seats.

The top-of-the line ZR1 boasts a supercharged V8, even larger wheels (19-inch front, 20-inch rear), special tires, carbon-ceramic brakes, adaptive dampers and additional lightweight body panels that include a carbon-fiber roof panel and a carbon-fiber hood with a clear polycarbonate window that reveals the engine’s intercooler.

New this year is the Ultimate Performance package for the Z06 that adds the ZR1’s adaptive dampers, carbon-ceramic brakes, wheels and tires. Further ZR1 imitation comes from the Z06’s Carbon Fiber package, which adds most of the ZR1’s lightweight panels.

Major stand-alone options include (depending on the model) a navigation system, transparent roof panel for the coupe, two-tone interior, six-disc CD changer (not available with navigation), dual-mode exhaust system and different wheels. For base and GS Corvettes, there is also an optional Magnetic Ride Control suspension that automatically adjusts the firmness of the damping according to the way the car is being driven.

Powertrains and Performance

Both the base and GS feature a 6.2-liter V8 that cranks out 430 hp and 424 pound-feet of torque. The optional dual-mode exhaust adds another 6 hp and 4 lb-ft. The Z06 boasts an exotic-class 505 hp and 470 lb-ft from its 7.0-liter V8, while the ZR1 has an otherworldly 638 hp and 604 lb-ft of torque pumping from its supercharged 6.2-liter V8. All 2011 Chevrolet Corvettes have a six-speed manual gearbox with launch control as standard, while a six-speed automatic with paddle shifters is a no-cost option for the base and GS models.

Regardless of which Corvette you choose, you’ll get stunning performance. In our testing, a base coupe went from a standstill to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds. The Z06 will knock that down to 3.9 seconds. The ZR1 isn’t much quicker to 60 mph with a run of 3.8 seconds due to traction limitations, but it’s capable of a much quicker time in the quarter-mile.

EPA fuel economy estimates stand at a laudable 16 mpg city/26 mpg highway and 19 mpg combined for a manual-transmission Corvette. Opting for the automatic drops these numbers by 1 mpg. The Z06 checks in at 15/24/18 mpg, and the ZR1 garners a still-respectable 14/20/16 rating.

Safety

Antilock disc brakes and side airbags are standard. Side curtain airbags are not available.

The Corvette’s special “Active Handling” stability control system has been tuned to engage in a soft, noninvasive way that doesn’t panic you. The Corvette’s stability control also includes a Competition mode that gives the expert driver more leeway for aggressive dynamics while still maintaining an effective safety net. The ZR1 gets the even more sophisticated Performance Traction Management system.

Interior Design and Special Features

The Corvette’s interior is certainly functional, and Chevrolet has been offering upgraded interior appointments for a few years now, yet the overall interior quality still leaves something to be desired. Step out of a BMW M3 or a Nissan GT-R and into a ‘Vette and you’ll likely find the Chevy’s trim pieces, controls and steering wheel to be disappointing.

The front seats are comfortable but we still find them flimsy, while the bolsters prove far from supportive during fast driving. While the affordable price of a base Corvette seems to excuse such things, the Z06 and ZR1 play in a more demanding market. On the bright side, the Vette’s large gauges and remarkable cargo capacity (22 cubic feet in coupes and 11 cubes in the convertible) make it a sports car that’s easy to live with on a day-to-day basis.

Driving Impressions

No question here: The 2011 Chevrolet Corvette can bring the heat. The base car is extremely fast: the Z06, terrifyingly so. As for the ZR1, any car whose speed at the end of the quarter-mile approaches 130 mph is just in a different league — the ballyhooed Nissan GT-R trails the ZR1 by a full 10 mph here. Top to bottom, the Corvette stable has enough broad-shouldered eight-cylinder force to satisfy even the most depraved speed fiend. Nor does this hamper drivability, as all Corvette models are pretty easy and comfortable to drive around town.

Compared to a car like the M3, the Corvette’s steering can indeed seem a bit deficient in terms of communication. Thanks to their upgraded suspensions and tires, though, the ZR1 and Z06 (with the Ultimate Performance package) are noticeably better in this regard. The Vette’s brakes are strong and fade-free, especially the available carbon-ceramic binders, and grip from the enormous tires is, well, enormous. However, the Chevy Corvette still feels less nimble than it should when driven on tight, curvy roads.

2011 Chevy Equinox Review by automobile.com

Review

After last year’s significant and needed improvements to the Equinox, Chevy releases the 2011 model with few new changes. Still doing well in fuel savings thanks to the new engine configurations, the Equinox remains a capable performer that provides a good, capable and comfortable ride no matter which of the two engine choices you choose from. For 2011 the tried and true formula returns with a few methods of triumph over the competition.

Specifications

Few changes can be found in the 2011 Chevrolet Equinox – but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. With a starting MSRP of around $23,700, the Equinox is competitively priced within its class. Two robust engines – a four-cylinder and a V6 – offer decent power. Front wheel drive comes standard on the Equinox, while all wheel drive is available at additional cost. For most people, the 2011 Equinox has more than enough power and capability.

Specs for the 2011 Chevrolet Equinox are expected as follows:

  • Pricing: Specific prices will not be available until just before the 2011 models begin to sell late in 2010, but the price should remain similar to the $23,700 starting price for the base 2010 model.
  • Engine: A 2.4-liter Ecotec I-4 gives 182 horsepower which is fairly strong for a four cylinder. Also available is a V6 3.0-liter which gives 264 horsepower.
  • Transmission:A six-speed automatic transmission controls both engines.
  • Fuel Economy: 22 miles per gallon city and 32 on the highway is very impressive in this class of vehicle, beating even the Ford Escape hybrid.
  • Car Safety Features: Standard traction and stability control, antilock disc brakes, front seat side airbags and side curtain airbags work together to give the 2010 Equinox a perfect five out of five stars in government crash tests and four out of five stars for the rollover rating.
  • Warranty: Chevrolet’s warranty is for 3-years/36,000 miles.

IntelliChoice 5-Year Cost of Ownership rating for the 2010 Equinox came out as “Above Average” to “Excellent” across most trims.

Exterior Features

The exterior design of the new Equinox has been described as “bold yet classy” featuring soft but not effeminate curves and a sophisticated look to it. Standard wheel size is 17-inch alloys with an option for a 19-inch alloy wheel upgrade. The Equinox features a one-piece rear liftgate, a single-horizontal-bar grille, raked-forward stance and an overall clean look.

Interior Features

Style is the order of the day for the 2011 Equinox with a two-tone color scheme availability, dual-cowl dashboard and clear and clean controls throughout. Chevrolet stepped away from the standard styling that you might expect for interior controls and has instead, produced a sleek styling for all of them that is refreshing.

The Equinox is a fairly large vehicle, and that makes for plenty of interior room both in the front and in the backseat which is capable of sliding forward or reclining. The cargo space offered, however, is not on part with the extra size of the car, being limited to just under 64 cubic feet when the rear seats are folded down. This is less than you can find in the Toyota RAV4 or Honda CR-V which are both smaller vehicles, but still more than you will get on the Ford Escape.

Other than strange-looking housings that give off a confusing vibe, the inside of the 2011 Chevrolet Equinox is well appointed and comfortable. Soft blue ambient lighting is subtle enough to be classy – not overbearing. The controls are laid out in an intuitive way, and the central stack is generally attractive. More importantly, materials quality is absolutely first-rate. You aren’t going to find a lot of cheap plastics or unthoughtful touches inside the Equinox.

Performance

You wouldn’t expect to get much performance out of a I-4 engine in a vehicle as large as the 2011 Equinox, but surprisingly, this engine provides adequate acceleration. The cabin is quiet for driving and the ride is comfortable on the 17-inch wheels.

On the Road

Cruising around the city in a 4-cylinder-equipped 2011 Chevrolet Equinox is pleasant. The engine is just powerful enough to make this car cruise along without a whole lot of effort. On the freeway, though, it’s a whole other story. If you plan to be on the freeway a lot, the V6 is probably your best bet. At 4,000 pounds, the Equinox is bulky enough to struggle a bit, even with the V6. Still, handling is wonderfully responsive and steering is, for the most part, great. The vast majority of drivers will feel that the Equinox is more than sufficient.

Under the Hood

The 2.4-liter 4-cylinder base engine on the 2011 Chevrolet Equinox produces 182 horsepower and 172 pound-feet of torque. The 3.0-liter V6 gets 264 horsepower and 222 pound-feet of torque. Either way, you’re getting a pretty good dose of power. A 6-speed automatic transmission is the only available option; however, it includes a floor lever that lets you shift as if it’s a manual. The suspension is extremely well calibrated, lending the car a smooth, stately ride. It doesn’t hurt that several European design elements have been included.

Pros

There’s a whole lot to love about the 2011 Chevrolet Equinox. Seating is comfortable and supportive; headroom and legroom abound, in the front and in the back. An abundance of cup holders, bins and other storage features make it easy to stay organized while driving this crossover. Even the base trim level boasts a vast array of standard features, adding to the great deal that the vehicle brings to the table.

Cons

Like any vehicle, the 2011 Chevrolet Equinox does have its downfalls. At 63.7 cubic feet – with all of the seats folded down – cargo capacity is a little disappointing. Furthermore, the backseat doesn’t drop all the way down; you can’t create a truly flat cargo area in the back of the Equinox. Lackluster power – especially with the 4-cylinder engine – can’t cope with the car’s incredible heft and bulk. These flaws shouldn’t be deal-breakers for drivers who are sold on the crossover’s style, size and affordability.

Cadillac CTS-V Sport Wagon: First Drive

Credit for this post goes to: Matt Hardigree with jalopnik.com

Get your sports car outta the way of this Cadillac CTS-V Sport Wagon. I’ll outrun you, and then, when you’re crying about it, I’ll offer you a tissue from the jumbo Kleenex box I’ve just picked up from Costco.

Cadillac CTS-V

Looks great and man does it drive nice

Each CTS-V variant (wagon, coupe and sedan) is a leather-wrapped cruise missile targeted with laser precision at those still insisting America can’t beat the world’s best, let alone be the world’s best.

But given the choice, we’re taking the one with the big ass.

If an M1 Abrams tank is to a Roman chariot what Dallas Cowboys Stadium is to your middle school soccer field, do you really need to question why Cadillac built a CTS-V Sport Wagon?

The engineers at GM went out of their way to make the V-Wagon as much like the sedan as possible, and were unwilling to call the vehicle a “V” if they had to make any compromises. Looking the part was easy given how much sheet metal it shares with the sedan. Swallowing the same 6.2-liter supercharged and intercooled V8, which enthusiastically pumps out an identical 556 hp and 551 lb-ft of torque across the range, wasn’t much of a challenge either.

Where the engineers had to work was in the suspension department. The CTS-V coupe and sedan regularly bitchslap Sir Isaac Newton with their magnetorheolgical dampers, but if similarly aligned in the wagon they’d end up poking through a support in the cargo space. A tiny laser-cut hole, as well a slightly smaller anti-sway bar, helped give the Sport Wagon the same handling prowess it needed to be a true V.

All told, the Sport Wagon will hit a top speed of 190 mph and lunge to 60 mph from a dead start in 4.0 seconds, making it quicker by four-tenths than the Shelby GT500 and on par with a Tesla Roadster (neither of which can haul a small refrigerator). There’s torque everywhere, meaning you can throw down in any gear.

At $62K a piece, all three variants are supposed to be equal, but that won’t stop many from arguing the

CTS-V Wagon

Perfection in a Wagon

CTS-V Coupe is the real halo vehicle for the brand. These people are wrong. Or old. Lots of companies will sell you a high-powered 2+2 coupe. Only Cadillac is audacious enough to offer America a wagon this fast.

And audacity, as we all know, is the one true quality that sets America apart from the rest of the world.

Laguna Seca is a holy place. You’ve got to drive across a mountain pass into the clouds to get there. Pulling through the front gate it was like entering heaven… if heaven had a nicely catered buffet and the Michelin Man waiting for you.

Ten years ago there wouldn’t have been a single Cadillac sedan you’d have even considered taking into the parking lot of this track. Now there’s a wagon from the General’s luxury brand designed to tame it.

After a few orientation laps, including a remarkably poor one with a producer from Motorweek I’m relieved has a sense of humor about our recent jokes at their expense, I head back out to the track with the intention of proving, if only to myself, that having five doors isn’t a disability.

Around turn four all the CTS-V’s remarkable dynamics are there. A touch of understeer gives way to an easily controlled swing of the ass accomplished with a righteous application of acceleration. The wagon adheres to the time-honored horsepower maxim: In thrust we trust. With the stability control set to “competition mode” it’ll do this all day without letting you get too far out. If someone turns all the nannies off without telling you, as happened to me, you can rotate the hatch all the way around.

Up the hill I quickly climb close to 110 mph then scrub some speed before slamming on the brakes into the corkscrew. Contemplate that for a moment. This isn’t a Lotus. In fact, at 4,390 pounds of luxurious weight, it’s more like two Elises, yet there’s so much power available it can drag you it into the sky with ungodly speed.

One thing I should probably mention at this point: If you’ve only driven Laguna Seca in a video game like Forza 3, it’s really built on the side of a hill. This means that you’re dropping all that mass down the slope of a track that feels like a cliff. However, even on a too-fast lap, the Sport Wagon never bottoms out. Its unpronounceable dampers keep it as taut as a USC Song Girl with an addiction to crunches.

Cadillac offers six-speeds in both automatic and manual flavors, and sadly, most will probably choose the former. There’s nothing wrong with it, except it’s just not as tight as the sublimely straightforward six-speed twin-disc manual that shifts like a hot suede-handled knife through butter.

If there’s one part of the car that eventually gave out after repeated laps it was the brakes, which finally tired of the abuse we’d given them. But only after dozens of hot laps did the giant Brembos start spewing smoke and exhibiting a touch of fade. A couple of cool-down laps and they were again ready to take more clamping.

At some point, the CTS-V Sport Wagon’s going to end up at the Nurbürgring and it’s going to put down a time close enough to the sedan to prove a little added weight and a lot of extra sex appeal don’t contribute to anything less than the world’s most fearsome production station wagon.

Every time someone comes out with a quick vehicle that’s even slightly subdued in the looks department it’s hailed as a “Q-ship” in honor of the Anglo-American naval practice of arming cargo ships to look like regular merchant vessels so they can surprise and kill some lazy Germans.

This cliche term’s been used to describe everything from a Honda Accord V6 to a Mazdaspeed3. Both times by Motor Trend. In the same article. Those are not Q-Ships. The former isn’t deadly and the latter isn’t stealthy.

We’ve already covered how the CTS-V wagon will kill you, but now it’s time to get into how it’s stealthy. Up front you’ll maybe notice the power bulge (as small as they can get away with) and the spaced out grille (those intercoolers need air). The exaggerated-yet-subdued rocker panels from the CTS-V sedan are also present along the side.

But if you’re driving it correctly people won’t get a chance to see much of these angles. They’ll see the rear. And the rear is identical to the CTS Sport Wagon with the V6, which means exhaust tips are the same diameter. This was done as a money-saving measure, but the result is great. Other than the slightly lower stance and giant PS2 Michelins poking around the rear fascia, it looks stock.

This doesn’t mean you can’t make it scream power. They’re offering both yellow Brembo calipers and black wheels, and I promise you someone will buy white-on-black-on-yellow. It’ll look great, but those who end up with a silver V-Wagon with black/silver rotors will fly off into the distance leaving so many 370Z owners scratching their heads.

Show me another car with more than 550 lb-ft of torque that doesn’t look like its got more than 550 lb-ft of torque.

The Cadillac CTS-V Sport Wagon almost didn’t happen. First, the bean counters killed it. Then the Carpocalypse killed it. When GM emerged from bankruptcy each division was given a green light to resurrect old projects. Completing the CTS-V triumvirate with a wagon was at the top of then Product Czar Bob Lutz’s list for Cadillac.

Cadillac’s not saying how many they need to build to turn a profit, but I believe they’re being honest when they say it doesn’t really matter. How many times do you have to go into space to be an astronaut? How many times do you have to bed a Victoria’s Secret Angel to claim you had sex with a supermodel?

The day I’m driving the CTS-V Wagon with a select group of automotive journalists is also the same day GM launched the world’s biggest IPO. It’s the next step in freeing itself from the psychological burden of a government bailout.

Since the world would’ve likely been deprived this wagon without it, I’m declaring “Mission Accomplished.”