Cadillac CTS-V Coupe Black Diamond Edition – review

All that glitters is as good as gold

By Shahzad Sheikh

The Black Diamond edition of the Cadillac CTS-V Coupe shimmers spectacularly when it catches the light just so. What you are seeing is a specialised tri-coat paint that is said to be embedded with SpectraFlair Bright Silver pigment. What that means is that there aluminium flakes in a glass-like substance called magnesium fluoride. So no diamonds at all really. Hmm… perhaps I shouldn’t have bothered scraping a few layers of paint off the rear fender then…

It also gets satin graphite 19-inch wheels with yellow Brembo brakes – though I reckon they should also have been in black to keep the mean attitude.

Other than that though, this is a fairly standard CTS-V Coupe – well actually there’s nothing ‘fairly standard’ about one of them: a 6.2-litre supercharged (twin four-lobe Roots-type unit generating maximum boost of 9.0 psi or 62.1 kPa) V8 (the LSA engine based on the LS9 from the Corvette ZR1!), producing 556bhp and 551lb ft of torque (747NM in new money!)

All that monstrous might is channelled to the rear wheels through a conventional six-speed automatic (or a six-speed Tremec manual short-throw manual box if it was me signing the order form). And it all rides on MagneRide technology using magnetorheological fluid which has also been adopted by Ferrari. Steering is pure speed-sensing hydraulic-assist rack-and-pinion with a ratio of 16.1:1. It wears 255/40ZR19 and 285/35ZR19 boots on the front and rear.

You want performance? You can’t handle the performance – 0-100kph in 4 seconds dead and top speed of 282kph (and that’s been limited).

As you may have gathered by now, I truly love the CTS-V both in saloon and coupe guise. The main reason being that nothing on the new market can really match it for the money. AED295,000 ($80,400) for either the CTS-V saloon or Coupe and that puts it out of reach of all its rivals. No other manufacturer offers luxury level power for that money (a Jaguar XFR is AED400k, an M5 is AED600k, even an M3 is around AED350k.

The performance is breathtaking, even more astonishing is how good the handling is – this thing will hang with a Nissan GTR on a twisty road – believe me I know. There aren’t many electronics, but what little there is, you should leave on, despite the off button actually sitting enticingly on the steering wheel itself. For anything other than low speed drifts, donuts or burnouts, keep it enabled, otherwise 551lb ft will certainly get your into serious trouble.

But for my driving style, the more connected more old-skool feel of this car, suits perfectly. And the ride is remarkably good – nowhere near as stiffly sprung as you might have expected.

There are downsides of course – the interior is still smart, you can’t complain about the leather and microfiber suede inserts for the Recaro seats, nor the Midnight Sapele wood trim, but it is beginning to show its age compared to rivals, especially when it comes to electronics and interfaces – hello, Bluetooth?

If you need to carry rear passengers opt for the good-looking saloon (though it’s not quite as striking as the blocky yet rakish Coupe), the standard auto struggles to keep up a little (but then I would go for the much more satisfying manual anyway) and possibly the biggest issue, is that the engine note is quite subdued in pursuit of refinement one suspects. You might have been expecting AMG-style violence, instead you get a futuristic whine and drone.

But these minor reservations aside, you are looking at just about the most desirable Caddy currently on sale. This is a car that exudes American confidence and is actively seeking a brawl with those pretentious Europeans. All it needs to stay ahead of the game is a better autobox and an improved interior, whilst keeping that fiercely competitive price.

As for the Black Diamond edition, for this year it’s not a cost-extra special edition, it’s just a paint option. And the paintwork is gorgeous of course, but for me personally the regular ‘Black Raven’ body colour would do fine, or perhaps the Mocha Steel Metallic. I’d avoid the white, red and possibly the blue, this car needs to be serious, mean and moody. And if you listen to me, which you won’t, go for the manual gearbox.

Cadillac CTS-V Coupe
Price: AED295,000 ($80,400)
Engine: 6162cc, V8, 556bhp @ 6100, 551lb ft @ 3800
Performance: 0-100kph 4.0seconds, 282kph, 14.6L/100km
Transmission: six-speed auto, rear-wheel drive
Weight: 1965kg

Shahzad’s verdict: This one’s a rough-cut diamond for sure

One response to “Cadillac CTS-V Coupe Black Diamond Edition – review”

  1. I love Cadillac CTS 🙂 , hope you visit my web page too !

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