2010 Cadillac CTS-V: Stealing hearts and saving GM
It was an easy decision. I could take a train to New York from Union Station in the District, or I could drive there from my home in Northern Virginia.
The weather was beautiful throughout the mid-Atlantic and Northeast. The car, the 2010 Cadillac CTS-V sedan, was beyond tempting. After a week of driving it in Virginia, there was no way I would sacrifice a last chance behind its wheel by choosing a train.
There were the usual objections from my two-member support team, who've become increasingly fussy about my taking long, solo road trips since I've crossed into my sixth decade.
My wife, Mary Anne, insisted that I go by train. "You'll only be there for one day," she said. Ria Manglapus, my associate for vehicle evaluations at The Washington Post, agreed.
I appreciated their concern but suspected ulterior motives. Mary Anne, who has a passion for high-performance cars, drove the CTS-V every chance she got. Ria, another muscle-car nut, was deprived of time behind the CTS-V's wheel because of Mary Anne's enthusiasm. Leaving the car at home for a day or two before its scheduled pickup would have satisfied them both.
I couldn't do it.
I've loved Cadillac's CTS cars since their introduction in 2002 as 2003 models. I had watched their development from concept to prototype to manufacture for retail. I had long believed that they would be the cars that signaled a rebirth of GM's Cadillac Division and GM itself.
GM's turnaround proved tougher than that. It included ego-bruising bailouts from the federal government and a trip through the purgatory of federal bankruptcy court.
But what I believed about the significance of the CTS cars proved correct. They demonstrated a welcome new attitude at GM -- a willingness to take risks, to produce a car that generates passion pro and con, and whose overall quality and road performance tops the best the global automobile industry has to offer.
Proof of market acceptance was demonstrated by sharply rising CTS sales from 2002 to 2005 and continued strong sales for the model line during the fuel and financial crises in the latter part of the decade.
The CTS automobiles, offered with real-wheel and all-wheel drive, include sedans, coupes, station wagons and this week's subject model, the high-performance CTS-V.