I attended the Cadillac V-Series Performance Lab invitational event at Monticello Motor Club - Monticello, New York. As they say, timing is everything and this was a perfect time for me in being able to evaluate Cadillac’s new CTS Coupe for purchase. I have a small break in my travel schedule in preparation for our new company launch in October. I also thought to myself, this is a perfect opportunity to connect up with my new CEO on cars. So, I contacted her and ask if she would be interested in attending a Cadillac event showing the new Cadillac CTS Coupe. She responded that it sounded like fun and she said I have never been at a track before. I explained that I was attending with the intent to engage performance test drives of the new Cadillac CTS Coupe and V Series models and I was looking forward to this and would make all of the arrangements.
Separately, I had a small problem; she did not have an invitation for this Cadillac event. So, I contacted Cadillac customer service and explained that I wanted to invite an additional guest to the Cadillac V-Series Performance Lab, the CEO of a private investment company. The following morning, I received an email indicating that Cadillac approved her attendance and an email will be sent to her as an invited guest of Cadillac.
The event I attended began at 7:30am and concluded at 12:30. This Cadillac event was excellent in providing participants with brief class information regarding basic racing physics and Cadillac's 556 hp performance engine, MRC, Brembo and StabiliTrak systems to enable Cadillac V Series cars to provide world class race track performance and street luxury everyday travel.
There were three presentation and test drive sessions. First, the kickoff meeting with the head of Cadillac Marketing providing a brief overview of Cadillac’s V Series mission and the press reviews of the Cadillac’s second generation CTS V Series sedan. He noted something that I was not aware of, maybe others here on GMI who track these measures would have known, that Cadillac has sold more CTS V Series sedans than BMW’s M5. Then he stated Cadillac’s has sold more CTS V Series sedans than Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG. And finally said, Cadillac to date we have sold more Cadillac CTS V Series sedans than BMW’s M5 and Mercedes-Benz’s E63 AMG combined and the room full of attendees responded with applause.
Following this session we divided into with three groups and my group left the club house in new Cadillac CTS Coupes where we attended our first lab classroom session. This session discussed the basics of racing physics, Understeer, Oversteer and tire traction. Immediately following we were assigned to race track instructors and we completed acceleration and braking test at full throttle in the CTS Coupe.
After this we leave this area of the track and travel to another section and attended another brief lab discussion on the physics of braking and steering and Cadillac’s MRC, Brembo and StabiliTrak systems. And now we again pair off with our race track instructors in Cadillac CTS V Series sedans and at full throttle perform emergency stops and negotiate a slalom course.
We again leave this area and return to the club house and attend our last session before getting on to the race track for a full test drive of the CTS Coupe V Series. A final instruction regarding driving on the track some safety information and most critical, the selection of your Cadillac CTS Coupe V Series and I selected a manual configuration.
We again team up with our race track instructor and we head out for a review of the test track with the instructor in the driver seat explaining the use of key cones placed for us where we should point our cars on the track. We then return and exchange positions and the ultimate fun begins. I head out in first gear and I comment to my instructor, “I have not driven a manual in while”. He responds, “No problem, once we are underway you will be in third gear for the duration of the course”. Once I was on the track heading into the curves and accelerating and braking I found there is so much torque with the CTS Coupe V Series, he was correct, I never left third gear. After my third lap it was time for me to return, but I really did not want to.
I had two missions for this event, to demonstrate the exotic style, world class performance character of Cadillac and the absolute power of Cadillac design to my CEO and be able to perform my detail evaluation of the CTS Coupe/V Series. I could not have planned it better; the day went off without a hitch. At the end of the event, I was able to spend the time driving back to Connecticut discussing her impression of Cadillac and her impression of Cadillac’s CTS Coupe/V Series. She quickly responded. “This is the most fun I have had at a car event and I can see how people become addicted to the performance of these cars.” I commented it is one the best I have attended as well. She said, “I must admit, I understood your fondness for Cadillac, considering your XLR, but I did not realize all that went into these cars. I was really impressed with Leann (her race track instructor) and I plan to complete the driving course as she has suggested. This really opens one’s eyes to the skill required and pure fun in driving these cars, thank you for arranging this.”
Well, it was evident she was impressed with the day’s event as I was. I said, “I am thinking very seriously of Cadillac’s CTS Coupe V Series for purchase as my company car when my contract becomes final.” I have also decided on the color, Thunder Gray (ChromalFlair Pigment) with Ebony interior all optioned”. She responded, “I would have guessed that of you prior to coming to this event. But now I understand why you are so positive of Cadillac. I am very persuaded in favor of Cadillac. Thanks again that was so much fun.”
Prior to leaving, I spent a little time with the Cadillac reps asking specific questions regarding the CTS Coupe and CTS Coupe V Series models. And my impression regarding Cadillac’s direction is very clear for the V Series line, it will be expanded as new Cadillac models are announced.
All in all a fun day with Cadillac's V Series team. I recall seeing other GMI members were invited to this Cadillac event. Please provide your feedback and your impression.