Life of a jobless car lover
General Motors dropped their flagship 4 door sedan/saloon, the Cadillac CTS-V last week, with a sound somewhat similar to a certain male appendage (of considerable length and girth) landing on a cheap table. And why wouldn’t you be proud of 478kw (640bhp), 630lb-ft of torque and a top speed in excess of 320km/h? They are after all, some mighty fine numbers for a vehicle in this class, or any class for that matter.
There is no doubt in my mind that this will be a fantastic car. But it will be the hype and the comparisons by Automotive Journalists from around the world that I’m looking forward to the most. Will it stand up to the Germans? Will it finally be the car that takes it to the BMW M5? Perhaps the Mercedes Benz E63 AMG is the one that will not be able to match the American’s latest effort. Does the Audi RS6/7 have what it takes to keep up?
Let’s not forget that the Brits with the Jaguar XFR-S have been barking quite loudly up that tree lately and so will the Japanese in the form of the new Lexus GS-F. If we can call it that.
There is absolutely nothing new about anyone chasing the big three Germans in this 4 door Sedan/Saloon class. They have been out on their own for such a long time that they seem to always just get lumped together like I’m doing now. So why is this different? Well, the last CTS-V was good, very good, in fact, if it was any better it would have been one hell of a contender. Well, I’m guessing this new one is better, which means that there are going to be some very interesting comparisons.
At first I thought that this was going to be a cut and dry case of “Hometown pride” leading the way, but alas!! There are many writers (and presenters) out there that aren’t so easily swayed (thankfully). As much as I would like to think that all writers that are doing comparisons are as objective as they can be about the details of the vehicles in said comparison. It’s the subjective opinion at the end that usually finds the winner between closely matched vehicles. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of ways to compare cars by the numbers. Price, Power and Fuel Economy are but a few of the numbers that you may take in to consideration when comparing a Honda Accord with a Toyota Camry. To most people these cars are just a mode of transport, a tool to get from point A to point B, so when comparing them, it’s mostly about which one suits the needs and/or budget of a Non Motoring Enthusiast (NME).
The CTS-V, M5, E63 and RS6/7 aren’t for NME’s. They’re built for people that have feelings about the cars that they drive, they create emotional attachments to the machines they drive/desire, but foster a deep disdain of the direct competitor of the very same vehicle. There is mostly no rhyme or reason for the likes and dislikes of certain vehicles in the automotive world (Viper anyone?) and yet here are a group of cars, the pinnacle of their class, built especially for these people. Then, compared by these types of people. So yes, there is going to be some bias, yes there is going to be some preconceived ideas about how these comparisons are going to go. Arguments will ensue. Simply because this battle is all about the enthusiast. These cars are designed to elicit emotions from the driver, everything from the way they look to the way they sound, so each of them is going to effect different people in different ways. Frankly, I think the real winner will be anyone that gets to drive any or all of these vehicles.
My advice for wading through the hundreds of reviews: Try to establish which side of the fence the writer is coming from before they reach their conclusion. Are they rooting for the underdog to knock off the ingrained leaders of this class? Or are they of the old school, that it’s going to take a very amazing car to knock off the Germans in this class?
The former concluding that Cadillac have done it, and the latter calling it a “close, but no cigar”
Personally, I would say that it will be so close, that there is going to be some very, very interesting reviews with some entertainingly mixed conclusions. Let the battle begin!!