2014 Cadillac CTS Vsport Review

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The Cadillac CTS Vsport edition is the top of the line CTS model and boasts a number of added features to the already impressive sport sedan which won Motortrend’s car of the year in 2014.  RedlineNorth recently took the CTS Vsport through its paces and we were seriously impressed with the experience.  Our test vehicle was a 2014 CTS 3.6L Vsport premium sedan.  The base price of the vehicle is $74,49 and with options the total price including destination charge, excluding taxes is $79,580 CAD.

The exterior styling of the CTS is a refreshing departure for Cadillac.  Stand out features of the CTS styling are the inlaid hood, more aggressively angled front windshield and the inlaid rear spoiler. In addition, the active aero grille shutters not only add to the styling, but automatically close to maximize aerodynamics when additional engine cooling is not required.  The most noticeable exterior difference to the CTS in the Vsport edition is the Vsport badge on the rear trunk. This little moniker tells you that you have something special under the hood.

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The 3.6L Twin Turbo V6 with an 8 speed transmission rockets the CTS to 96 km/h in 4.4 seconds.  Needless to say, acceleration is extraordinary making the car so much fun to drive.  Controlling all this power is an electronic Limited-Slip Differential (eLSD) that optimizes the torque split between the rear wheels.  This provides enhanced stability and traction control through the corners as well as offering a more precise steering experience. We were impressed with the overall responsiveness of the vehicle. With all the power available in the Vsport edition, the Brembo brakes with 345.4 mm front rotors and available high-performance brake linings are a welcome inclusion and offers an excellent feel when stopping.

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The interior of the CTS Vsport is well refined with lots of soft touch surfaces, 20 way adjustable seats, ambient lighting and a wealth of technology.  The vehicle utilizes a heads up display projected onto the front windscreen.  Drivers can customize the information shown to them including speed, RPM, current music selection, etc…  Even in bright sunlight the display is crisp and clear.  Once we started using it the display became invaluable while driving, allowing us to concentrate on the road and not the dashboard. The CTS Vsport has good all round visibility and offers a cabin that is remarkably quiet despite the monster under the hood.

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The integration of technology into the CTS extends to the front instrument panel which is a completely digital, configurable display.  It does take a little bit of getting use to staring at a screen, but after a while it becomes natural.  Shown below on the dash is the ability of the driver to choose from four driving modes Tour, Sport, Track as well as Snow and Ice.  Each mode adjusts the driving experience including steering and magnetic drive control.  For everyday driving we found the Sport mode provided a good all round experience.

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Another quality feature of the CTS is the ability to deploy a rear window sun shade at the touch of a button, this coupled with the keyless access which recognizes your key fob and automatically locks or unlocks the doors depending on if you are coming or going, are examples of features added by the engineers and designers that remind the driver you are driving a Cadillac.  Additional “nice to have” features are the parallel parking assist, heated rear seats, illuminated front sill plates and what Cadillac calls their Ultraview sunroof.  All told, Cadillac has provided a well rounded package in the CTS Vsport.

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Historically, there has been a perceived status benefit to owning a foreign made vehicle in the luxury segment, however, we think Cadillac has a winner here with the CTS Vsport edition that can break this perception. The combination of the interior cabin refinement, advanced technology integration and overall performance make the CTS Vsport a great option in the luxury performance sedan segment. Those features coupled with the fact it is just so much fun to drive make it a compelling option for target buyers.  Nevertheless, the CTS Vsport is up against some stiff competition in this segment, including the Audi A6, Mercedes Benz E class, BMW 5 series and the Jaguar XF. However, at the end of the day we feel it holds its own against the competition from across the Atlantic.

 

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Z Fest 2014

On a glorious Sunday in August, Team RedlineNorth headed to a very unique car show we never have actually attended before in person. This year’s Z Fest event took place at the Canadian Heritage War Museum located beside Hamilton’s International Airport which played the part of an excellent backdrop. Since after walking through the hangar filled with some of the most famous warplanes ever built you soon entered rows and rows of restored Nissans parked and shining on the tarmac.

Organized by members of the Ontario Z-Cars Association, Z Fest is an annual event here in Ontario for Z model Nissan enthusiasts to show off  their Nissan and Datsun vehicles. The event’s aim is to celebrate all Z-cars from the early Datsun models through to the current Nissan name plates and this year’s event did not disappoint. This year’s event was slightly larger than in years past since it was the 20th annual Z-Fest. While on site there was a whole array of Z-cars (Fairlady Z in Japan) from present to past including the 240z, 260z, 280zx, 300zx, the 350z, and 370z not excluding the odd G series, GTR, and Skyline.

Nissan 300 ZX Twin Turbo

1990 Nissan 300 ZX Twin Turbo

We were lucky enough to bump into one of our local correspondents who actually covered the 2012 Z Fest event for RedlineNorth. Unfortunately for us he was not reporting from the event this year since he had his “pride and joy” entered in the show and shine. He currently owns a stunningly clean but heavily modified 1990 300 ZX Twin Turbo which is pushing over 400 HP at the wheels.

Nissan 300 ZX

Cooling down the turbos

Back end of 1990 300 ZX

Back end of 1990 300 ZX

Here’s a glimpse of some of the other cars…..So many nice ones to choose from.  Although we did primarily focus our attention on the 300 ZX models.

Nissan 300 ZX

Awesome 90s Nissan 300 ZX

Nissan 350Z

Nissan 350Z Convertible

 Nissan 300 ZX

1989 Nissan 300 ZX

Moparfest 2014

Back in 2012, we had a great time at Southwestern Ontario’s Moparfest so we made the trek once again this past August.  With over 1600 show vehicles and over 20,000 spectators at this year’s event, Moparfest continues to be Canada’s largest all Mopar show and is a must see for any Mopar enthusiast. Started 34 years ago by a few friends with a shared love of Mopar cars the show has grown into a massive charity event that takes over the town of New Hamburg, Ontario for one weekend in August.  The annual three-day event is a fundraiser for the local community with proceeds totaling over $2.76 million dollars from the past 34 years.

Here are some amazing new and old examples of Mopar muscle and design in all their automotive glory.

Dodge Coupe

Dodge Coupe

Amazing 50s Fargo

Amazing 50s Fargo

Dodge Rampage 1982-1984

Dodge Rampage 1982-1984

Amazing Jeep  CJ- "Tonka Jeep"

Amazing Jeep CJ- “Tonka Jeep”

Dodge 50s pickup

Dodge 50s pickup

DFDASF

Dodge Aspen

Desoto

Desoto

In spite of some heavy rain on the Saturday we had a great time at Moparfest and we will be sure to come back once again. Selfishly, we were disappointed there were not more Dodge Ramchargers. In 2012, there were more of these beauties at the show. At some point, Team RedlineNorth is going to add one of these beasts to the fleet so we are always on the lookout for this iconic full size SUV.