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The Caddy That Fibs!

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On: Thu, Sep 8, 2011 at 2:36PM | By: Lou Ruggieri


The Caddy That Fibs!

If you haven't already seen it, there is a new commercial for the CTS-V Coupe out there (scroll down and watch it before you continue if you don't know what I'm talking about). The commercial is technically about how the Caddy has been using Magnetic Ride Control for some time and recently Ferrari has purchased this technology from GM to put into their cars. The idea is supposed to be that now Cadillac is ahead of the game and somehow technologically advanced well beyond some of the finest moving Italian masterpieces out there. 

That's what the commercial is technically about...

However, if you take even the most casual glance at the commercial (which is what the idea seems to be), you'll notice that the drop dead gorgeous Ferrari 458 shows up in the rear view mirror of one CTS-V. Now, of course, what the advertisers of the V-Series will tell you is that this scene is merely imagery to give the audience a visual interpretation of Ferrari being beyond the Cadillac in terms of this one particular suspension part. However, what they also would like us to believe on some subconscious level is that the CTS-V Coupe is actually faster than the mighty Ferrari on a racetrack. We are supposed to come away intensely impressed with the poise and panache of this 556 horsepower Caddy. That's what we are supposed to come away thinking.

This writer came away with a very different reaction to this cinematic farce. Instead of saying something like, "Damn, that is one fast Cadillac!" at the conclusion of the commercial, I found myself with a worse impression of the CTS-V than ever before for a few main reasons. First, I felt bad for the CTS-V—really I did. The car is a good looking car—it's got the go-fast goodies any hot rodder would want: the mesh grille, the big yellow calipers, the power dome hood, and even a (Ferrari-like) center-mounted exhaust. But to take a pretty car and then compare it to a bright red Ferrari is like convincing your attractive girlfriend to be in a photo shoot with Gisele Bundchen—it's just not right. Compared to the sinuous supermodel Ferrari (and why red, of all colors?!), the dark Caddy looks bloated, heavy, and misshapen, definitely not the route I'd want to take to make people go out and buy my product.

Second, I guess now when I think Cadillac, I'm supposed to think Ferrari, but as most other average minded citizens know, as well, if I'm in the market for a $280,000 Ferrari, I am definitely not also considering a $70,000 GM product. It is just not going to happen. But the biggest gripe I have as a die-hard car enthusiast is that I know that the commercial is an outright lie. Unless the driver in that Ferrari has only one leg and a hook for a hand, there is simply no way that a Ferrari 458 Italia would stay behind a CTS-V Coupe for more than a few hundred feet. It just isn't possible. The only things the Cadillac has more of than the Ferrari are cargo room, torque, and weight. Perhaps if the commercial was a drag race, I could let it slide, seeing as how the CTS-V's supercharged V8 puts down about 50 more pound-feet than the Prancing Horse, but it's not. The Ferrari is a far-superior car in every facet of the human imagination on the track, and it should be! That's no insult to the Cadillac either. But if GM really feels the need to compare the two, the truth is, there is no comparison!

The Ferrari is a fast car in every single measurable performance category. The Ferrari is almost a full second faster to 60 mph (3.0 vs. 3.9), obliterates the sloppy CTS-V to 100 mph (6.7 vs. 9.1 seconds), and even embarrasses the Caddy at its own game through the very American quarter mile (11.0 @ 128 vs. 12.3 @ 118.4). The 458 pulls a solid 1.00 g around the skidpad compared to the (good under any circumstances, except being compared to a Ferrari) 0.93 g.

Honestly, it's just embarrassing for the Cadillac. It's not even as if I could walk away saying, "Wow, well for the money the CTS-V Coupe sure put up a good fight" No, it's nothing like that. Getting your doors blown off by nearly three seconds to 100 mph is not a good fight, it's a butt-kicking that you didn't belong in. Just because I step into the ring with Mike Tyson doesn't mean I belong there, it just means I may need a reminder of just how tough I really am versus how tough I think I might be. That's it.

The truth of the matter is that I really do like the CTS-V Coupe as a (relatively) bargain performance luxury car. Compared to something like a Shelby GT500, or Lexus IS-F, or even the mighty BMW M3, I could see a good argument for why the Caddy could be looked upon in a favorable light. But none of those cars were in the commercial... instead the folks over at GM advertising chose to go with one of the biggest fish in the sea (why not a Veyron or an Aventador while they were at it?), and quite honestly, make a mockery of their own prize fighter by throwing a welter weight champion in the ring with one of the premier heavy weights. Sorry, Caddy; you can zig all you like, but the truth is you're outmatched and although you're trying to lie to us, you're really lying only to yourself.


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dwalter | 4:04PM (Thu, Sep 8, 2011)

"But to take a pretty car and then compare it to a bright red Ferrari is like convincing your attractive girlfriend to be in a photo shoot with Gisele Bundchen its just not right." haha



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