By on September 15, 2009

I was completely prepared to leave this Bob Lutz’s CTS-V race thing to Jalopnik. And then Lutz went on the FastLane blog and said he’d welcome all comers: “One of the social media initiatives we’ve launched is a challenge with the Cadillac CTS-V, which we claim to be the fastest 4-dr production sedan in the world, and we have asked any potential challenger to meet us at Laguna Seca and race what you brung.” As the TV lawyers say, Maximum Bob opened the door. So I called Cadillac PR flack David Caldwell. Is this a Jalopnik-only deal? If so, so be it. “You know who I work for,” Caldwell said. Yes . . . “If Bob said he’d take all comers then he’ll take all comers.” Which means TTAC is in on the action, which will go down at Monticello (not Laguna Seca?) sometime in the first two weeks of October. Or not.

UPDATE: Hyundai PR’s talking to their CEO about racing MB in the Genesis. Jaguar’s pledged the XFR.

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106 Comments on “Cadillac PR OK’s TTAC CTS-V Showdown...”


  • avatar

    Love Jack’s writing, and he certainly sounds like he’d be fast. What has his actual response been to the idea? A lot of people here have been speaking for him.

    What does he plan on driving? Available information suggest that he’d have the best shot in an M3, which I assume would have to be stock. But would a CTS-V kill it in the straights?

  • avatar
    Stingray

    So we are going to see it after all?

    Can they allow Baruth to flog the Caddy for a cool article?

    He’s going to drive a Chundai to the race? Ringer? naaahhhh

    I vote he use the M5.

  • avatar

    Jack’s on board. But he’s a driving instructor. I don’t think that jibes with the spirit of the Lutz challenge.

    If not, Jack said he’ll give TTAC’s rep two days of driving lessons. Gulp. Is that me? Meanwhile, Jack suggested the Hyundai. Joke? Maybe.

  • avatar
    stars9texashockey

    Am I missing something here with the Genesis pic?
    OK–get it. It’s in your fleet now.

  • avatar
    mad scientist

    Whoever goes to the race, somebody please shut that Lutz moron up FOREVER! Along with his crappy car company.

  • avatar
    Ingvar

    Baruth and Lutz measuring each others… driving skills? Bring out the popcorn, this will be fun…

  • avatar
    jpcavanaugh

    I vote that we send the guy with the 50 Cadillac in today’s curbside classics. Of course he wouldn’t win, but it would sure be fun to watch.

  • avatar
    Edward Niedermeyer

    But where are we going to get a Panamera Turbo S in time?

  • avatar
    jrlombard

    Robert,

    Keep us posted on when this event is happening. Is it going to be at Laguna Seca? I live four miles from the track and would love to come watch/help/crew/etc.

  • avatar
    imag

    Bob did also say that anyone bringing a non-amateur driver (or something to that effect) would face GM’s ringer driver. I wonder how they’d categorize Baruth?

  • avatar

    Hehe, -Awesome!
    Love to see you guys win in grand style.

    Call up Jeremy and get The Stig in the race, too. Preferably beating Lutz while in A Reasonably Priced Car! :P

    Go get ‘em, killers!

  • avatar
    imag

    E.N. The problem with the Panamera is that it plays right into Lutz’s hands; even if it wins, it loses vastly on price.

  • avatar
    Juniper

    I vote for Farago
    Let’s see if there is any action behind all the talk.
    Baruth should take on GMs Pro.

  • avatar
    imag

    There’s the quote:

    Bob Lutz: To the extent that my driving skills permit, i will take on normal non-professional drivers using verified production 4-dr sedans. If someone shows up with an experienced race driver we will have to counter that with our own John Heinricy, who will clean anybody’s clock. Laguna Seca was my top-of-the-head idea, but we had an immediate favorable response from the CEO of the track, who is most eager to get involved in this.

  • avatar
    Stingray

    Jack’s on board. But he’s a driving instructor. I don’t think that jibes with the spirit of the Lutz challenge.

    Jack said he’ll give TTAC’s rep two days of driving lessons. Gulp. Is that me?

    So… ummm, he’s not driving?

    If you’re going to take a video of it, please, post it in some other places than youtube. That way, the people who is f@#$ed by IT depts can see it.

  • avatar
    nmcheese

    I kinda like the irony of the Genesis picture for this article. It represents the car the CTS should have been. A thoroughly modern, high quality, fairly priced luxurious car.

    The CTS-V under discussion is not really that relevant to what Cadillac should be as a brand.

  • avatar
    MMH

    Who cares who wins? GM having (or not) the fastest production 4-door won’t sell incremental cars. Certainly not in numbers that make a difference.

    The real contest here is the messages. What will GM’s message be if they win? What if they lose? Better still, what will TTAC’s messages be afterwards?

    GM has absolutely nothing to lose letting RF’s horse into this race and giving him a press car from time to time. What’s the worst thing that could come of it; bad GM press from TTAC?

  • avatar
    Stingray

    Baruth should take on GMs Pro.

    + nine thousand!!!!!!

  • avatar
    ajla

    Unfortunately, I feel there is zero chance of a TTAC-Lutz track showdown ever actually happening.
    -
    That said, whoever TTAC’s representative is, if he thinks he could beat Lutz in an IS-F, then that’s what he should drive.

    I’m hoping the shame of losing to a Toyota product would be enough to make Lutz quit.

  • avatar
    NOPR

    It would be great if you could beat them in a G8.

  • avatar
    MrDot

    I’d love to see a Hyundai beat him. I don’t think the top-spec Genesis is hot rod enough to beat the -V, though.

  • avatar
    npbheights

    TTAC’s press car ban should be with Motors Liquidation (old GM) and not with General Motors Company, LLC (new GM) if we are to believe anything about GM’s reinvention.

  • avatar
    wsn

    Call VW and see when will the 4-door Veyron be ready.


    imag :
    September 15th, 2009 at 1:37 pm

    E.N. The problem with the Panamera is that it plays right into Lutz’s hands; even if it wins, it loses vastly on price.

    Then use an STI or EVO.

  • avatar
    dolo54

    A G8 would be a great choice. Whatever happens let’s see video.

  • avatar
    wsn

    Or, better yet, challenge Bob to a perennial racing event.

    So, when the V division goes out of business, what will he bring next year? Brand new in stock 2007 CTS-V’s?

  • avatar
    dswilly

    The Genisis is perfect. You can beat them at their own game, the caddy will probably win by 1-2 seconds but then you can bring up the price difference, the same thing they will do if you show up with a M5.

  • avatar
    NickR

    *rubs hands together gleefully*

  • avatar
    doctorv8

    I would be happy to run Lutz in my old E39 M5 after some instruction from Baruth….and as long as they don’t open the hood, they won’t notice the Vortech blower on it. ;-)

  • avatar
    Bridge2far

    “I kinda like the irony of the Genesis picture for this article. It represents the car the CTS should have been. A thoroughly modern, high quality, fairly priced luxurious car.’

    You have got to be kidding.

  • avatar
    KatiePuckrik

    I realise that Mr Baruth and myself rarely see eye to eye, but in this case, I’m rooting for the TTAC team (Go TTAC!). I hope you whip GM’s arse!

    Having said all of this, I must make this scenario apparent.

    We were all highly critical of Lutz and this stunt. About how they’re wasting time and money, when they should concentrating on winning customers back. Now if TTAC were to challenge Mr Lutz, wouldn’t that make TTAC party to this spectacle and, thus, undermine TTAC’s future criticism of GM?

    Maybe TTAC should give this stunt the contempt it deserves and not rise to this (pointless) challenge?

    Just a thought, not a flame….

  • avatar
    sardaukar

    I agree with those who suggested a G8 GXP as a challenger, but I don’t know if it’s got the grapes to hang with a CTS-V.

    What about a Subie WRX STi or an Evo? Not enough power?

    Speaking of which, is that new Bugatti sedan in production yet? Even though it would be emphatically handing the PR victory to Maximum Bob, it’d be worth it just to seem slobbering over all that carbon fiber.

  • avatar
    BDB

    I love Baruth’s writing as well, and vote for the Genesis. It would be a real upset if it beat the Caddy.

    If Baruth is too much of a “professional” for Lutz, Baruth should race GM’s ringer and Farrago should take on Lutz.

  • avatar
    TEXN3

    Just for shits and giggles, get a Prius.

  • avatar
    gslippy

    It’s a pointless event. The -V may very well win at the track, but it doesn’t live there. And it’s priced up in the thin air with relatively few sales.

    How about a bake-off between the Chevy Cruze and Ford Fiesta?

  • avatar
    ohsnapback

    LMAO!!!

    Robert is the master at baiting someone, let alone someone like Bob Lutz, who has been know to be full of piss and vinegar from time to time.

  • avatar
    Joshua Johnson

    Jaguar Monterey is literally 5 miles away from Laguna Seca. Get an XFR there! CTS-V vs. XFR

  • avatar
    BDB

    And isn’t GM getting rid of its “V” division, anyway?

  • avatar
    DearS

    Maybe an RS4. It may not win, but Its supposed to be one of the most fun 4 doors on the planet. After that, an M3 or M5 or IS-F.

  • avatar
    Spitfire

    M5 or say the E 63 AMG are probably the most closely matched without getting into the hyper expensive. But ignoring price the S65 AMG with a 6 liter V12 bi-turbo(600+hp and 738lb-ft of torque) should be up to the task. For what it’s worth the Panamera Turbo did just beat the cts-v around the ring by 3 seconds, but delivery date? The Caddy is certainly a fast 4 door and for the price, I have to admit that GM spent our money well here.

    Can I selfishly self promote myself to be RFs replacement driver? I promise to give it my all and do TTAC proud! I’m not a total Lutz in the driving skills department either. The chance of nearly dying at the hand of Jacks driving during some “lessons”…icing on the cake.

    Cheers, this should be interesting.

  • avatar
    KixStart

    KatiePuckrick,

    +1

    But it’s probably going ahead, no matter what. So, I’ll support ABL (Anybody But Lutz).

    Someone mentioned the challenge, “choice of weapons,” possibility of a ringer vehicle, etc. I think Lutz should allow the car to be selected from a nearby Cadillac dealer.

    Pick one out of the service bay, guys.

  • avatar
    thetopdog

    Robert, if you need a volunteer, I’d be more than happy to pay Jack for 2 day’s worth of instruction and head over to Laguna Seca. I’m a Vette owner too, so they wouldn’t be able to accuse me of having an anti-GM bias. I’m also in Boston, right down the street from you in RI

  • avatar
    panzerfaust

    This is starting to sound like a trailer for “Herbie the Love Bug 15– Herbie does General Motors.”

  • avatar
    PeregrineFalcon

    As I’m sure both Robert and Jack (and Bob, for that matter) know, this will be as much of a race of mouths off the track as cars on it. I like the idea of playing their own game by having the Genesis nip at the CTS-V’s heels all around the track, lose by a few seconds, but “win” in the pits afterwards.

    Failing that, Jack should drive one of these:
    https://www.fleet.ford.com/showroom/2009fleetshowroom/2009-crvicpoliceint.asp

    That way, he can PIT Bobby in the first or second turn, be no worse for wear, and finish the race while chatting with people on the radio.

  • avatar
    Monty

    How about Goolsbee in the Jag? Just for shits and giggles. I’ll bet Chuck can outdrive Lutz though.

    I hope this is filmed, so I can watch it over and over. I’m not going to be out California/Arizona/Nevada way until the new year, so I’ll only be able to watch this second hand.

    One question, does the challenge vehicle have to be absolutely stock? Or could a person show up in a slightly modded G8 GXP? I would love to try this myself in a friend’s G8, but I need better track skills, I think.

  • avatar

    Hyundai’s talking to their CEO about running against Lutz. I swear.

  • avatar
    KatiePuckrik

    Mr Farago,

    When you beat Luztie, remember to ask him,

    “So, Bob, was your pension bankruptcy proof…?”

  • avatar
    Lumbergh21

    What message are you trying to send? A WRX Sti is probably the best all around choice in terms of price, handling, etc. The Genesis though is intriguing though. If it were a Cadillac CTS, the Genesis would be the no-brainer choice, cheaper and in the same class, the ideal car for beating the Caddy.

    IF you do get to go up against Bob Lutz, it definitely needs to be Farago. That should also be much more interesting than John Heinricy against Jack Baruth.

  • avatar
    TexN

    ohsnapback :
    September 15th, 2009 at 2:13 pm

    LMAO!!!

    Robert is the master at baiting someone, let alone someone like Bob Lutz, who has been know to be full of piss and vinegar from time to time.

    So to paraphrase, you’re calling Robert a master baiter?

  • avatar

    The Genesis probably can’t beat the regular CTS around any track with curves in it, much less the V. Anyone who thinks otherwise hasn’t driven one.

    I also don’t doubt Lutz’s driving skills. He’s logged quite a bit of track time over the years.

    I’d love to see both Baruth and a non-pro drive.

    So, how soon does this stop being a bunch of hot air? Has a date been suggested?

  • avatar
    highrpm

    I figured that Heinricy was the pro guy even before I read that in the comments section. Make no mistake about this guy’s credentials – in comparable cars, he could outrun all but a handful of folks in the world. That’s more of a comment about the man’s ability rather than just the car he’s driving.

    I have a decade of SCCA road racing under my belt, and I’m positive that if I were running against Heinricy in an identical car, he would outrun me.

    Mr. Baruth, I wish you luck. If it were me, I’d try my luck against Heinricy in an M5. I can’t think of another car that could potentially outgun the CTS-V. Save the V8 Hyundai for the RF/Lutz faceoff.

  • avatar

    Okay, just re-read, first two weeks of October.

    On the non-pro: they’ll need a fair amount of track experience to have a shot. Otherwise, Lutz will be the ringer.

  • avatar
    chaparral

    You want a non-ringer ringer?

    Go down to the kart track, pull aside the race winner in a TaG or shifter class, and ask him if he wants to do this. There’ll be no record of his ever having been on a racetrack in a street car, but he’ll get the job done.

  • avatar
    greenb1ood

    I’m in the minority here, but I think Lutz has *kinda* proved his point. There is no vehicle that the B&B have unequivically named the CTS-V beater outright, and most have admitted that only the M5 will come close.

    That’s rare air if ever their was…

    While I admit that this is all superfluous and Bob’s point should be focused on the competitiveness on multiple levels of all of GM’s vehicles up and down the price range, I think the sheer difficulty of picking a competitor shows that the CTS-V is one world-class vehicle.

    So Bob answered the question no one was asking…in small doses, can GM deliver a world-class four-door high luxury sports sedan?

    Which again, is completely missing the point if the DNA doesn’t trickle down the rest of the lineup. (It doesn’t. I checked.)

  • avatar
    faygo

    why do people keep bringing up the G8 ? it’s got 125+ less hp and AFAIK, does not weigh appreciably less. 25% more power is a biiiiig difference. for the same reason, an E39 M5 would get pummeled.

    as noted, Heinricy is the real deal. he’s no longer a GM employee (he retired last year) but has been working with Hennessy on their Camaro apparently. it would be a much clearer comparison with Heinricy vs someone with lots of racing experience (Jack for example) rather than Lutz vs anyone else with less seat time. the Siler vs Lutz matchup is probably fair, if flawed.

    STi & Evo are pointless comparisons. no one cross-shops those cars nor would they consider them to be competitors. plus they would lose to the CTS-V anyway, so what’s the point.

    the CTS is sort of a tweener as it’s bigger than a 3-series/C-class, but smaller than a 5-series/E-class.

    I’m sure John Krafcik (Hyundai NA CEO) has previous seat time & training, probably hold-over from when he worked at Ford not too long ago, but there’s no way the Genesis sees which way the CTS-V went on the track tho, it’s an S/7/A8 competitor in size & less dynamic by half.

    the Jag XF-R is definitely a good option, put Mike Cross (the Jag vehicle dynamics guru) into it vs Heinricy and let them have their fun. you could put the new Toyota CEO into an IS-F, he’s raced at the ‘ring 24 hrs several times & shouldn’t do too badly. maybe Sergio Marchionne could bring a Maserati Q-porte along for the fun.

    tho it’s ultimately useless relative to real-world performance, track times are fun. if they were really serious about this they would do something like Sport Auto does with their editor Horst von Saurma to eliminate driver differences. but this is more fun.

  • avatar
    DearS

    A 335i would also go a long way towards providing a very interesting race.

  • avatar
    NOPR

    “why do people keep bringing up the G8 ? it’s got 125+ less hp and AFAIK, does not weigh appreciably less. 25% more power is a biiiiig difference. for the same reason, an E39 M5 would get pummeled.”

    I suggested the G8 because it would be fun to watch GM’s reaction if it were to somehow win or barely lose, but I realize that it’s not likely. It’s hard for them to brag about a fantastic car that you’re killing off.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    So Hyundai’s bringing a Genesis?

    Here’s hoping they can get Michael Schumacher nip-tucked in time…otherwise, that CTS-V is gonna do things to a Genesis that shouldn’t be done to a farm animal.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    nmcheese :
    September 15th, 2009 at 1:40 pm

    I kinda like the irony of the Genesis picture for this article. It represents the car the CTS should have been. A thoroughly modern, high quality, fairly priced luxurious car.

    IMHO, the only thing the Genesis has over the CTS (base or otherwise) is price. In every other way, the CTS cleans up.

  • avatar

    Monty :
    How about Goolsbee in the Jag? Just for shits and giggles. I’ll bet Chuck can outdrive Lutz though.

    Um, …no.

    I’ve spent all of about 50 minutes on a racetrack in my whole lifetime. All but 10 of those minutes driving cars older than most of this site’s readers. I’ve done pretty well, finishing 3rd place among much better machines with a slushbox-equipped MB R107 for example, but I am NOT the right guy for this job.

    I appreciate the nomination however.

    –chuck

  • avatar
    Stingray

    I would propose a 5 lap race. Brake performance ALSO should be a matter of measuring here.

    1st one Lutz vs whoever shows up (non-pro)

    2nd Heinricy vs Baruth… or to make this EPIC: Walter Röhrl

    That last race would be the America vs Germany pissing contest.

  • avatar
    ChristyGarwood

    @TexN – what a way with words you have… LMAO

    @RF – oh what fun it is ride in a CTS-V, eh? I wonder if they would let me be the employee journalist?

  • avatar
    qfrog

    Are we talking wheel to wheel or time trial?

  • avatar

    First off, I do like the Genesis. Secondly, its a near-DTS land yacht with ZERO chance of matching wits with a CTS-V.

    Hyundai really needs a more sporting tune and bigger tires available for 2011, and hand that over to Baruth. Or Farago. Or me. (wink)

  • avatar

    Robert Farago

    Legacy GT!!!!

    Preferably, not stock.

    Maybe you can get Subaru to lend you one of their 2010, preferably a track prepped “press car”

  • avatar
    Power4

    This will prove to be VERY entertaining to watch play out!

    I vote you bring an Mitsubishi Evo FQ-400: http://www.mitsubishi-cars.co.uk/evolution/fq400-home.aspx#evoContentContainer

    No one said it had to be a production car sold in the US, right?

  • avatar
    wsn

    Anybody thought about the problem of new car break in? If the cars have to come from new car dealers, what effect if any will there be?

  • avatar
    ChristyGarwood

    I vote this post as the Most Positive Post of the Day. All the comments and competition makes me GETE.

  • avatar
    wsn

    But really, IS-F has got to be the best choice.

    1) If you consider Genesis, EVO, STI or Spec B, ask yourself, will it beat an IS-F? Unlikely.

    2) Toyota is the one who beat GM, not BMW.

    3) The IS-F is not expensive as compared to CTS-V.

    4) The IS-F is underpowered but much lighter too. It does have a good chance at winning if handled right.

    5) Lutz wouldn’t have much bragging rights even if CTS-V beats IS-F. People would just he is whining.

  • avatar

    wsn.

    I like your thinking.

    The IS-F (with proper tires) could absolutely be a good car to go toe to toe with the CTS-V.

  • avatar
    Lokkii

    I think that greenblood has nailed it.

    The CTS-V is better at this test than anything comparable in the world. Kudos to GM!

    Having said that, GM is a family where one child is Snow White, and the rest of the kids are dwarves.

    Still, it’s going to be fun to watch.
    I wish that they’d run a Malibu against a Camry… that would interesting too… and maybe better advertising if the Malibu could win…

    Say! Mr. Farago – can you get them to consider a second round??

  • avatar
    findude

    I say TTAC challenges Lutz to a series event. For each event in the series anybody who comes can bring any vehicle, but Lutz has to bring a GM vehicle (any one). All vehicles must be showroom stock.

    – Time trial around a track like Laguna Seca for fastest lap
    – Farthest distance on one tank of gas/fuel following the EPA cycle.
    – 0-100-0
    –Farthest distance in 24 hours on a track (unlimited fuel, tires, and drivers)
    – Fastest slalom
    – Tractor pull style event
    – etc. (I’m sure the B&B can think of more)

    This will allow results of greater utility to more people. I don’t really care if a CTS-V can beat an M5 or an S63–I’m not in the market for any of those cars. The other criteria would show what a company can do in the aggregate. Take that, perception gap.

  • avatar
    faygo

    5 laps or 1, the CTS-V will win against pretty much everything mentioned here with equal drivers. there is a factory option for “track” brakes, which have a different pad compound & IIRC, floating rotors.

    I’m thinking the M5 is the best option, but it would roast it’s brakes after a few laps in typical recent BMW M car fashion.

    Motor Trend happens to have the specs on M5/CTS-V/XF-R/E63 in a handy chart :
    http://wot.motortrend.com/6528385/editorial/by-the-numbers-cadillac-cts-v-vs-bmw-m5-vs-jag-xfr-vs-m-b-e63-amg/photo_02.html

    I can’t see Walter Röhrl giving a flying NSFW about this, esp as he works for Porsche.

  • avatar
    DearS

    A G37 or 335i coming close behind a CTS-V I think would do the job. Around half the price, it would make a good case against the CTV-V being a bit unnecessary. Which is I guess the best one could hope for.

  • avatar

    May the best Car & Driver win …

  • avatar
    wsn

    Lokkii :
    September 15th, 2009 at 5:12 pm

    The CTS-V is better at this test than anything comparable in the world. Kudos to GM!

    —————————————–

    Well, the CTS-V is better at this particular test because Lutz defined the rules. In that sense, many cars can win in their narrow field.

    For example, how about a production 4 door sedan under $35k MSRP? I mean, that price is the threshold for C4C. It’s not an unreasonable number to limit one’s expense on a car. A WRX would probably win the race.

  • avatar
    reclusive_in_nature

    Forgive me for rooting for the “villain” but I hope Lutz mops the floor with the competition. On top of that I hope he blasts his competition with line after line of snarky comments when he does win. It’ll be interesting to see if the people who make their living bashing his company can take it as well as they dish it out.

  • avatar
    wsn

    I would argue if Toyota/Honda were to build such a car, it can only be better than the CTS-V. But they didn’t, because they know it would be a money loser. The V series being discontinued is all the proof you need. (The IS-F is not that hardcore because Toyota still intend to make money.)

    It’s like, a guy claims he is braver than me and proves it by cutting off his own fingers. In a narrow sense, he is braver than me in cutting off one’s own fingers. But that doesn’t mean he is braver in general.

    So, no GM doesn’t make a world beater. CTS-V isn’t. It’s a world beater only if it outperforms and yet is economically sustainable. (i.e. don’t win the “hurt yourself” race)

  • avatar
    mtr2car1

    • Sajeev Mehta :
    September 11th, 2009 at 4:56 pm

    FreedMike : Well, let’s start with the concept that self-promotion is something companies do, shall we?
    Or are they just supposed to not promote themselves?
    They should promote a high volume car that might actually get some of our tax dollars back. Promoting the hell outta cars like the Malibu, LaCrosse, etc. The CTS-V will sell to its niche, Bob cohorting with Jalopnik won’t change anything.
    Is that too much to ask for?

    I’m not picking on Sajeev or anything – but is this not a dumb idea now that TTAC gets to play?

  • avatar
    TZ

    faygo :
    September 15th, 2009 at 5:20 pm

    5 laps or 1, the CTS-V will win against pretty much everything mentioned here with equal drivers.

    I think many people in this thread are underestimating its capabilities.

  • avatar
    ellomdian

    Here’s a genuinely crazy thought. Take a CTS-V. Stock off the lot, secretly bought.

    After they beat you by 10 seconds, offer to switch cars.

    If they refuse, it will be a PR NIGHTMARE. And if they do, and you trounce their time in your car…

    Sorry Mr. Lutz, but everyone will see you rigged it.

  • avatar

    Lokkii :
    The CTS-V is better at this test than anything comparable in the world. Kudos to GM!

    Having said that, GM is a family where one child is Snow White, and the rest of the kids are dwarves.

    Best. Comment. Ever.

    –chuck

  • avatar
    Spitfire

    ah i dont car if its making the parent company money or not, just like i wouldnt care if the dealership is making any money that I’m buying it from. GM offers a seriously competitive car in this class, and you pay a lot less for it then others. In straight car to car comparos it flat out wins. Which is exactly why Lutz choose it and not the Cobalt. which would loose. The ZR1 is the only other car GM can play run what ya brung with and be proud of the results.

  • avatar
    wsn

    Lokkii :

    Having said that, GM is a family where one child is Snow White, and the rest of the kids are dwarves.
    ——————————

    It’s an overstatement to say the Malibu is Snow White.

  • avatar
    Ken Elias

    Methinks this is the best marketing idea in recent history to come out of the RenCen. It will get huge publicity for GM and Lutz, it will make America feel better about GM (if it beats the competition of performance sedans under $100k), and it could almost turn into a made-for-TV event giving GM valuable airtime. Think YouTube, documentary of the event on SpeedTV, Twitter results, etc.

    Maybe some think this a joke on GM’s part but I give Lutz credit (and GM) if they pull it off. This is the kind of fresh thinking GM needs.

  • avatar
    wsn

    Spitfire :
    September 15th, 2009 at 6:25 pm

    ah i dont car if its making the parent company money or not, just like i wouldnt care if the dealership is making any money that I’m buying it from. GM offers a seriously competitive car in this class, and you pay a lot less for it then others.

    ——————————————

    If you, Spitfire, challenge Bolt (the Bolt) to race 100m, would he accept it? Most likely not, because you are not worth his time. Does that make you a “seriously competitive” sprinter? No.

    Same with automakers. GM challenged Toyota/Honda/Everyone by offering a $60k big-time-money-losing car. And Toyota/Honda didn’t respond because it’s not worth their time/money. Does that make the CTS-V a “seriously competitive” car? No.

  • avatar
    texlovera

    @jpcavanaugh on September 15th, 2009 at 1:31 pm

    “I vote that we send the guy with the 50 Cadillac in today’s curbside classics.”

    +10. And just having that car sitting next to the CTS-V would be like putting a mirror in front of the emperor with no clothes.

  • avatar
    fiasco

    This needs to be rethought. Sure the track smack-down is cool, but let’s think of a real world competition.

    * Lutz and Heinricy in the CTS
    * Baruth and Alex Roy in whatever (Baruth’s V-dub, Hyundai, Jag, roy’s M5)

    Detroit to Key West, loser pays the bar tab.

  • avatar
    Justin Berkowitz

    Bottom line is that the CTS-V is an extremely high performance sedan. As others have mentioned, you need to get into seriously expensive territory to have a chance against it — BMW M5, Jaguar XFR, Benz E63. Even then it’s unclear.

    But who cares?

    GM’s business is selling cars in volume. CTS-V is a niche car, the halo effect hasn’t spread down to the regular CTS, and Cadillac (like the rest of GM) is in serious trouble (or by RF’s words, GM is zombie).

    CTS-V shows just how much GM doesn’t have a clue. Even when they get it right, they get it wrong.

  • avatar

    I’m pretty late to this but, imagine the following for television:

    A series of four-door sedans, all pro drivers, each car “dialed in” but inspected to have nothing but factory-delivered equipment, each brand available in the United States gets one car …

    Hold it at any track with which national/international television channels are familiar (production-wise) as a one-time event. Say 200 miles …

    Actual stock-car racing.

  • avatar
    veefiddy

    I wish I still had my parents’ 83 Pontiac 2000 to lend TTAC. That would be some Truth: a car that cracked it’s engine block at 30K miles for no good reason. You could drive it 200 yards at 8 miles an hour til it died, put up the hood and let the smoke pour forth, then go home in a Subaru. That’s what my dad did, anyway.

  • avatar
    Johnny Canada

    Doesn’t Jay Shoemaker live out there? Perhaps he has something interesting available.

  • avatar
    NickR

    I would really love for this to come down to a class by class battle. Start with the 4 door super sedans, and work your way down to the econoboxes. Honestly, I’d love to see a Lutz piloted Aveo going head to head against a Baruth driven Accent. Let’s see what kind of driving chops the whole model lines have.

  • avatar
    don1967

    Jack’s on board. But he’s a driving instructor.

    You mean a driving destructor. But your inclusion of a Hyundai in this goofy equation redeems all.

  • avatar
    KixStart

    Three things occur to me:

    First, would Bob Lutz please explain, how is this going to persuade me to buy a Chevy? As far as I can tell, this is irrelevant.

    Second, GM’s repertoire of muscle cars extends to Cadillac. This impresses me how? Who else bothers to build a 6.2L pushrod supercharged engine nowadays? That’s about 90hp/L. The IS-F gets about 82hp/L without supercharging. The Volvo S60R, if I recall correctly, made about 130hp/L with turbocharging. Just adding cubes never seemed like anything worth getting excited about. I’m more impressed by the engine builder that can do more in spite of limits.

    Third, thinking of limits, if I recall correctly, NASCAR recently (last year or two) put a smaller restrictor plate on the Toyota pushrod 2-valve engine because it developed too much power. A fan of NASCAR I am not but I find this illuminating. However, I have to wonder if Bob is going to win a battle and lose the war. Toyota knows how to build cars with extremely good performance. Can you say, “IS-F with 500 horsepower?” Bob has been a little personal in the way he verbally roughs up Toyota. Sometimes, it’s best not to annoy the 800lb gorilla.

    As for the car, I’d give some more thought to the IS-F, anyway. On paper, it loses the power battle at 9lbs/hp vs 7.9lbs/hp but all the Toyota’s I’ve driven have always seemed to have, for whatever reason, oomph beyond their numbers. I believe it’s the VVT. The Toyota’s powerband might be more useful than the CTS-V’s and there might be some advantage there.

    Of course, the Jag could have that advantage, too.

    Will they go fast enough that lower drag makes a difference? And, if so, which car has the least drag?

  • avatar
    msquare

    What could possibly be wrong with this?

    It’s a neat publicity stunt on Lutz’s part, and I’m sure he has much more time behind the wheel of CTS-V’s than his competitors have with their chosen rides. So that puts him at somewhat of an advantage.

    Lutz is very familiar with the segment Cadillac wants to compete in, he used to work for BMW. Halo effect matters here. Not every Benz is an AMG, but you don’t think AMG helps sell mainstream Benzes?

    I could be wrong, but Hyundai has a track package in the Genesis coupe, but not the sedan, and the coupe simply isn’t in this league. I don’t see how a standard-issue Genesis sedan can compete here. Maybe versus standard CTS’s and E-classes, but not the hot versions.

    Not everything GM tries is going to work, but try they must. Give Lutz some credit here. He’s trying.

  • avatar
    Bimmer

    Call Sabine Schmitz. Let her whoop John Heinricy ass.

    Name for the story: ‘GM’s pro-driver whooped by a girl!’

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    wsn :
    September 15th, 2009 at 6:37 pm

    Same with automakers. GM challenged Toyota/Honda/Everyone by offering a $60k big-time-money-losing car. And Toyota/Honda didn’t respond because it’s not worth their time/money. Does that make the CTS-V a “seriously competitive” car? No.

    All due respect, you’re way off base. All serious luxury brands make some kind of “ringer” car – BMW, Audi, Benz and Lexus all do. Price-wise, they’re all about the same (save the Audi S4) – about 60 large. They’re meant as halo cars to sell the cheaper models.

    The models in question: M/B C63 AMG, Lexus IS-F, BMW M3. And the only one that has a chance at the CTS-V is the M3. That’s “uncompetitive”?

  • avatar
    doctorv8

    KixStart :
    September 15th, 2009 at 10:18 pm

    Who else bothers to build a 6.2L pushrod supercharged engine nowadays? That’s about 90hp/L. The IS-F gets about 82hp/L without supercharging……..Just adding cubes never seemed like anything worth getting excited about. I’m more impressed by the engine builder that can do more in spite of limits.

    So maybe you’d be more impressed by the engine builder who makes more power building a motor while juggling and hopping on one foot? That “limitation” is just as valid as a displacement limitation.

    What I’m saying is, HP/L is a meaningless metric. If the larger 6.2L motor is lighter, more physically compact, more fuel efficient, and cheaper/simpler to build than a comparable bulky DOHC motor while still delivering more torque bandwidth……then how is the higher specific output motor better?

    The only time specific output is relevant is in F1 or other displacement limited racing classes, or in countries where displacement is taxed…thankfully, we in the US aren’t. Yet.

  • avatar
    greenb1ood

    Can we turn this into an episode of “Pinks”?

    Although the show was lame, I’d love to see TTAC put up the rights to all editorial content and GM counter with all non-government and non-UAW owned shares of the compa…wait, they don’t have any other shares, do they?!?!

    So Farago’s company ownership stake in TTAC is actually more than Bob’s ownership stake in GM.

    HaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHa!

  • avatar
    wsn

    FreedMike :
    September 15th, 2009 at 11:28 pm

    The models in question: M/B C63 AMG, Lexus IS-F, BMW M3. And the only one that has a chance at the CTS-V is the M3. That’s “uncompetitive”?

    ———————————–

    Of course the CTS-V is not competitive. Want proof? GM is the only bankrupted one here.

    Just look at IS-F. The engine is normally aspired. And you think Toyota cannot add bi-turbo to it to make 550+ hp at 500lb lighter than the CTS-V? But they chose not to because the IS-F is not intended to compete with CTS-V on a track. It is intended to be a halo car so that more people would buy other Lexus models.

    So, when talking about “competitiveness”, let’s not forget about the context here. Is the CTS-V competitive in being a halo car that increase Caddy (and GM) sales? Not so much I guess. So, it is not competitive. In such sense, the M3 is the most competitive one. M3 does indeed help with a lot of 3 series and 1 series sales.

  • avatar
    V6

    i cannot fathom how anyone could think a Genesis or G8 could stand a chance against a CTS-V

    i doubt the IS-F would have a shit chance in hell either, the comparisons i have read against M3 sedans and M-B C63 place the IS-F quite a bit slower around the track.

    i think it also depends on the track. if there’s lots of open straights then the CTS-V will be hard to beat. something twisty with lots of tight turns would cause it a few issues getting the power down and something like the M3 to make up time in the corners

  • avatar
    Stingray

    To those of you in the fight for HP/lt, Toyota is superior blah blah blah. I don’t give a crap.

    LSX engines are being swapped into almost everything, and the aftermarket support for them is huge. HUGE. Heads, cams, superchargers, turbos, you name it, there is a part.

    Try that in the IS-F. HA!

    And with that supercharger is a matter of a few tweaks to squeeze 600+HP.

    Now I ask, how would that IS-F ass be feeling now?

    The fact that we are still debating on which car should put to race against it, is enough proof that the CTS-V is up to the challenge. And it has to be GOOD for that.

  • avatar
    NickR

    While we are engaging in flights of fancy, can we work Danica Patrick into the equation somehow? (No offense Jack.)

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    wsn :
    September 16th, 2009 at 4:12 am
    So, when talking about “competitiveness”, let’s not forget about the context here. Is the CTS-V competitive in being a halo car that increase Caddy (and GM) sales? Not so much I guess. So, it is not competitive.

    Well, considering that the CTS is the third best-selling entry-lux car in the country through August 2009, and outsells the IS line, despite the sales-killing negative publicity surrounding GM’s bankruptcy, I’d say your argument is off base.

    If there’s an uncometitive car in this class, I’d say it’s the IS – it’s underpowered and dull to drive, cramped inside, and generic-looking. It sells primarily on the strength of the Lexus name.

  • avatar
    postjosh

    it’s been 25+ years since i’ve ridden shotgun with mr. farago but i can vouch for his driving chops. if the caddy is being driven by gm’s boss, then ttac should have the balls to do likewise (asumming spousal consent).

    is anyone taking bets? i’d like to put a $100 on ttac.

  • avatar
    Mirko Reinhardt

    @FreedMike :
    Well, considering that the CTS is the third best-selling entry-lux car in the country

    …all the while anybody but a hardcore car geek in The Rest Of The World will scratch his head and ask “Cadillac WHAT?”

    Being #3 in one isolated market doesn’t mean much. I’ve yet to see a single CTS in Europe.


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