By on September 15, 2009

The good folks at Jaguar have been kind enough pledge an XFR to the TTAC side for the upcoming first annual (?) Robert Lutz Sports Sedan Challenge. In principle. We still don’t know whether Lutz imagines his challenge as a head-to-head race or a hot lap time trial, and these are important factors in planning racing strategy. Not to mention expensive car-lending decisions. Still, if GM actually goes through with this on fair terms, we could have one of the CTS-V’s top competitors for a mount. And if Hyundai brass show up as is being rumored (let alone Sergio Marchionne in a Quattroporte), we could just have one hell of a spectacle on our hands.

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53 Comments on “TTAC Snags a Jag...”


  • avatar
    BDB

    This is gonna be fun to watch.

  • avatar
    Giltibo

    GM is well known to bring ringers to the arena… Hopefully you can get a stock CTS-V, not one of those ringers…

  • avatar
    jrlombard

    Excellent. With Robert’s British heritage, that just seems completely appropriate. Keep us posted.

  • avatar
    Spitfire

    I’m sure the Jag will be in tip top shape just as the potential Maserati and Hyundai will be. This is going to be sweet if everyone follows through! Great Goodwood video btw.

  • avatar
    Bancho

    They should have judges from “the 24 hours of LeMons” do a pre-race inspection of all vehicles in question (with appropriate punishments for shenanigans).

    I’m really looking forward to this and hope there is some good video available. Regardless of the outcome it sounds like it will be interesting and entertaining.

  • avatar
    mikey

    For what it’s worth,and that ain’t much. I hope that Bob Lutz and GM carve up your foreign born automotive ass’s and hands e’m to ya on a plate.

  • avatar
    John Horner

    What great fun. You have to hand it to Lutz for stirring up an interesting rubber-dust storm. This could be one of the most fun things to happen in the dreary world of auto making this year.

  • avatar
    pnnyj

    “Giltibo :

    GM is well known to bring ringers to the arena… Hopefully you can get a stock CTS-V, not one of those ringers…”

    Since the CTS-V uses the same basic setup as the Corvette ZR-1 I’d bet that at the very least GM will re-tune the Caddy up to the ZR-1′s 650 hp level. Gawd only knows what they might try if they get ambitious.

  • avatar
    ajla

    The XFR, C63 AMG, CTS-V, and Quattroporte.

    That’s quite the awesome lineup.

    I love the XFR (and prefer TTAC over Jalopnik), but I ache for the C63- so I hope the Merc shocks us all and does the best.
    ____
    I’m still skeptical something this cool will actually occur though.

  • avatar
    Monty

    So at this point there are a possible 3 more challengers? Methinks we have underestimated Mr. Lutz.

    If he’s racing against more expensive cars, and driving himself at 77 years of age, and he beats or even ties any of them, it’s a giant PR win for LutzGM

    There will be a trickle down effect, not in the actual cars, but in the marketing push, and you better believe that GM and Lutz will be crowing around the clock about this.

    I almost want to see him win.

    I really hope that this prompts some introspection amongst the B & B at GM and makes them rethink what Cadillac and GM is all about. Perhaps this is the real start of the renaissance at the RenCen. Okay, maybe thats just wishing for too much, but a guy can dream, can’t he?

  • avatar

    pnnyj:

    The ZR1 engine uses an entirely different type of supercharger, so it wouldn’t be possible to disguise a straight swap.

    And why would GM need to cheat, since their car has already been proven in previous tests elsewhere to be the quickest around a track?

    That’s the thing about having the best car (in this instance, at least): you don’t have to cheat to win.

    I still can’t fathom what Hyundai’s smoking unless they’re secretly planning to offer a well-tuned and boosted V8 Genesis on dealer lots by mid-October.

  • avatar

    Excellent Choice.

    For those that don’t know, an only slightly modified XFR became the fastest Jaguar ever recently. 225.675 MPH at Bonneville last November.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D5HJd3Pwtys

    –chuck

  • avatar
    Monty

    ajla :
    September 15th, 2009 at 7:15 pm

    The XFR, C63 AMG, CTS-V, and Quattroporte.

    That’s quite the awesome lineup.

    I’m still skeptical something this cool will actually occur though.

    I too have this niggling fear, that because I am anticipating this event with great excitement, that it will not come to pass, or, that my, at this point, extremely high expectations will be dashed.

  • avatar
    MBella

    Sounds awesome. To bad you couldn’t get the M3 sedan. That would be the best likely competitor to the V. I hope Baruth’s talent will overcome any shortfalls of the car.

  • avatar
    Dynamic88

    There will be a trickle down effect, not in the actual cars, but in the marketing push, and you better believe that GM and Lutz will be crowing around the clock about this.

    With respect, I disagree. I think there will be little or no trickle down effect on marketing.

    Most consumers will be unaware of this race. It will be of great interest to us piston heads, but that’s about it.

    Meanwhile, back at the showrooms, real people aren’t buying CTS-Vs at $60K a copy. They are buying CamCords.

  • avatar
    KalapanaBlack

    Dynamic88 :
    September 15th, 2009 at 7:34 pm

    There will be a trickle down effect, not in the actual cars, but in the marketing push, and you better believe that GM and Lutz will be crowing around the clock about this.

    With respect, I disagree. I think there will be little or no trickle down effect on marketing.

    Most consumers will be unaware of this race. It will be of great interest to us piston heads, but that’s about it.

    Meanwhile, back at the showrooms, real people aren’t buying CTS-Vs at $60K a copy. They are buying CamCords.

    +50.

    This is fun and all, but it’s utterly pointless, enthusiast-directed PR fluff. If you look at it, it’s also a huge waste of the taxpayer’s money to even be wasting money on halo performance Cadillacs in the first place.

    Some other points:
    -Hyundai. Really? The Gensis is quick, but come on…

    -Have you seen the residuals for low-mileage, two-year-old CTS-Vs? They’re practically worthless. An Accord V6 is worth more after a year (for good reason).

    -Some of you have taken this to mean Bob Lutz is actually a marketing genius in disguise/dormancy. I proffer that this entire shebang is a complete accident. Lutz was talking out of his you-know-what again and amazingly someone spoke up for once. Further, the claim that it’s the “fastest four-door sedan” is bunk by nature. What metric are you using for fast? Obviously now it’s going to be around a track (the Evo could hand that Cadillac pig is rump on a plate), the Porsche Panamera exists and is for sale, just in limited supply (and beat the CTS-V around the Nurburgring Nordschleife by a considerable 3 seconds), and once the limiter is removed, there are any number of German four-doors that could go faster outright, thanks to GM’s EPA-pandering six-speed gearing. Bunk, bunk, bunk.

    But I still can’t wait to see if it actually comes to pass.

  • avatar
    TZ

    KalapanaBlack :
    September 15th, 2009 at 7:42 pm

    -Have you seen the residuals for low-mileage, two-year-old CTS-Vs? They’re practically worthless. An Accord V6 is worth more after a year (for good reason).

    Source? If you’re going to exaggerate, at least make the comparison somewhat realistic.

    NADA shows retail value for an ’07 CTS-V at roughly $30k. If an ’07 Accord V6 is worth anywhere near that, I’ll eat a hubcap.

  • avatar
    Ingvar

    Well, either which way, this is going to be fun. Nothing beats the fun of watching some guys measuring each others dicks. The point is, this is a win-win for all. If Lutz wins or loses, if Jalopnik wins or loses, if TTAC wins or loses. Everybody wins, even if they lose. It’s all a great big happening. I agree, this could be the greatest PR-coup this year. But even if it is, I’ll have to give it to them, this will be really fun to watch. As Bertel Schmitt said: May the best Car & Driver win….

  • avatar
    KalapanaBlack

    TZ :
    September 15th, 2009 at 7:53 pm

    KalapanaBlack :
    September 15th, 2009 at 7:42 pm

    -Have you seen the residuals for low-mileage, two-year-old CTS-Vs? They’re practically worthless. An Accord V6 is worth more after a year (for good reason).

    Source? If you’re going to exaggerate, at least make the comparison somewhat realistic.

    NADA shows retail value for an ‘07 CTS-V at roughly $30k. If an ‘07 Accord V6 is worth anywhere near that, I’ll eat a hubcap.

    Grab a knife and fork. It may not have been an inflated Cadillac dealer price, but a 50,000 mi ’06 sold at a dealer auction in March 2007 for $27,000. I was there buying my last car, so I saw it go through and tracked the price, because it was by far the most interesting car there.

  • avatar
    AdamYYZ

    I can imagine Lutz being nearly identical to William Shatner behind the wheel:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WFidDhoSE_k

  • avatar

    I guess Lutz decided he needed to get this done as soon as he could, i.e., while they still make the CTS-V. This won’t be an annual event, because the V is going away after this year. What could he possibly run next year as an example of a sports sedan from GM — a LaCrosse?

  • avatar
    KalapanaBlack

    Frank Williams :
    September 15th, 2009 at 8:25 pm

    I guess Lutz decided he needed to get this done as soon as he could, i.e., while they still make the CTS-V. This won’t be an annual event, because the V is going away after this year. What could he possibly run next year as an example of a sports sedan from GM — a LaCrosse?

    Hey, according to his employer (and, in fact, the department he himself heads), the 2009 Impala LTZ is a “sport sedan.”

  • avatar
    dean

    I’d like to see an old F1 start where the driver has to run to the car and start it up before taking off.

    Then again, we wouldn’t want to see any coronaries out there.

    I would imagine it would be a timed lap for safety, hopefully from a standing start. More interesting than a flying lap, methinks.

  • avatar
    imag

    You know, you can knock this as PR fluff, but in an industry where every photo/press release, new product intro, and limited edition model is an event planned down to the nuts, this is actually a pretty interesting snowball. It’s not just a car comparison, but a personality and driver comparison, and the results cannot be predetermined right now.

    Go snowball go… *crosses fingers*

  • avatar
    PeteMoran

    I’d like to see this car.

    1) To see how it goes – very favourable results here in Australia, and

    2) To see all the dropped jaws and sad eyes when people realise you can’t have it State-side.

  • avatar

    KalapanaBlack:

    No need for any hubcap chewing.

    You said a two-year-old CTS, and an Accord after a year.

    A 2006 CTS is now four years old. And 50k is four years of miles.

    And a year-old Accord V6 is not worth $27,000. You can buy a new one for less than that.

  • avatar

    Frank Williams:

    I missed the news that this is the last year of the V. When was that leaked?

  • avatar

    Awesome news! Nice get.

    Now where’s that Evo FQ400?

  • avatar
    faygo

    there is definitely no confirmation that the CTS-V is going away. there is no reason to even think about stopping production of it – makes money, it doesn’t need any more spent on it and it’s going to continue to be the overdog in it’s class.

    GM specifically stated that when GM High Performance Vehicle Operations was disbanded in February that they would not kill products outright, rather allow them to continue to sell if demand was there for them :

    “The Cadillac CTS-V is a regular part of the CTS lineup, and that will stay for the foreseeable future,” says GM spokes-squid Vince Muniga, according to Inside Line.

    “The CTS-V will continue through the life cycle of the product. If they are regular production cars, they will continue through the model run, whether it’s an SS Cobalt or an SS HHR.”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/steve-parker/gm-closes-high-performanc_b_169294.html

    it killed off the Z28 & a next-gen Cruze SS or whatever else they might have had planned, but that was probably a Task Force-driven move, even tho 60 engineers and a few programs is chicken feed in the grand scheme of things within GM’s spending, especially as they would (one assumes) not be approved unless they were money-makers.

  • avatar
    e85_STi

    In the right corner … backed by the bankrupt Ford family’s last hurrah before being sold to India for $1, the The mighty Jagwar driven by an 70 year old grape stomper.
    In the left corner … coveted by the Chinese mafia and looking as if the Snake clan mass produced it, the CattleAck!! driven by a steroid injecting, Cuban cigar chomping, git yer paws off my Obama Motors corporate jet octagenarian.

    Made for YouTube pissterity.

  • avatar
    qfrog

    I’m not a fan of the frontal styling on the Jag but my opinion of Jag has been moved just a bit by their promise of an XFR for use on a road course by TTAC in a race. I don’t care if it is a publicity stunt for GM, this dissolves a touch of the unfavorable image I hold of Jaguar.

  • avatar
    Demetri

    Entering the Hyundai Genesis could be a clever move actually. All they have to do is show a video of it quietly and comfortably cruising around the track. Who cares how fast it can complete the track? It’s exactly what a Cadillac is supposed to be like. And in one fell swoop, GM is dealt more damage than any other brand could have done by beating them on the track.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    People criticize this as a publicity stunt, but what people aren’t talking about is the people working for GM and what this can do for morale.

    I’m not talking about the people at the top – I’m talking about all the folks in the middle. These aren’t the people who negotiated the toxic labor contracts, or made the bad product decisions. These are real people whose lives have been hurt because of someone else’s bad decision. And it sucks.

    These folks have been bitch slapped for the better part of five years now. They’ve been beaten bloody. They’ve seen their stock options and 401ks self-destruct. For the people at the top who let this happen, it’s justice. But for the people in the middle, it’s a travesty. Believe me, I know – I’ve worked for a couple of companies that were put on the ropes for bad management decisions.

    Stuff like this may or may not work as external PR, but it’ll work for morale purposes. I have a feeling that’s the real purpose of this.

    Of course, shredding a few sets of hyper-expensive rubber can’t hurt either.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Any chance of anyone bringing an M3 or M5 to this?

    I don’t think an XFR, as nice as it is, is going to have a chance.

  • avatar
    TZ

    KalapanaBlack :
    September 15th, 2009 at 8:09 pm

    Grab a knife and fork. It may not have been an inflated Cadillac dealer price, but a 50,000 mi ‘06 sold at a dealer auction in March 2007 for $27,000. I was there buying my last car, so I saw it go through and tracked the price.

    A one-year-old CTS-V with 50,000 miles is “low mileage”?

    Keep moving those goalposts.

  • avatar
    The Walking Eye

    Kalapana Black:

    Edmunds, 2007 CTS-V w/ 25K

    CPO = $33.5K
    DR = $31.8K

    Edmunds, 2008 Honda Accord, EX-L V6 w/ 50K

    CPO = $25.4K
    DR = $24.8

    Edmunds, 2007 Honda Accord, EX-L V6 w/ 50K

    CPO = $19.8K
    DR = $19K

    So, yeah, not so much.

  • avatar
    SherbornSean

    TTAC is getting an XFR? Awesome! I am now officially a fan of Tata’s.

    OK, I was always a fan, but now it’s official.

  • avatar
    e85_STi

    FreedMike, I do feel … and I believe many Americans …a small stirring of pride in what hopefully will be an exercise in morale boosting … except I feel more anger and frustration for the +400,000 employees who watched (were crapped on by GM’s Executive compensation committee) as their jobs were lost/outsourced across the border and overseas … as quality and design plummeted. Personally, I hope Subaru sends a 100 percent Ethanol-powered stock Impreza STi (fed by American corn growers) … with the resulting 425 wtq and 400 whp, driven by a racer like Tarzan Yamada, Mr Lutz’s ludicrous claims of best anything can be put to rest … and at least Yamada vs Heiny would be entertaining.

  • avatar

    As someone who has spent most his professional life in the auto propaganda business, I can assure you: This is the best idea that has come out of RenCen in ages. It’s cheap (this costs much less than a single pointless ad to shoot, make and run,) it’s viral (just look at the number of comments,) it’s got legs. I can see Legal wringing their hands over liability questions, and PR bozos worrying about a backlash, because it fosters driving beyond the legal limit, and not on batteries, and Lutz telling them to shut the NSFW up. That alone is worth the price of admission.

    Too bad that is happens in early October, this story could be milked for much longer, with trial runs, pre-race meetings with trash talk, secret spy shots, the works. I’ll come out of retirement if someone needs me as the Goebbels of GM or anybody else who pays.

    There is no way to close the dreaded missile- , I mean, perception-gap more resolutely than with this one. It will li8ve on Youtube forever.

    In the end, it doesn’t matter who wins. Lutz has already won. Everybody else wins too. The only way Lutz can lose is to chicken out.

  • avatar
    niky

    Wonderful news!

    Whether this works or not on the general public doesn’t matter to me. Just the fact that Lutz is game for this little shenanigan should generate good vibes both with the press and with the GM people.

    And seriously… how much of the taxpayers’ money does it take to take one bone-stock Caddy to the track?

  • avatar
    Stingray

    A Jaguar, a Chundai *sigh*, a Quattroporte, a C63, this thing is growing to EPIC proportions.

    This mix needs an M5, a M3, a RS4, a IS-F and…

    Screw Lutz gentlemen. This thing should be done by real men, not kids. Bring Heinricy and company.

    Wheel to wheel race against each car. 5 laps.

    And with so many cars competing, GM better brings some CTS-V along them.

    My bet: the Caddy will kill almost everything save possibly the Jag and the Bimmers.

  • avatar
    Robstar

    I really think GM/jalopnik/ttac should sell tickets & donate proceeds to charity.

    I think everyone here is interested and I think a lot of people would LOVE to see some of the fastest stock cars around whup on each other.

    I also think a 5-speed shifter kart should be thrown into the mix just for fun.

  • avatar
    Mervich

    FreedMike :
    September 15th, 2009 at 10:44 pm

    Any chance of anyone bringing an M3 or M5 to this?

    I don’t think an XFR, as nice as it is, is going to have a chance.

    Apparently, someone hasn’t been paying attention in class. Road tests have revealed the XFR as being very competitive in its genre.

  • avatar
    thalter

    When is this going down? I may have to cash in some frequent flier miles…

  • avatar
    Lokkii

    The more variety of interesting machines at this event, the better…

    My money is still on Lutz and the CTS-V.
    Caddy showed the Europeans how it’s done in 1950… it’s about time for a reminder for them.

    Seriously, looking that the MotorTrend Specs listing for various cars that somebody posted yesterday, the Caddy is the master of the class, including in power-to-weight ratio…

    Really wanna see this one. Hope that somebody calls Speed Channel and this gets properly televised.

  • avatar
    PeregrineFalcon

    @Michael Karesh:
    I still can’t fathom what Hyundai’s smoking unless they’re secretly planning to offer a well-tuned and boosted V8 Genesis on dealer lots by mid-October.

    They did have the RKSport-tuned Genesis sedan at SEMA 2008 – while it might have been an outside shop doing the tuning, Hyundai developed the blower. Claimed power was 460hp … so who knows?

    Competition related: Make sure that each vehicles gas tank is drained to bone-dry and filled with proper, 93-octane pump gas. Anyone who builds a ringer by tuning for 110+ octane will have a nasty surprise, and either a choice of retuning on the spot and showing their cheating colours, or risking a spectacular failure on-track. ;)

  • avatar
    chaparral66

    I still do not get the anti-Lutz slant of many people on this site. Was GM going to hire somebody that would really turn things around in the first place? No, they would never do anything like that. Lutz is at least entertaining and by GM standards I believe has done a pretty good job.

    I guess GM could put a ringer, but that would be to compentent for GM. I remember recently Road and Track (or one of the other big mags) had a group test with a Z06, GT-R and some 911. The Z06 that GM sent was terrible. The magazine was questioning why it was so slow and handling so terribly, so they had the alignment checked and it was totally out of spec. When they fixed it, the car was faster and handled better. There were other issues also that just showed GM just did not even try.

  • avatar
    chaparral66

    @e85_STi:
    I really doubt a STOCK STi makes “425 wtq and 400 whp” with E100.

    In fact the EPA does not even say any subaru is a flex fuel vehicle. It would be to subaru’s advantage to say they are flex fuel, so that leads me to believe it is not designed to run on E85. So running on E85 or E100 for an extended period of time is going to cause some seals to disappear, which is not good as there was probably a reason those seals were there in the first place.

  • avatar

    You guys should call Sabine Schmitz and get her over there in the M5 if you’re going to drive the Jaaaaaaaaag.
    I bet she’d love to whip GM’s ass.

  • avatar
    ktm

    Personally, I hope Subaru sends a 100 percent Ethanol-powered stock Impreza STi (fed by American corn growers) … with the resulting 425 wtq and 400 whp

    A stock STi will not make 425 wtq and 400 whp by simply retuning with E100. E100, though higher in octane, is basically racing fuel. Unless the boost is increased, timing changes are all that would occur when running E100. Changes in timing do not result in such significant gains.

  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    “I still can’t fathom what Hyundai’s smoking unless they’re secretly planning to offer a well-tuned and boosted V8 Genesis on dealer lots by mid-October.”

    There is the 5 liter supercharged Tau V8 that Hyundai was rumored to be playing with a year or so ago. I think it would be hilarious if GM’s publicity stunt ended up being the vehicle for the debut of a Genesis Hammer.

  • avatar
    Rollmo

    Ok, I must chime in. For what it’s worth, Lutz most likely has a good chance to take this challenge against any comers, he is (was) a fighter pilot, the car is basically expendable (and a hell of a weapon) and he has nothing to loose. Anyone bringing their own ride would have to be thinking about not killing it.

    I would actually be a little disappointed if the car wasn’t a “ringer”, all’s fair in love and war, I would expect any challenger to do the same. I’d like to see the race run to the end of a tank of gas or something breaks.

    When SAAB did the “Long Run” in 1986

    http://www.saabhistory.com/2007/05/16/saab-turbo-the-long-run-1986/

    they turned over the vehicles that completed this 20 day full throttle non stop run to the press to drive. That’s guts; see if Lutz will do the same. Among other things, I would be looking for gutted and non functional power seats, gutted power windows, fake audio system, ( like the IKEA cardboard fillers ) no sound proofing, functional a/c system and that the cruise control switch isn’t hooked up to a one shot NOS bottle hidden somewhere in the frame.

  • avatar
    NVHGuru

    I think making this an annual auto exec charity challenge would be even better. Each one has to donate a million bucks and the winner chooses which charity to donate it to (sorry Bob, GM’s pension fund doesn’t count!)
    I’d even pay to go and watch Marchionne, with a cloud of cigarette smoke coming out of his Quattroporte and old Ferdy trying to persuade them to let him use a Lamborghini Estoque or Bugatti Galibier prototype instead of the RS6 or Panamera S waiting in the transporter.
    Nobby Reithofer is ready in the M3 he chose over the heavier M5, due to the track layout.
    Dr. Z, under armed guard after rumours that some ex-Chrysler employees and Cerberus investors were going to pay him a visit, decides it would be safer to use an armoured Maybach 57S instead of the C63 AMG he planned on driving.
    Carlos Ghosn is sat looking rather dejected after realising that his M45 is seriously lacking in power compared to the rest of the field after unsuccessfully arguing that the GTR is a more direct competitor to the CTS-V.
    Next to him, Ratan Tata looks quietly confident in his XFR, until Christian von Koenigsegg arrives in his Saab 9-5X. Following several weeks of intense activity after buying the company, he has managed to launch limited production of a Koenigsegg-engined AWD version, pumping out 800hp and looks set to sweep the field…


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