Cars like Cadillac’s 556 HP, rear-drive, manual transmission-equipped CTS-V SportWagon are the kind of offering that enthusiasts lust after, even if a relative “value-price” of $70k-ish keeps it in aspirational territory. And by offering a CTS “Performance Edition” with the option of mating a six-speed manual to GM’s well-liked 3.6 liter V6, Cadillac gives enthusiasts an appealing opportunity to bask in some of the V’s reflected glory. But apparently not many enthusiasts are interested in pursuing this opportunity, as InsideLine reports that the manual transmission option will be dropped from the 2012 CTS 3.6.
Manual transmissions will continue to be available on all versions of the CTS-V, as well as the base-edition CTS sedan. Unfortunately, this entry-level CTS is saddled to a 3.0 V6 that is widely derided for flaccid performance and poor fuel economy compared to the 3.6. In fact, the 2011 CTS 3.6 with manual transmission gets 16/25 MPG from the EPA, while the 3.0 manual gets 16/26, a fuel economy advantage just one MPG highway. Wait, didn’t we just go through this with the SRX?
Rather than beating GM over the head with the underachievement of its 3.0 V6, we’ll ask all you manual-loving enthusiasts out there why you haven’t been buying enough manual-equipped CTS 3.6s. Is the CTS simply an underwhelming enthusiast option, when not tuned to its maximum V potential? Does the transmission involvement matter less in a vehicle of the CTS’s size (I never missed it when I drove an autobox V, but 556 HP helps with that)? For all the work Cadillac has done to promote the CTS-V as a brand halo, it will want to understand why that halo isn’t helping sell enthusiast-oriented, non-V CTS models.