While snapping shots of the new Chevrolet SS at the end of the show on Thursday, TTAC’s NYIAS crew was approached by General Motors vice president Mark Reuss. “You guys are always trying to make GM look bad,” he growled, his two personal assistants standing behind him and positively radiating menace, “but I’m going to show you that you can’t stop the largest car company in the world from making great product for great customers. Come with me.”
We didn’t have much choice, but after being given an industry exclusive on the biggest product reveal to not make news at the show, we’re glad we followed him down that dark corridor.
There, sitting alone and forlorn in a distant corner of one of the Jacob Javits Center’s loading docks, was a fierce-looking version of the new Chevrolet Impala. Slammed to the ground, with heavy negative camber and monstrous carbon-ceramic brakes peeking from behind the Corvette-ZR1-sourced lace wheels, the Impala really looked like it was worthy of the name Impala, as opposed to the current Impala, which could have been truthfully been called the “Biscayne Extra Suck Edition”.
“If we hadn’t been able to get the SS past the EPA and DOT this year, we’d have done this project instead,” Reuss noted. “But since ninety percent of the SS platform is shared with the G8, type approval was actually easy as pie. Which left this Impala SS with nowhere to go. What you’re looking at is the development mule for the XTS-V.”
“Absolutely. Specs run like this. Transverse LS7 with lower redline to preserve the carryover 6T70. We’re targeting an announced power level of 470 or so horsepower. Possibly a torque bump if we decide to use the Camaro cam.”
“The LS7 fits in the Epsilon II?”
“OF COURSE IT DOES!” Reuss laughed. “What, you think we’re so stupid we don’t bother to make sure we can put our marquee engines into our marquee brand? Did you really think we were going to leave the XTS with the same shitty six-cylinder we put in the LaCrosse? Why would anybody buy an XTS if we did that, given the price difference? Of course, the XTS has a longer wheelbase coming, because obviously it won’t cut it for livery duty with the rear seat room we have now. It’s possible we’ll use the LS3 in a livery LWB XTS for late 2014 as well.”
Scheduled to appear before the new CTS in showrooms, the XTS-V will likely circle the fabled ‘Ring in under eight minutes and twenty seconds, thus setting a new record for FWD luxury sedans over 3,850 pounds. Paddle shifters and stitched Alcantara will complete the interior for a truly premium experience, while the CUE system will be augmented with something that Reuss told us “you’d better not fucking call ‘Track Apps’, Ford owns that.”
The XTS-V will be priced about where the old STS-V was, but in our brief convo, Reuss told us he wasn’t concerned about market penetration. “Listen, it’s been proven again and again that you can sell Cadillacs for big money. Look at the Allante, the XLR, the STS-V itself. We’ll be head to head with the M5 on this, the same way we were were head-to-head with the M3 on CTS-V and we’ll be head-to-head with the 1M with the ATS-V that I’m supposed to pretend isn’t already running laps at Milford.”
In a rare moment of candor, Reuss admitted that the XTS-V has already won Motor Trend’s Car of the Year award. “We don’t have a production-line XTS-V running yet, but luckily for us we draft all our advertising checks as, ahem, one-offs, if you know what I mean, and I think you do.”
An exclusive press event for the nation’s biggest auto journalists will be held at the Stelvio Pass in approximately sixty days, with long-term loaners being distributed shortly afterwards. Our requests to participate in either program were met with the terse response “Fuck off,” and a follow-up suggestion for a week with an XTS-V press car were met with the terse response, “I already told you to fuck off, don’t make me tell you with these two fists.” The advertising campaign will be built around the concept of “Torque Can Steer You Anywhere You Want To Go,” and will feature, according to GM press flack A. T. Tappmann, “some black golfer who isn’t Tiger Woods, probably.”