We called it on April Fools’ Day. Sort of, anyway. The new high-power XTS uses a twin-turbo 3.6L V-6 to twist out 410 torque-steering horsepower on its way to a C/D – tested 0-60 in 5.2 seconds and a quarter-mile in 13.5@105. (Naturally-aspirated Porsche owners should feel free to turn right at stoplights unless they have 3.8 liters or direct injection.)
Big, fast car. Well, kind of big. And kind of fast. But what are we supposed to call the thing?
Nominally speaking, the new turbochaged XTS is the “XTS V-Sport”. The television ad that’s being shown now briefly flashes a “V” on the trunk, and early magazine tests referred to the car as the “V-Sport”. Cadillac’s own website, however, simply calls it the “XTS with 410-horsepower turbocharged engine” and the TV ad never actually says V-Sport or refers to V-Sport in the final tag screen.
Is this a case of General Motors experiencing a last-minute crisis of confidence in the “V-Sport” idea? Is the “V” sub-brand really well-established enough to spawn a junior division the way AMG and M have for their parent manufacturers with “AMG Design” and “M-Sport” models? It seems frankly doubtful that the message behind the the V-flag logo is that strong.
Given control of the Standard of the World, we’d have explicitly called it XTS-V or settled for “XTS Turbo”. If AMG can get away with the CLA 45, GM can get away with XTS-V. Alternately, XTS Turbo would have been an accurate description of the car that didn’t write too many rubber checks on the sporting front. This “V-sport” business is the proverbially spittable lukewarm choice and it won’t earn any respect from anyone, even if the straight-line performance of the twin-turbo XTS manages to do so.
The biggest obstacle facing the XTS-Whatever in the marketplace, however, won’t be the name on the sticker. It’ll be the number. At between $63,020 and $75K depending on equipment, the LaCrosse Plus actually costs more than the biturbo V-8 Mercedes-Benz E550 4Matic. A Cadillac for the price of a Mercedes? Call this one the XTS-Vanish.