Don't Call It A V-Sport — Or Do, Maybe

Jack Baruth
by Jack Baruth
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don t call it a v sport or do maybe

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.

Jack Baruth
Jack Baruth

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  • PrincipalDan PrincipalDan on Sep 23, 2013

    Well as long as this is more reliable than a Northstar... I'll be browsing the websites of Florida and Phoenix car dealers in several years. Cheap speed, yee ha!

    • See 1 previous
    • PrincipalDan PrincipalDan on Sep 23, 2013

      @bunkie Take it 200,000 miles with the same service record and I'll gladly buy one of those little old lady specials with 75,000 miles that you can pick up for $13,000 around here in the Southwest. Love me a DTS or a Lucerne with the Northstar. BTW a family friend who happens to be a salesman at the local Buick/GMC dealer remarked of another salesman who had his Lucerne in the service bay: "God those Northstars are sweet until something goes wrong." When 20 year GM employees are throwing those kinds of comments out that makes me pause before purchasing.

  • Corey Lewis Corey Lewis on Sep 24, 2013

    This needs a body kit and trims and spoiler to look like a proper V-Edition. Maybe a body colored grille. And question: Is this a modified 3.6L out of the any-90s-00s-GM-sedan?

  • EBFlex Pretty awesome this thread is almost universally against this pile of garbage. Tesla really missed the mark.
  • FreedMike I suppose that in some crowded city like Rome or Tokyo, there's a market for a luxurious pint-size car. I don't think they'll be able to give them away here in the U.S.
  • TMA1 How much did exchange rates affect this decision? The Renegade is imported from Italy. I'm wondering if that's what caused the price to reach within a few hundred of the much bigger Compass. Kind of a no-brainer to pick the larger, more modern vehicle.
  • CEastwood Everytime I see one of these I think there's a dummie who could have bought a real car , but has to say look at me driving this cool thing I can't drive in the rain like an actual motorcycle that I should have bought in the first place ! It's not Batman I see driving these - it's middle age Fatman .
  • SilverCoupe I should be the potential audience for this (current A5 owner, considering an S5 in the future), but I can't say it excites me. I have never liked the vertical bars in the grilles of sporting Mercedes models, for one thing. The interior doesn't speak to me either.I would be more likely to consider a BMW 4 Series, though not the current version with the double Edsel grille. Still, I suppose it would be worth a look when the time comes to replace my current vehicle.