The Art of the Drive
Design And Performance Coalesce Into A Masterpiece In The CTS-V
It’s been said that art should evoke such scholarly questions as “What were they taking back then, anyway?” You stare at an abstract painting and think, “How could they do that?” Similarly, the 2016 CTS-V challenges us to critically understand mission, character, and soul. One glance says it is absolutely a Cadillac: crisply styled, luxurious, and individualistic. But it also packs 640 horsepower—with a race-bred chassis to match. So to understand the artistry of the CTS-V, you must know that it is both the velvet glove and the nine-pound hammer—all in one.
But where might one appreciate such rolling art? Montecito, California. Overlooking the blue Pacific in Santa Barbara County, this luxury enclave boasts a population of barely 9,000 lucky souls, including tycoons, producers, and stars. Homes begin around $1 million and accelerate to nearly $30 million, and the local bistro’s parking lot is stacked with talent from Germany, England, and Italy. And when the CTS-V rumbles in, add the Motor City.
If the patrons hadn’t already noticed the CTS-V’s crouching shape and HID headlamps, they definitely feel its growling quad exhausts. This is not your normal Hamptons or Rodeo Drive cappuccino-getter. In fact, with a car this hot, we order an iced café Americano just to annoy the anointed. We then head into the nearby Los Padres National Forest, where miles of winding roads make the perfect gallery for appreciating this beautiful beast. Our route segues into a road so steep and crooked that it could be part of the Monte Carlo Rally. El Niño rains have washed rubble across the tarmac in places, but the StabiliTrak system handles it before we’re even aware of danger.