A Day at the Races with Cadillac – Driving the CTS-V Wagon Around the Infineon Raceway

by Michael Sheehan on September 1, 2011

in Auto, General, Video

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I have been to two auto races in my life, one down in Long Beach (for the Long Beach Grand Prix) and this past weekend one at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, CA (for the Sonoma Grand Prix). And with each race, I have been really lucky. Down in Long Beach, the buddy who took me managed to get Pit Passes which meant that we could wander around the race wherever we wanted. And at the Sonoma races, I was treated to a great time AND ride courtesy of Cadillac.

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Cadillac has recently re-entered into the racing circuit and as a result, it really trying hard to make a splash and do it right. When my friend and I found the Cadillac Corral (which is right near turn 4 – see map below), we both commented on the ideal placement of the viewing site. We were on a hill overlooking a nice tight turn coming off of a downhill.

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Love the high-tech “GPS mapping” on the steering wheel!

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It was a hot and sunny day once the sun broke through the fog layer, perfect for getting sunburned and dehydrated. In the comfort of shady Cadillac tents, we managed to avoid burning up and drying out, as we spoke to a variety of Cadillac spokespeople and employees as well as Cadillac owners while enjoying catered food and drink. I must say, Cadillac does it right!

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We had a great view of the races from our hill, but the real excitement came when my friend and I were asked if we would like to do a parade lap on the Infineon racetrack in one of the Cadillac CTS-Vs that were on display in the Cadillac Corral. Of course we answered “Yes” and decided that I would be the driver. I thought that it was appropriate that the CTS-V that we drove was a wagon (e.g., great for the family).

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I wouldn’t really call this a “station wagon” though!

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But this is not your traditional family station wagon. In fact, if this was the “family taxi” that was to be used to transport kids to and from school, I would be the one driving every day (heck, I would even drive on weekends too)! Just take a look at a few of these specs:

  • 556 horsepower supercharged V8 engine
  • 551 lb.-ft. of torque
  • Hydra-Matic 6 speed automatic with paddle shifters (I didn’t get to test this)
  • Brembo Brakes
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  • Magnetic ride control via electronic shock absorbers and sensors
  • Recaro seats
  • Glide-up touch-screen navigation
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  • 0-60 in 4 seconds

The MSRP on the wagon is $63,660, which, while expensive for family wagons, when you consider the performance that is powering this rocket and all of the features of comfort, it is a pretty reasonable price. And compared to some of the competition out there, I think the CTS-V is a pretty good value for the performance and luxury you get.

Doing the parade lap around the Infineon Raceway was THE highlight of my day with Cadillac. Unfortunately, I couldn’t really open ‘er up and feel the G-force of the CTS-V but we did cruise through some turns and straightaways at 40-50 mph. You could definitely feel the beast inside the CTS-V raring to be let out. One lap around Infineon was just enough to whet my appetite and I wanted to drive it more. Perhaps some day.

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After the cruise around the track, we then got a tour of the Cadillac Paddock where they work on the race cars to see the V-Series race cars. These are truly impressive. In fact, they are so impressive and fast that the Cadillac race cars have air restrictors and 100 lb weights added to their cars in order to slow them down a bit to make them competitive.

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I mainly stuck to taking pictures during the races, and you can see the full set over on my Flickr feed. But I did manage to get a little bit of video (which is always hard at the races because of the noise). And in this video, you can see one of Danica Patrick’s last races as an IndyCar driver since she has since moved over NASCAR racing. (Direct YouTube link to video)

[iframe_loader width="560" height="345" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/BksfJ6NhDbw?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen]

Thanks again to Cadillac for the chance to meet the team as well as get behind the wheel of the amazing CTS-V wagon.

Disclosure Text: Apart from providing free tickets to the race, the food and the drink, I have not received any compensation for writing this content and I have no material connection to the brands, topics and/or products that are mentioned herein. More information can be found in my About page as well as here.

HTD says: Driving the CTS-V around Infineon Raceway made me almost feel like a professional race car driver!

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