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Cadillac STS-V – America’s Most Powerful Sedan

VehicleVoice STS Super Badge.JPG

Ah, this is more like it. The 469-horsepower supercharged Cadillac STS-V is what a high performance interstate cruiser is all about. Large, substantial, spacious, fully featured, blindingly fast, the STS-V, in most cases, more than fills the bill for affluent drivers who covet luxury as well as performance.
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Now, I know my colleagues who like more nimble cars pooh pooh the STS-V, but this car certainly has its place. In fact, when the STS-V rolled out of our lot an Audi S4 with its 340-horsepower V8 and a six-speed manual transmission rolled in. The younger, sportier folks gravitated to the Imola yellow S4 and shed nary a tear for the STS-V. Me, I’d take the STS-V in a heartbeat.
VehicleVoice STS R34.JPG

Docile, Flexible Around Town
Around town the STS-V is a docile luxury sedan capable of lumping along at surface road speeds without overheating, stumbling or doing any of those other untoward things high performance cars have been known to do in the past. When canyon running the STS-V holds its own. It’s not as fun as a Miata or the Saturn Sky Red Line we just had here at AutoPacific and VehicleVoice. It takes a bit more work to really push it around the twisties, but it conveys a strong sense of purpose and confidence. So what is the reason for the STS-V?
What is the Strength of the STS-V? – Most Powerful American Sedan
For the person who can spend $78,000 on a new car, the STS-V has the performance and cachet to perform with the likes of the BMW M5, Mercedes E63 AMG and Audi S6. The M5 has 500-horsepower 5.0L V10 engine. The E63 AMG has 507-horsepower from a 6.3L V8. The S6 has “only” 435-horsepower from its 5.2L V10 engine. The STS-V has 469-horsepower from its 4.4L Supercharged V8. Not as many horses as BMW or Mercedes, but substantially more than its closest American sedan rival – the Chrysler 300C SRT-8 with a 425-horsepower 6.1L V8.
How can you use all this horsepower? Well, we have learned from participants in AutoPacific research that power has evolved from being an irresponsible attribute to a very important component of vehicle safety. Power gives you the ability to merge effortlessly onto a freeway. Power minimizes the time exposed to danger when passing. Power can help you avoid accidents. So, if we try to rationalize why we NEED 469-horsepower these are some reasons to give the little woman.

VehicleVoice STS Doors.JPG

Easy to Live With
And for those of us who covet size, the STS-V is larger than any of the Germans and about the same size as the Chrysler. The seats are comfortable and supportive. Ergonomics are good. Ingress and egress is easy. The last generation navigation system installed in the STS however is not as good as the all new General Motors units and cries out for an update. The new GM system is world class. Will have to wait for the STS update next year to get the latest and greatest.
VehicleVoice STS I:P.JPG

Keagan’s Notes (Just before he was fired):
That’s more like it? It’s a land yacht. The only thing missing are the oars and a few Vikings!
Joking aside George’s description is quite accurate. The STS-V is more of an interstate cruiser; large, substantial, and spacious. I was impressed with its ‘straight line’ performance and interior build materials. The STS-V is docile, borderline boring, but definitely performed like a ‘muscle car’, which means the golf champion or doctor from Ohio could get into their STS-V and blow the doors off some punk kid in a Camaro, but he probably won’t because he didn’t take his heart medication and there’s a sharp turn at the end of the street.
The 469 horsepower felt a little neutered to me and there was body roll, but the almost 4400 lb. curb weight may have something to do with that. In the end, George is probably right, the STS-V would be easy to live with but I personally would take the Audi S4 over the STS-V every day of the week and twice on Sunday. The STS-V does portray the image of ‘I have arrived’ at a certain status in life and maybe it’s just that I haven’t made it there yet. – Keagan

1 Comment

  • Jason Haddad| August 22, 2014 at 8:29 pm

    America’s most powerful sedan was not the STS-V in 2007. If you ever intend to think so then you’re wrong. The rare Shelby Crown Victoria P V-12 had 500 hp. And it was produced between 2002 and 2011. Only 300 units were produced though.

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