Should GM really build a 556-horsepower wagon with tax payer bailout money?


Don't get us wrong.

We think that a 556-horsepower Cadillac wagon will be a good car…no make that a very good car.

But, and this is a big but, should GM really be building such a crazy car with Federal bailout money?

Cadillac recently announced that it would green light a wagon version of the Cadillac CTS-V. The specs of the wagon are pretty astonishing:

– 6.2 liter V8

– 556-horsepower engine

– Massive Brembo brakes

– 551 pound-feet of torque

– Six-speed manual or six-speed automatic with steering wheel shift controls


Anyway you get the idea this is going to be a luxury family hauler race car.

But who really needs (or more importantly) wants a luxury family hauler race car?

The current CTS-V sedan costs about $60K and you can bet the wagon version won't be any cheaper.

And yes, we am well aware that the BMW builds and sells a wagon version of their iconic BMW M5 in Europe.

Click HERE for reviews of cars that will potentially compete with the new CTS-V wagon

But BMW didn't go bankrupt, and the company certainly didn't get billions of tax payer dollars as bailout money.

That means that if BMW wants to build a 1 series "Halo" wagon with over 1000 horsepower to compete with the Bugatti Veyron—we say go ahead.


But does GM really have the excess cash to afford such low volume and perhaps low profit cars?

At least in America…wagons are pretty much a dead or dying species of automobile replaced by the much more popular SUV and now Crossover.

We can't help but wonder how much money was lost when the Hummer brand died building crazy big gas guzzling vehicles for a small market of Hummer enthusiast.

So here we have another crazy thirsty car (no make that wagon) that most likely only a handful of lucky enthusiast will buy…unless of course there's an over welling ground swell of family hauler race car buyers.

Would it not be smarter for GM to focus more on its core business of building profitable cars in the same way that Ford is doing?

We can't fear but wonder how long before gas reaches $3 or $4 dollars per gallon again and 556 HP wagon with a $2600 gas guzzler tax will seem completely out of touch with reality?


So please don't get us wrong.

We recently drove the current CTS-V and it's a very good car, but can GM really afford to build such an expensive guilty pleasure with borrowed tax payer money for such a small buyer base?

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Today's entire GM Press Release is below:

NEW YORK – Cadillac today unveiled the CTS-V Sport Wagon show car,
foreshadowing the next addition to its V-Series performance line. It
combines the performance and luxury of the landmark CTS-V Sport Sedan
with the dramatic design of the CTS Sport Wagon.

"The CTS-V Sport Wagon is a natural extension of both the V-Series and
the CTS lineup, offering an uncompromising performance car to
enthusiasts who want the extra room of a wagon," said Don Butler, vice
president for Cadillac marketing. "The V-Series Sport Wagon is another
hallmark of the dramatic presence and power of Cadillac vehicles."

The exterior is finished in Midnight Silver, first seen on the Cadillac
Sixteen Concept, and accented by lustrous Liquid Silver-finished wheels
and a black chrome finish on the grille's mesh insert. The rear fascia,
upper spoiler and center high-mounted stop lamp are also unique to the
show car.

Inside, the CTS-V Sport Wagon show car is trimmed in exclusive black
leather with Alcantara accents. The upper section of the instrument
panel and upper door panels are covered in the same premium leather,
accented with midnight Sapele wood, while the microfiber material and
stitching is applied to the lower door panels, pillars, console lid,
headliner and steering wheel center. The show car features fine-grain
black leather- trimmed Recaro seats with Alcantara seat inserts. The
seat inserts are divided in the center and accented with dark gray
stitching, while the V-series logo is laser etched into the seatbacks.
Obsidian Black accents grace the center stack, console, steering wheel
and door panels.

The show car's bespoke color and trim elements hint at the potential
direction of color and trim in future Cadillac models. These elements
are not yet intended for production, but represent Cadillac's desire to
gauge customer reaction to new color and trim options.

Production CTS-V Sport Wagon The CTS-V Sport Wagon will go into
production in late 2010, with initial sales in North America, followed
by export markets including Europe and the Middle East. The new model
rounds out the V-Series offerings, which include all variants of the CTS
family's sedan, coupe and sport wagon body styles.
Like its sedan and coupe stable mates, the CTS-V Sport Wagon is powered
by a supercharged 6.2L V-8, which delivers 556 horsepower (415 kW) and
is backed by either a six-speed manual transmission or a six-speed
automatic. A suite of technical and performance elements complement the
powertrain, including Magnetic Ride Control, Brembo brakes and Michelin
Pilot Sport PS2 performance tires mounted on 19-inch forged aluminum

Like the other CTS V-Series models, the Sport Wagon incorporates a
unique grille that doubles front-end airflow to help enable its
high-performance capabilities. It is also visually identified by an
aggressive front fascia and raised center section of the aluminum hood
that provides clearance for the supercharger. It rides on 19-inch forged
aluminum wheels available in painted or polished finishes.

The rest of the exterior carries the dramatic design of the new CTS
Sport Wagon; the details of which include:

  • Signature V-shaped deck and tailgate motif
  • Large, vertical taillamps with light-pipe technology
  • Power-opening liftgate (via key fob or in-vehicle button)
  • CHMSL-integrated roof spoiler
  • Integrated roof load management system with available cross bars
    for a seamless appearance
  • Cargo management system with adjustable in-floor containment
  • Available panoramic UltraView sunroof.

At the rear is a pair of 3-inch (76 mm) chrome exhaust outlets,
which caps a performance dual-exhaust system made of high-grade
stainless steel that will maintain a lustrous appearance longer than
ordinary stainless.
Of course, cargo capability is a hallmark of wagons and the V-Series
Sport Wagon delivers with 25.4 cubic feet (720 liters) of space behind
the rear seats and 58 cubic feet (1,644 liters) with the seats folded –
virtually doubling the available space of the sedan.

Supercharged performance

The 6.2L supercharged V-8 engine powers the CTS-V Sport Wagon – the same
acclaimed engine found in the V-Series Sedan and Coupe models. Rated at
556 horsepower (415 kW) and 551 lb.-ft. of torque (747 Nm), it is the
most powerful engine offered in Cadillac's history.

The engine features an intercooled Eaton Twin Vortices SeriesTM (TVSTM)
supercharger. This unique supercharger design employs twin four-lobe
rotors, twisted 160 degrees. Typical superchargers feature three lobes
twisted 60 degrees. The fourth lobe and added twist, when combined with
unique air inlet and outlet ports, create smoother, more efficient
airflow into the engine. In addition to improved overall efficiency,
this supercharger has superior noise and vibration characteristics
compared to more ordinary designs.

A pair of six-speed transmissions is offered in the CTS-V Sport Wagon – a
Tremec TR6060 six-speed manual with a dual-disc clutch and a
Hydra-Matic 6L90 six-speed automatic with steering wheel-mounted shift
controls. The steering wheel-mounted controls require no shift lever
movement and allow immediate tap up/tap down gear selection. Performance
Algorithm Shifting provides the automotive transmission with a
performance-oriented shift pattern during sustained high-performance
driving. As with many Cadillac models, the driver needs only to slide
the shifter into the manual "gate" to put the transmission into a
performance mode.

Torque is channeled through the six-speed transmissions to a
high-performance rear axle that features a limited-slip rear
differential within a cast iron housing for greater thermal management
and asymmetrical half-shafts to smoothly manage the supercharged
engine's incredible torque. The unique design includes alternately sized
half-shafts that also help dynamically balance the oscillation of
torque from side to side, effectively eliminating "power hop."

Magnetic Ride Control

The V-Series achieves exceptional levels of road-holding performance,
but also maintains the poise of a luxury car in "regular" driving
conditions. The technical enabler of this dual-mode driving character is
Cadillac's landmark Magnetic Ride Control. It is standard on the CTS-V
Sport Wagon and is the world's fastest-reacting suspension technology.
It uses shocks controlled by advanced magneto-rheological technology,
rather than mechanical valves, to greatly accelerate response time and

Electronic sensors at all four wheels literally "read the road" every
millisecond, making constant adjustments to damping to create virtually
instantaneous and extremely precise control of body motions. This is of
particular benefit for a high-performance car because it helps keep the
car very composed during hard cornering, acceleration, braking and other
dynamic maneuvers.

The Magnetic Ride shocks also enable a broader range of damping control
to optimize the ride and handling for all driving conditions. In the
CTS-V Sport Wagon, an extra measure of control is offered, with two
selectable modes (Tour and Sport), enabling the driver to tailor the
suspension for grand touring or more spirited performance driving.
Cadillac pioneered Magnetic Ride Control, bringing it to production
first in 2002, following decades of research on magneto-rheological
science. Today, the technology appears only on a short roster of the
world's most elite vehicles, including Cadillac V- Series models, the
Escalade luxury SUV and the STS and DTS luxury sedans.

Brembo brakes and Michelin Pilot Sport PS2 tires

The CTS-V Sport Wagon incorporates sophisticated braking and tire
systems, in partnership with two companies renowned for high-performance
technology: Brembo and Michelin. Brembo brakes are at all four corners
and include powerful, six-piston calipers in the front and four-piston
calipers in the rear.

Large vented rotors enable strong initial braking force while optimizing
heat resistance and eliminating fade. The brake rotors from Brembo are
manufactured with "dual-cast" technology that combines cast iron and
aluminum, resulting in superior performance and weight reduction.

The CTS-V Sport Wagon also includes an electric parking brake, which
allows for optimal dead pedal placement, which is important for
high-performance driving.

Michelin partnered with Cadillac engineers to develop an exclusive Pilot
Sport PS2 tire specifically engineered for the CTS-V. The tires support
high levels of grip in track conditions, while also affording excellent
performance on the road.

Comfort, style and technology

The interior of the CTS-V Sport Wagon is shared with the sedan,
including streamlined instrumentation, LED lighting and
hand-cut-and-sewn accents.

The CTS-V Sport Wagon production model will come standard with
performance seats featuring perforated sueded microfiber inserts
designed to hold the driver and front passenger in place during
cornering. Recaro performance driving seats are optional and provide
excellent support for spirited driving. These 14-way adjustable
performance seats include pneumatic bolster controls in the seat
cushions and backrests.

Complementing the performance seating are a thick steering wheel and a
gauge package designed for easy, at-a-glance reference during
performance driving. Large instruments have bold readouts, including an
LED-lit "tracer" function in the tachometer that flashes as the engine
nears the red line. The gauge layout includes a boost gauge and a
lateral acceleration display.

Obsidian Black accents grace the center stack, console, steering wheel
and door panels. The production steering wheel and shifter are available
in Alcantara, providing the luxurious character of suede. These accents
are elegant to the touch and aid the driver during support
high-performance driving. Just like every CTS, the V-Series includes a
hand-stitched instrument panel, door trim and center console.

Leading-edge infotainment features extend to the V-Series. Standard
features include an advanced navigation system with a deployable screen,
Bose 5.1 digital surround audio, factory-installed Bluetooth phone
integration and a 40-gigabyte hard drive that allows the customer to
store a large library of music files. The system uploads files via a USB
port or the in-dash DVD/CD drive and allows stored tracks to be
searched and selected through the radio controls.