Tuesday, May 17, 2016

F=ma: 2007 Cadillac STS-V

The Cadillac STS-V was high performance luxury sedan launched by GM around the same time as the CTS-V, but using more in-house Cadillac approach to the engine instead of the Corvette parts pin.  The end result is that the STS-V is perhaps more interesting (with only 2500 examples built), but less exciting than the CTS-V.  Find this 2007 Cadillac STS-V offered for $15,996 in Montour Falls, NY via craigslist.  Tip from Tim C.

The STS-V wasn't just more interesting than the CTS-V, it was also much more expensive with an MSRP of $77,715 in 2007 (versus $51,425 for the CTS-V) but that hasn't stopped both cars from depreciating to the mid teens in the past 10 years. 

What did vehicle designers have against engines back in the mid 00s?  Thankfully the plastic shrouds that were all the rage are mostly gone, but under all that decorative junk is a 4.4 liter Northstar LC3 V8 that is supercharged to produce 469 horsepower and 439 ft-lbs of torque.  The only selection for transmission is a 6-speed 6L80 slushbox, but the 4300 lb STS-V is more of an AMG E55 style brute than an M5 competitor.

The interior of the STS-V is much nicer than the CTS-V and the leather/suede trim was allegedly contracted from the German firm Dräxlmaier who does interior for Maybach, Bugatti, Porsche and others.  The unique features of the V version doesn't end at engine/interior but also includes monster sized Brembo brakes, a quick ratio steering rack, stiff suspension, and a limited slip differential with external oil cooler.  Did any of the original owners of the STS-V take these things to the track...probably not, but you can.

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  1. Actually, that car is very interesting, for one reason: the Alcantara-insert seats.

    The CTS-V and the STS-V used basically the same seats, and they sucked compared to the BMW, Benz, etc. competition. They had minimal side bolstering. I used to argue that Saab spent more on one seat than Cadillac spent on the entire CTS-V interior.

    But they were livable in the CTS-V because of the Alcantara butt-epoxy.

    The STS-V usually had fully-leather seats, and you might as well have been in a '69 Sedan De Ville for all the help they gave you staying behind the wheel.

    This may, in fact, be the first STS-V I've ever seen with the Alcantara seat inserts.

    1. I am oddly attracted to this car. Perhaps not attracted enough, or oddly enough, to bug out cross-country to look at it. But this would be a hell of an interesting driver for someone willing to put up with the hassles of owning a very limited production vehicle.

  2. I like the STS-V better than the CTS-V because the STS is too small for me.

  3. Give it a test drive at Watkins Glen! Sorry, the track speed limit is 55 mph.

  4. Montour falls is about 5 minutes from Watkins Glen race track for those not getting the reference.

    And the correct way to get on track with this is to enter the car corral for the vintage cup. Sure you could do a track day, but thats not what this car is about. Nope you come to a really fun vintage weekend and for some amount of money you can have your car in a special area in the middle of the infield. Which also gets you a couple parade laps around the track. Im sure theres a speed limit but its not that closely enforced. I did it in my mini and had a blast. Probably cant push as hard with this STS with its additional 430 hp or so but it would still be fun, just be careful in the boot, the heel is a lot tighter than you might be expecting.

    Oh and if you go to vintage cup make sure you get there in time for the friday evening party downtown.

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  6. I've tracked cars almost as large and about as heavy as this, and...they go fast, and you learn a certain amount about the car's behavior you might not otherwise learn, and it's nice having AC in the hot pit, but you also use up expensive tires and brake pads and brake rotors at an impressive rate and the things you could do to it to make it a better track car also make it a lesser road car.

    So...take it to a track day or two and learn what it does, then take it home, put the street pads back in, and drive it.

    1. This was exactly my approach with the DT project car E34 M5. Took it to Streets of Willow to learn about the car's behavior at the limit, and exercise the S38 a bit. It performed admirably but that's not what the car was made to do. The Miata on the other hand gets towed to the track so it can excel at its forte without compromise.

  7. I thought the Northstar had a bad reputation for head gaskets, did they resolve those issues when they built it up for forced induction?

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  8. I believe they pretty much made certain these hand-built engines would be reliable. That's a relative term, of course, for an engine like this. I would love to own this one! Looks like it was well-care for, but the seller should include a Carfax, and a PPI is mandatory.


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