It’s refreshing when the president of an auto company strolls on to a race track to drive a car he actually worked on as an engineer.
It’s a tad embarrassing, though, when he’s as fast, well frankly faster, than any hot shoe out there. I guess it’s not true that all GM executives do is sit around and nitpick PowerPoint presentations while the firm’s market share erodes.
Mark Reuss, the president of General Motors North America, refuted precisely that stereotype at the Cadillac CTS-V coupe introduction.
Reuss was driving a supercharged, 556-horsepower (415 kW) 6.2-liter V8 powered V-coupe that uses the same engine found in the CTS-V Sport Sedan introduced 18 months ago. And Reuss appeared to be extracting almost all of the performance possible from both versions of the car – sedan or coupe – in a show of driving prowess.
Engineer though Reuss be, and former head of GM Performance, the Caddy Coupe actually owes its existence – improbably – to a design staff concept done without the usual, stifling beanie business case. The angular masterpiece was just too seductive for the now retired but then product king Bob Lutz to resist. Darn the German torpedos, the engineers then went full speed ahead.
Although it draws from its sport sedan sister, the CTS Coupe shares only the instrument panel, console, headlamps, front fenders and grille. Riding on the same 113.4-inch wheelbase, the CTS coupe is two inches lower, has a two-inch wider rear track, and a shorter two-inch overall length than the sedan. The two, two and two might add to six in conventional beanie math, but in my calculation this roll of the dice adds to seven, a big fat lucky seven.