(first posted 10/5/2016) For us Curbavores, it’s always a satisfying moment to spot an older car that has since become a rare sight on the road. However, it’s infrequently the situation where this rare find is a car only several years old. With just 2,139 examples produced over four model years, the 2011-2014 Cadillac CTS-V sport wagon is undoubtedly one of General Motors’ rarest vehicles of the past decade, and a car already destined to become a collector’s classic.
While the CTS-V sedan and coupe each sold several thousand units in a typical year, the sport wagon sold in far fewer numbers. This was somewhat expected, as it’s no secret that Americans by and large dislike wagons. Even among the enthusiast crowd, the percentage of those willing to shell out big bucks for a high performance-oriented luxury wagon is very minuscule.
Some might have called Cadillac crazy for producing a CTS-V wagon, but considering all the tooling was available from the CTS-V sedan and regular CTS wagon, the V wagon probably seemed like a good idea to milk a few more sales at a heftier profit margin of the already slow-selling CTS wagon.
As many have said before, the short-lived CTS wagon was one of the most breathtaking wagon designs of all time. I dare call it “beautiful”, as its razor-sharp lines and creases make for a decidedly more brutish and masculine look than say, the more delicate-looking Mercedes-Benz CLS shooting brake. However, in the typical American muscle car way, the CTS wagon made no apologies for its in-your-face appearance, and is one of the best interpretations of this styling theme in recent years.
The CTS-V model of course added even more brashness with a more aggressive (and more attractive in your author’s opinion) front fascia, 19-inch aluminum wheels, Brembo brakes, dual-mode Magnetic Ride Control suspension, standard 6-speed manual (this one was an automatic), available Recaro leather/alcantara front seats ($3,400), and most importantly, its monstrous 6.2L LSA supercharged V8.
Pumping out 556 horsepower and 551 lb-ft torque, some 241 more horses than the regular CTS’s optional 3.6L V6 and fully 50% more torque, the V8 was capable of rocketing this hot wagon from zero to sixty in just 3.9 seconds. Contemporary reviews of the CTS-V wagon’s handling were just as positive as those for the CTS-V sedan and coupe, and the V wagon was already garnering the “collector’s car” label as examples were still trickling off assembly lines in Lansing.
The breakdown of those 2,139 CTS-V wagons produced by year is 395 for 2011, 575 for 2012, 416 for 2013, and 753 for 2014. Regardless of year, it’s safe to say that a few of these will be gracing the displays of museums or private car collections within a couple years, as the majority of them are now likely being pampered in the climate-controlled garages of their owners. I photographed this one in my gym’s parking lot, and can happily report that at least when I arrived it was parked as far as possible from the other cars.