It's the sedan that helped turn Cadillac into a performance powerhouse, and this one has an exhaust that sounds badass.
• The original CTS-V helped change Cadillac’s image, and a 2005 model is currently up for auction on Bring a Trailer.
• The CTS-V up for sale is black with a light-colored interior, and it’s modified with a badass-sounding cat-back exhaust.
• With the current bidding at $12,525, the no-reserve auction ends in four days on Monday, August 15.
It’s the car that took GM’s famous luxury brand from stodgy to sporty and helped transform Cadillac’s image. It was also Caddy’s first ever V model, tuned on the Nürburgring to take on BMW’s M cars, and it set the stage for some of the best high-performance sedans the world has ever seen. It’s none other than the original CTS-V. And a beautiful black, lightly modified 2005 model is currently up for auction on Bring a Trailer, which—like Car and Driver—is part of Hearst Autos.
Compared with the modern-day Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing—you know, the one with 668 horsepower—the first-generation CTS-V featured only 400 ponies. That and its 395 pound-feet of torque fed the rear wheels via a naturally aspirated 5.7-liter LS6 V-8. The only way to shift gears was through a six-speed manual. We tested an ’05 CTS-V back in the day. It took 4.8 ticks to go from zero to 60 mph and 13.2 seconds at 109 mph to run the quarter-mile. It also placed second in a comparison test with the Audi S4 (first) and Mercedes-Benz C55 (third).
Sure, the OG Cadillac CTS-V wasn’t perfect. In that comparo alone we experienced some rear-wheel hop during all-out launches, issues with fuel starvation at the racetrack, and griped about its driver comfort and NVH levels, among other things. But that was then and this is now. While I’ve personally never driven a CTS-V of this vintage, I can’t help but be drawn to it. That’s mostly because 400-hp, V-8-powered, rear-drive, manual-equipped sedans that I can actually afford aren’t thick on the ground.
The one that’s currently up for auction on BaT even has modifications that I’d want to make myself, namely the aftermarket cat-back exhaust system. As heard in the cold-start video above, it gives the Caddy’s pushrod engine an unmistakable baritone. Other add-ons include a cold-air intake and a skip-shift kit. The only thing I’m not in love with about this car is the light color of its leather seats, headliner, and carpeting. I just think it creates a weird contrast with the black dashboard and door panels. Plus, it doesn’t hide dirt very well.
With that said, I’ve been a big fan of the CTS-V since it debuted back in 2004. I think the design, which is admittedly polarizing, remains distinctive. I’m particularly fond of the V’s billet grille, smoked headlights, and seven-spoke 18-inch wheels. The one on the BaT website currently has a bid of $12,525. There’s no reserve, and the auction is set to end on Monday, August 15.