Plush Power: 600+ Horsepower in a Supercharged Cadillac Wagon
When one considers their priorities for a luxury car, there’s usually a choice between several competing factors. For domestic manufacturers, that decision was historically either a luxo-barge from Cadillac, Lincoln, or Chrysler. If you wanted performance, you had to look to the common brands for the sports or muscle cars. The priorities for luxury were comfort, ease of use, and style; and while the cars may have had big engines, they were only fast enough to move the cars up to speed under the weight of all the excess.
Around the turn of the century, that philosophy began to change. The Europeans had long been comfortable with luxury and performance together, and in the 1990s, the Japanese began to figure it out as well with brands like Acura and Infiniti. Customers began to realize that a premium experience didn’t necessarily have to be saddled with merely adequate power, and eventually lost interest in the domestic offerings of the time. While the older clientele were happy with their Continentals and Sedan Devilles, younger potential customers lost interest in those brands.
Enter the CTS-V
When the CTS-V debuted in 2004, Americans finally got their taste of performance and luxury together with a proper LS engine. When the coupe and wagon models were released in the second generation iterations in 2009, there was a solution for everyone in the market. Although stylistically inspired by European competitors, the Cadillacs offered all the niceties of a modern luxury car with traditional, tried-and-true American power.
The owner of this CTS-V wagon, Ken Mullis, had an early love for the Cadillac V cars. Starting with the often forgotten STS-V, he gained an appreciation not only for drivability, but the rareness of the cars. He pushed that car's power output to over 400hp, but ultimately hit the limits of Cadillac’s Northstar V8. To get more power, he needed a car with more potential power, and the CTS-V checked that box.
Always Room for More Power
But Ken still wanted that exclusivity that came with the STS-V. Numerically speaking, the rarest variant was the wagon, and that’s what he went after. This 2013 wagon was a perfect starting point, with the sinister metallic black exterior. With good supercharged power, a comfortable and spacious interior, and the distinction of a rarely seen model, Ken couldn't pass it up.
With 556 horsepower from the factory, the CTS-V is certainly no slouch. Of course, that’s no reason to leave a car alone, and Ken dropped the car off with Georgia hot rod shop SOB Motorsports for a full reworking of the motor. Starting with a Kong Performance blower and snout, they went to work building on the excellent factory foundation. They also added upgraded injectors and a 90mm throttle body.
To get more power from the supercharger, SOB installed a 2.55 upper pulley and a 9.1 lower pulley. A Vadder heat exchanger makes sure that intake air stays cool, while custom two-inch headers and a 3-inch exhaust expel spent fuel efficiently, and in a sonically pleasing fashion.
Ken has left the exterior of the wagon well enough alone, allowing the great design of the Cadillac to speak for itself. A set of two-inch lower Eibach springs bring the big body closer to the ground, while also stiffening up the suspension for a sportier ride.
A BMC heat extraction hood works to keep temperatures low, as well as adding a touch of aggression to the front of the wagon. All in all, the modifications add up to a respectable 600hp and 610 ft-lbs to the rear wheels.
Paint matched calipers to the Cadillac “V” blue and bronze powder coated wheels gives some pops of color to the otherwise monochromatic appearance. The OEM wheels are wrapped in ultra high-performance Nitto Invo tires, with wide 285/35/19 tires in the rear and 255/40/19 in the front.
A Tire for Luxury and Performance
Similar to the V line of Cadillacs, the Nitto Invo is an ultra high performance street tire that provides a blend of performance, ride comfort and quality. The Invo tire line-up was specifically developed for staggered sized applications commonly found on luxury and high-performance vehicles like the CTS-V.
Future Mods, and More Power
Looking forward, the next step for Ken and SOB Motorsports will be a cam for the LSA engine. Ken uses the vehicle as a daily driver, and he believes that this last piece will be where he stops adding power (yeah, right—Ed.). With 600+hp on tap, and the comfort and utility of a Cadillac wagon, it seems like he's already in a good place with the vehicle.
Although Cadillac is certainly going out of the ICE (internal combustion engine) era with a bang, the combination of raw American power and luxury will remain a rare combination in the vast automotive landscape. For enthusiasts that want to experience the combo, the time to act is now. Trust us, there is no better place to be when being pushed back into your seat by 600 American horses than good, plush, Cadillac leather.
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