Forget everything you know about a first-generation CTS-V. This one rewrites the rulebook. The typical opinion on these cars is that their rearends are weak, they lack the power of the later cars, and you would look like a retired porn star if you drove one. Oh, and the fact that people think you’ve applied V badges to an old CTS comes with the territory, too.
Your author, having owned one of these as a year-round daily-driver at one point, can attest to the problems typically associated with the “V1.” Weak bushings throughout the whole car, a problematic rearend and two-piece driveshaft, a shifter out of a ’74 John Deere, finicky electronics… the list goes on and on. Although the LS2 V8, manual 6-speed, and rear-wheel drive made up for the issues, for the most part, it was enough for me to leave it well enough alone. Ultimately, I sold it.
One enthusiast, however, chose to think outside the box and rip conventionalism to shreds. He literally tore the car apart and started from scratch. Out came the original LS2/6 (not sure on year), and in went a forged, iron block 408 equipped with a – get this – 101mm turbo. The T-56 came out, too, and in went a fortified 4L80E built by CK Performance.
1320Video caught up with the owner at a recent Pikes Peak Airstrip Attack, where the car was putting down nearly 1200 hp, 1170 rwhp to the tires to be exact, and around 22-psi. of boost – or at least enough to put it in the vicinity of 180 mph in the 1/2-mile, fish-tailing most of the way down the airstrip.
One of these days, we’ll have to catch up with the owner ourselves, to get up close and personal and more information on this thing! We’re sure by that point, it will be a completely different animal! Until then, I might just have to pick up another one of these…