How to Thanksgiving Road Trip in a New Cadillac CTS-V
With great power comes great trepidation.
You like cars. Powerful ones. You’re headed to Thanksgiving dinner, out of town, with your girlfriend and another couple. You do the logical thing and procure a 2016 Cadillac CTS-V for the jaunt. You cannot wait to unleash those 640 horses in a frenzy of machismo.
So when you pick up the group, you gloat about the car—the power, the torque, the pedigree. You are greeted with stony silence. Someone finally says, “Well, I hope we don’t die.” Now you have a combustible mix of powerful steed and nervous passengers. What to do?
Skip the backstory
Halfway through your tale of how Caddy created this monster to steal marketshare from the German performance saloons, you’ll notice that everyone’s eyes have glazed over. That this four-door is quicker than Mercedes’ SLS AMG supercar is not an interesting fact to anyone but you.
Don’t share the vehicle’s top speed
When asked why anyone would want to go 200 mph, “Why wouldn’t you?!” is not a well-received response.
Resist the urge to mat the throttle
Yes, you love the sensation of being pinned against a Recaro seat, jumping to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds. However, no one else will enjoy it; the glorious, throaty exhaust will be drowned out by panicked shrieking. Avoid.
Do not demonstrate the innumerable safety systems
Pop on the lane assist and release the wheel to show how the car won’t careen off the road at speed. Then get ready to hear that 2001: Space Odyssey gave your passengers nightmares, and how computers are not infallible, and how you should put your damn hands back.
Be receptive to crash avoidance guidance
This comes in the form of very vocal humans, who will gladly let you know when to ease off the throttle, how early to brake, and that curvy, country two-lane roads were not intended to test the car’s cornering thresholds.
Be prepared for the standout features to be trivial
The 110V power outlet, copious trunk space, multiple USB ports, the heated steering wheel—these all get heaps of praise. The buttery smooth 8-speed auto trans, Brembo brake and carbon fiber splitter and spoiler won’t draw any commendations.
Activate in-car 4G Wi-Fi
No one will grouse about you cracking triple digits if they’re binge-watching Netflix or shoe shopping. Keep the killjoys occupied.
Understand everyone assumes louder equates to faster
As you cycle the driving modes—tour, sport and track—the fun police will perk up after the exhaust amplifies. Even though your speed remains constant, you’ll be inexplicably asked to slow down.
Cheer for the impressive rev matching only in your head
If you’re letting out a little yelp of glee every time you hit the magnesium paddle shifters to get that seamless downshift, you will be shushed.
When you get a free pass to floor it, take it
Such as when everyone wants to go to the antique store that closes in 30 minutes and you’re ten minutes away. Or if there’s a unanimous agreement that the car in front is “dumb” and must be overtaken.
Go fetch breakfast on Friday. Alone.
Put it in track mode, kill the stereo and let those horses gallop. When that ear-splitting, white-knuckle rush hits, you will be the happiest. So what if nobody speaks to you Thursday night, and holds out on leftovers the next morning? Totally worth it.