It’s the thunderous applause after a Pavarotti encore. It’s the foot-stomps and hand-claps from the chorus of ‘We Will Rock You.’ It’s a Delta V rocket slipping the surly bounds of Earth’s gravity embrace.

It’s the sound of the 2016 Cadillac CTS-V‘s 640-hp supercharged V8 with the throttle pinned to the floor and the exhaust baffles blown wide open as I charge down the front straight at Road America at 243 km/h, a frontal assault on the laws of physics that’s interrupted only by the pressing need to turn right, RIGHT NOW, lest I become one with the pastoral Wisconsin landscape that lurks just past the guardrails defining the circuit’s borders. No problem – the sedan’s six-piston front brakes are more than willing to transmute speed into heat at a rate that would please even the most demented high performance alchemist, arresting the Cadillac’s forward momentum just enough for me to lift off the pedal and point its snout in the proper direction for tackling the next bend in the asphalt.

The supercharger whines, oxygen and gasoline molecules being furiously pulled apart and then incinerated within the confines of the 6.2L aluminum block sitting underneath the CTS-V’s long, shark-like snout. A bark from the rapid-shifting autobox announces I’m now in third gear, with five more to go, as the Cadillac’s digital speedometer begins its second climb towards triple-digits mere heartbeats after negotiating a series of turns that would trip up 90 percent of luxury cruisers currently on the market. It’s not even 10 am, but the CTS-V will be doing this all day, and loving every minute of it.

More, More, More

I must admit, I’m surprised by the all-new Cadillac CTS-V’s on-track attitude. I arrived at the storied motorsports facility just outside of Elkhart Lake in the bosom of America’s dairy country expecting to do battle with the longer, larger, and more muscled edition of what has become the automaker’s tire-smoking middle finger to the Teutonic element that goes head-to-head with Cadillac for sport sedan supremacy. Instead, I discovered that despite its over-the-top drivetrain and less-than-modest proportions, the CTS-V is far more interested in collaborating with me from apex to apex than butting heads in braking zones.

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The 2016 model’s spec sheet is enough to put a tremor in even the most experienced driver’s hands as they clutch the car’s Alcantara-wrapped steering wheel. In addition to the previously mentioned 640 horsepower, the Cadillac CTS-V’s 6.2L LT4 cranks out 630 lb-ft of torque, numbers that are fabulously close to the Corvette Z06 with which it shares its lump, and which represent a substantial increase over the previous generation’s 556 ponies. An equally monumental shift in the Cadillac’s character can be found on the centre console where an eight-speed automatic becomes the only transmission you can order with the car, ending a full decade run of third-pedal availability with the model (with the shift-it-yourself mantle now assumed by the more modestly-proportioned ATS-V).

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