Hello Cadillac, My Love: Why This Supercharged Luxury Sedan Captures My Heart, On the Road and On the Track

Supercharged Luxury Sedan

So you might be thinking, yes, track driving sounds like fun…

But, I’d rather be in a Corvette than a Cadillac…it IS a sports car, right?

You wouldn’t be the first.

You also wouldn’t be the first to drive a minivan all week while your Corvette sits in the garage taunting you. “You can’t drive me to school pick up, Miss Sass, because you have two kids and I only have one passenger seat.” “You can’t drive me in the snow because I don’t have all wheel drive.” “I’m not a good date night car because you can’t get in and out gracefully in heels and a skirt.”

It’s that last one that really gets me.

I can handle being taunted by the Corvette while driving a minivan…even if it is annoying. I can schedule my way around a snowstorm. But I just can’t sacrifice gorgeous shoes and skirts for a car. Just. Can’t.

And, I don’t have to!

Learning to Master the Track and Let My Soul Soar at Cadillac V-Performance Academy

Cadillac Girls Driving School Supercharged Luxury Sedan

Hands at 9 and 3 and ready to drive. I really love the suede steering wheel on the ATS-V. Photo: Scotty Reiss

Your Daily Driver Can Be Your On The Track Partner, Too

I’ll share a bit of personal insight. Five years ago, the auto business found me when I bought a car that proved I can have a car that is fun to drive and is also practical for school pick-up, trips to the mall, family road trips and more. I wanted something fun to drive but I just couldn’t give up time with my kids. Bottom line: I need four doors and a comfortable back seat.

Clearly, I’m not alone. The 4-door performance car has become the hottest new category of cars behind SUVs. Every brand has one and some only make 4-door models. For Cadillac, this was part of reinventing the brand and proving to drivers that this is not your grandpa’s Caddy.

Yes, I bought my car with my cell phone.  And I have no regrets

Cadillac Girls Driving School Supercharged Luxury Sedan

The fleet of CTS-V and ATS-V models we drove at Cadillac V-Performance Academy. Photo: Scotty Reiss

A Cadillac? Really? Yes, Really. Here’s Why

When I was growing up Cadillac meant two things: affluence and attention. It was what businessmen drove. It was a symbol of their success, not just in business, but in developing a discerning taste for fine things. And if you saw a pink Cadillac on the road, you knew there was a super-successful Mary Kay saleswoman at the wheel.

Cadillac successfully transitioned from nothing-but-luxury to a world class performance competitor and has been loved by the critics. By buyers, not so much. So the brand finds itself once again in transition with a new president about to take over and no doubt, further repositioning in the market place.

That means this might be the best time ever to buy a Cadillac, and hopefully, that its future is more than bright.

But at its modern roots will be the performance track car, which I had the chance to experience at the Cadillac V-Performance Academy. It changed my life.

Cadillac V-Series vehicles are top-of-the-line, race-ready vehicles that are tailor-made to bring performance to everyday driving. The line-up includes the CTS-V Sedan,  ‎ATS-V Sedan, and the ATS-V Coupe (two doors but four seats).

The Cadillac V-Series represents the ideal combination of performance and a supercharged luxury sedan: one wasn’t sacrificed for the other. The result is a delightful day in a gorgeous leather and suede interior, turning on the seat heaters in the cold morning then switching the coolers on when the afternoon got hot. I was comfortable all day. And being cradled in those luscious leather seats all day meant never tiring as I learned more about the performance driving. On the track, I switched into track mode, but at the end of the day I relaxed into the Cadillac’s plush leather seats and let the car pamper me. It was almost shocking that one car could be both of theses things.

How Doris Gilles went from the sidelines to the drivers seat on the track

Why is Performance Driving Important?

It’s a legitimate question. After all, you probably don’t need a lot of track driving skills to handle the carpool line…or do you? The skills I learned at the Cadillac V-Performance Academy at Spring Mountain Motor Resort are skills that could come in handy in my every day driving experience:

  • Skidding around on a wet track so we could learn how to stay in control or regain control when the car starts to fishtail.
  • Learning to make turns only looking out our side windows—with a screen across the windshield so we couldn’t look out the front!
  • Braking while steering to experience the magic that is ABS — and yes, it’s pretty magical!

And, it’s rewarding to feel more in tandem with the car and the road. I’m driving the car, the car isn’t driving me. And when that happens we can be one with the road…even if that road leads to the grocery store…again.

A message to that smart-mouthed Corvette…

If a V-series Cadillac is your everyday car, you won’t need the Corvette any longer. Don’t forget, I can get in and out of a Cadillac in my best high heels and little black dress with dignity, grace, and even style. And, with absolutely no sacrifice.

Why the Cadillac ATS-V Might Be the Last Car I Ever Want to Drive

What You Should Listen To on the Track (or on a Lovely Mountain Road)

Top Gun needed a soundtrack. So did Speed and The Fast and the Furious. So do you. Of course, at first listen to the road and the engine. Listen to its nuances for gear changes and enjoy the blip of downshifting. After a while it’ll be second nature and then, it’s time for a great playlist. Here’s what made our drive in the Cadillac just that much better.

Disclosure: I was Cadillac’s guest at V-Performance Academy; all opinions are my own.

Journalist, entrepreneur and mom. Expertise includes new cars, family cars, 3-row SUVs, child passenger car seats and automotive careers... More about Scotty Reiss