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First look: Cadillac STS-V - on sale late 2006

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Review

Following Cadillac’s failed attempt to break into the UK market in the late 1990s, the US manufacturer is to try again, this time with a fresh model line-up and much improved build quality.

The STS-V promises to be the halo version to tempt drivers out of performance saloons like the BMW M5 and Mercedes-Benz E55 AMG.

Given the badge prestige afforded to the two German brands, expect the main tool in Cadillac’s marketing armoury to be pricing.

In terms of size the STS-V is actually closer to the S-class and 7-series. The big difference between the standard STS and the V is power.

The rear wheel drive saloon has a supercharged version of the Northstar 4.4 V8. Power is 440bhp (305bhp in the 4.6-litre STS) along with 430lb-ft of torque.

The V8 has a new six-speed automatic while features include driver shift control (DSC) and performance algorithm shifting (PAS) for quicker gearchanges. Fine tuning to handling and ride was done at the Nurburgring.

Also driven: Cadillac BLS Wagon

The 1.9-litre turbodiesel is both quiet and smooth, and the premium positioning of the car is enhanced by an excellent Bose speaker system and comfy leather interior as standard.

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