Newsflash: The 2006 Cadillac STS-V isn’t an automobile. Yes, it has four wheels, seats and an engine. An engine and a half, actually. And it will take you from here to there, and very quickly, as a matter of fact. But it’s not an automobile.
At least that’s not the primary purpose of the Cadillac STS-V. Its number one objective is to toss the gauntlet, to challenge all comers as it were, about this whole “Standard of the World” thing that Cadillac once had and could still say about itself with a straight face.
The other primary purpose is, of course, to make about 2,000 people very happy, because that’s the number of Cadillac STS-V’s that will be built.
The 2006 Cadillac STS-V is, of course, an automobile in non-metaphorical sense, and as its name suggests, the STS-V is a V-Series version of Cadillac’s STS sedan, the division’s rear-drive midsize sedan between the larger luxury DTS and the smaller CTS. The latter, you might know, started all this V-Series ado back in 2003.
The V, to our way of thinking, stands for Velocity, and the V for the STS-V starts with a 4.4-liter supercharged version of Cadillac’s Northstar V-8. It’s the first supercharged production engine for Cadillac and it is the most powerful Cadillac engine ever, rated at 469 horsepower and 439 lb-ft of torque (the same engine in two-seat XLR-V is rated slightly less due to packaging considerations).
The engine is a gearhead’s delight. More than just a supercharger grafted onto a slightly smaller (to 4.4 from 4.6 liters) naturally-aspirated version of the variable-valve-timimg Northstar V-8, but Cadillac engineers chose a Roots-type supercharger to pump more air into the engine than by atmospheric pressure, powered directly by engine rather than by exhaust pressure of a turbocharger. The belt-driven mechanical supercharger provides a constant boost to the engine and a ready supply of torque without the turbo lag that would be so unbecoming of a Cadillac.
The intercooled supercharger nestles into the vee of the V-8 that’s new down to the precision cast all aluminum block, specially ribbed and with a slightly smaller bore for extra strength. The cylinder heads are also new, strengthened and revised, as are the pistons and connecting rods. A forged crankshaft was new on the regular Northstar engines in 2004 and is carried over mostly unchanged.
Indicative of the age we’re in, Cadillac touts the electronic engine management system as having 32-bit processing with 36k of internal RAM and 128k of external RAM, plus two megabytes of burst flash memory and a high-speed CAN bus for optical networking capability. We’re not sure whether the Cadillac STS-V engine has internet access (although it can phone home over OnStar…).
The 2006 Cadillac STS-V debuts GM’s new six-speed automatic transmission, this particular variant dubbed 6L80, for those who are keeping scorecards. The transmission has PAS, or Performance Algorithm Shifting that will downshift the transmission in closed throttle cornering maneuvers so it will be in the “right” gear when the throttle is reopened. The transmission can also be tip-shifted manually with the center console-mounted shifter.