: Upcoming Test Drive: What to Watch For?

12-25-08, 12:35 PM
Hey folks -

A dealer about an hour from me has contacted me saying they have 2 Vs on their lot, both with manuals. Unfortunately (IMHO) they have the base seats, so I wouldn't even consider them as potential candidates. They're well aware of that, but still want me to drive up and wring one of them out.

Hey... I'm always up for terrorizing a salesman... And since I've nothing to do this coming Saturday, I'll make the trip up.. :-)

Any suggestions from current owners (or those that drove them on the track) as to what to look for? I intend to bring a USB flash drive full of MP3s to check out how fast it can load 10Gig of music (organized into playlists). I may poke around with the bluetooth and see how well it and my iPhone play together. That's all well and good... what about the drive?

My current ride is an 07 Z06 (like Mike). So I'm no stranger to fast, great handling cars. And I've turned a wheel or two on Summit Point Raceway in the past, so I'm no stranger to driving.

Anything I should watch out for? Things I should try while behind the wheel?

For what it's worth: this dealer has been the only 100% honest Cadillac dealer I've dealt with so far. They know full well that I'm not going to buy unless they can meet a certain number with my Z06. And, they're unsure they can do it (probably not). However, they still want me to come up and drive it. I understand they're trying to lure me in (I get the game). And I'll play along. But, there will be no deal unless numbers are met. And I'm not actually expecting that to happen in this market.

Merry Ho Ho.


12-25-08, 04:14 PM
If I were auditioning a manual, I'd be checking out how well heel-and-toe works for me ergonomically--pedal height, spacing, travel, firmness, etc. All of the reviews I've read that mention it are positive about it, so you probably won't be disappointed--but it's a personal thing if the pedals aren't adjustable. I was going to mention how throttle tip-in was appropriately firm and how revs build very quickly even with a part throttle boot, but since you're already used to unleashing 505 HP, I'm sure your foot is already "calibrated." :)

12-27-08, 02:11 PM
OK, that was fun. Unfortunately, the roads were damp and cold as it had rained all night. So I couldn't do anything really silly, elsewise I'd be paying for a car I didn't really want.

As equipped:
- Black exterior, grey/white(?) interior
- Recaros w/swede
- Stick
- Sunroof
- Can't remember if the wheels were polished or painted

Stupid-silly grunt in the low end, as expected. Specially in first gear, which would barely get me moving without spinning the tires (due to the damp conditions). Second gear starts were the order of the day, and even those would spin a bit.

The clutch was a lot tougher than I'd have expected. Now, I haven't driven a ZR1 yet, but I'm guessing the pedal effort is similar between the two, since the clutches are, as well. Way different from the clutch feel of the Z06, that's for sure. (Yes, I stalled it a few times. Whoopsie).

At slower speeds, I did some stupid things on purpose to check the Active Handling system. It responded as I'd have expected. Since I had the entire system engaged, the TCS kicked in first and retarded the engine quickly. Brought the car under control in no time (Don't worry, the driver knew what he was doing... ;-))

I played around with the different AHS settings, but again, with the damp roads, it just didn't make sense to get too silly at speed. It did take on/off ramps very well, even in the wet. Turn-in was better than I'd have expected with a 2-ton porker. GM really tuned the chassis controls well enough such that it doesn't really feel like a 2-ton porker (but make no mistake: it is). I also played around with the MR system a bit, and really liked the feel from the driver's seat. The fact that it can soak up road irregularities, as well as potholes and bumps, without stressing the driver out, is amazing. My buddy did a good job with that... ;-)

As far as interior amenities, I brought a flash drive full of 10G of MP3s. I even had a couple of playlist files generated, but the V's stereo apparently couldn't read them. Since I built the playlists myself (not using any music tools) it's quite likely I malformed them. No sweat. The stereo did snorfle up the MP3s and started playing them in no time.

Overall: quite impressed. Very comfy, very stupid-silly fast, and one hell of a performer (for what it is). As expected, however, they couldn't come to a good number for my Z06. And, like I said, I'm not surprised by that. So, no deal was made and I drove an hour home.

The dealership in question is not a forum supporter, but, if folks in VA, northern MD, southern PA, etc are interested, contact me via PM and I'll give you their name (I don't want to post it and break any forum rules).

At the moment, they have 2: the black one I drove, and another red one, stick, sunroof, nav, etc, but WITHOUT Recaros. It sounds like they have a 3rd incoming, that'll be red but with Recaros.