Filed under: Performance, Wagon, Cadillac, First Drive

Clark Griswold should have waited

2011 Cadillac CTS-V Wagon - Click above for high-res image gallery

Instead of getting suckered into the Wagon Queen Family Truckster, a pea green calamity with excessive wood paneling and eight sealed-beam headlamps, a wiser move for Clark Griswold would have been to hold off until the first wave of high-performance station wagons rolled into showrooms. As it happened, just a few years after Clark traded in his Oldsmobile, sedans like the Volvo 740 and BMW E34 spawned the enthusiast-targeted Volvo 740 Turbo Wagon and BMW M5 Touring. Both five-doors would have given Christy Brinkley a serious run in her red Ferrari 308 GTSi.Those early gussied-up family haulers were the predecessors to the Audi RS6 Avant, Dodge SRT8 Wagon, BMW M5 Touring and Mercedes-Benz E63 Sport Wagon. None were intended to be volume models (in fact, two never made it to the States). Instead, each was fabricated to act as a flagship ambassador, a proof-of-concept to the performance capability of the five-door chassis and to deliver unchallenged bragging rights. Automakers didn't build fast wagons because they had to - they built them because they could.

Cadillac, a company no longer content with letting others lead segments it once dominated, wanted to get into the frothy action. The luxury automaker felt an obligation to do "the right thing" and push for its own very unique five-door. The vision was clear - Cadillac wanted to build a CTS-V Wagon - and the concept was simple, making it difficult for management to contest (at the time, the organization was functioning inside circled-wagons). Since the platform and powertrain were already in existence, the ceremonial mating would be accomplished at minimal cost and everything could be completed at breakneck speed. Less than one year later, the all-new CTS-V Wagon is here.

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Gallery: 2011 Cadillac CTS-V Wagon: First Drive

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First Drive: 2011 Cadillac CTS-V Wagon originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 22 Nov 2010 00:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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