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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

I've recently gotten a 2018 CTS-V. I'm the first owner, and it had only 882 miles when I got it. I've read the manual and want to know if the way my car is acting is normal or if something is wrong with my car's Stabilitrak and traction control systems.

It is easiest just to give a couple of examples.

1) The car is in touring mode with all systems set to auto and I'm driving on the interstate at about 55, in the rain, and it is about 65 degrees. I step on the gas to pass the car in front of me. I don't think I floored it, but I did push it pretty hard. The car fishtails back and forth and seems about to go into the ditch before I back off and it straightens out.

2) The car is in ice and snow mode with all systems set to auto and I'm driving on a city street. The road is damp and it is about 40 degrees. I am approaching a light that turns yellow. After the interstate experience above, I'm careful, I only push the throttle down about 2/3. You can guess what happens next. The car fishtails back and forth and would have hit an oncoming car in the other lane if one had been there.

3) The car is in touring mode with all systems set to auto and I'm driving on a road in my neighborhood where I've been driving for 20 years. I come to a right-hand corner which has a wide section of road. I've used this to test a lot of car's handling by pushing it once I've entered the corner to see how it reacts. I enter the corner at a modest speed, about 3/4 of maximum, and floor it. The car spins up and flips sideways and is well on the way to donut-land when I back off and straighten it out.

I've had hot cars all my life, starting with a 1969 AMX (positraction, relatively skinny bias ply tires, and 325 hp) back in the early 70's. That thing would gladly kill you, and would act exactly as I've described my CTS-V behaving, above. It would spin out and fishtail on a wet road at almost any speed. I've had numerous sports cars, such as two RX-7s (original 1978 first off the boat, and a 1986), 1969 Datsun 2000, a 289 MGA, a Turbo 2000 Fiat, and, now, a Mercedes CLA-45 AMG (If you want one - its for sale). I know how muscle cars handle, or, rather, don't handle. The CTS-V is not supposed to drive like a '69 AMX - I think.

The manual states, with regard to "performance traction management (PTM)" (p. 212 in the CTS/CTS-V manual) "To experience the performance benefit of this [traction control] system, after entering a curve and at the point where normal acceleration occurs, fully push the accelerator pedal. The PTM system will modify the level of engine power for a smooth and consistent corner exit." Correct me if I'm wrong, but the PTM system has less Stabilitrak and traction control than touring and snow and ice modes - I hope to God!

While my dealer was looking at the Stabilitrak system they loaned me an XTS 5 (300+ HP, 4 WD, which I set up as rear-drive only). I tried it out. In tour mode (or whatever the base mode is called) I turned in some corners I was familiar with at about 90% of max entry speed and floored it. It scooted. The tires squealed. The steering got stiff. But, and here is the important part, it tracked the steering perfectly. No under- or over-steering. That is what I expect from stabilitrak - not spinning out and ditching the car at 65 mph on a rainy interstate!

The service manager said that everything was operating in spec because he didn't see any "error codes" and refused to try any of the maneuvers described about because "that would be unsafe." The service writeup they gave me noted my complaint about loss of traction and then said some crap about how such loss of traction can occur when staibiltrak and traction controls are disabled. Of course, I knew that and it has nothing to do with what I've described above.

This genius, when I pointed out that the car had all controls on the most conservative settings said, "with such a powerful engine it creates more power than the stabilitrak and traction controls can handle." Huh? And, what is that paragraph in the manual all about? Can we say, Electronic throttle body and drive by wire??

Anyway, I want to know if stabilitrak in the CTS-V is normally this bad, or my dealer is as incompetent as I think. Does your CTS-V act this way? In the future, I'll use the data recorder to document these issues so that there is no dispute about about the control settings and what did or didn't happen.

Thanks for your help. Any GM/Cadillac engineers out there?

Dave

(P.S. I'm also posting this on another forum as, maybe, there are some different persons there.)
 

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2011 CTS-V Wagon-Raven Black, manual, satin graphite wheels
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I'm intrigued by how you managed to set up an XTS as RWD only. Short of removing the front half shafts, at which point I don't think it would move at all, I don't see how that could even be possible.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
You are correct. It is the XT5.

I'm going to Spring Mountain next week and will get a chance to try out another CTS-V. More important, I'll get the chance to speak with the instructors and, if there is one, a Cadillac rep.
 

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2011 CTS-V Wagon-Raven Black, manual, satin graphite wheels
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XT5, XTS. Doesn't change the fact it is a FWD based AWD system with no way to disable torque going to the front wheels.
 

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2013 XTS Luxury - Graphite, Tucson, AZ
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V - You're right. Car and Driver test:

To its credit, the XT5’s all-wheel-drive system and electronically controlled rear differential masterfully distribute torque to manage traction and enhance handling. Our test driver called out its pleasantly neutral attitude on the skidpad and the way the rear axle helps rotate the car without the pronounced understeer typical of such crossovers. The system can distribute 100 percent of torque to either the front or rear axle as conditions warrant, and the differential can split the rear axle’s share left to right enough to put all the power to one wheel. This nifty technology contributes to the XT5’s safe and secure demeanor on the road—and could prove truly advantageous if Cadillac decides to add a more performance-oriented variant to the range.
So perhaps the sophisticated AWD felt like RWD to dgharris.
 

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2011 CTS-V Wagon-Raven Black, manual, satin graphite wheels
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There's a lot of marketing mumbo jumbo that goes into statements like that. 100 percent of torque to one axle is more of a theoretical thing. If I put the front wheels on a theoretical frictionless surface they apply no torque to the ground. The front wheels still spin but 100% of the torque at the ground is at the rear axle. It is marketing speak to call out the advantage of a system with a clutch over a system with a differential. If one axle of a system with a center differential can spin but apply no torque at all the other axle will not spin at all.
 

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2019 CTS-V Sedan
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You are correct. It is the XT5.

I'm going to Spring Mountain next week and will get a chance to try out another CTS-V. More important, I'll get the chance to speak with the instructors and, if there is one, a Cadillac rep.
So after Spring Mountain and the skid pad, your questions should have been answered. On wet/snowy or icey roads just use the snow/ice mode. Its nearly impossible to get the car sideways if you use any common sense. I had a 69 390 Javelin and believe me the V is a monster compared to those, but the nannies when turned on will help a lot.
 
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