Plush power: 600+ horsepower in a supercharged Cadillac Wagon


When considering their priorities for a luxury car, there is usually a choice between several competing factors. For domestic manufacturers, historically, that decision was either a luxury ship from Cadillac, Lincoln or Chrysler. If you wanted performance, you had to look at the mainstream brands for the sports or muscle cars. The priorities for luxury were comfort, practicality and style; and while the cars may have had large engines, they were only fast enough to bring the cars up to speed under the weight of all the excess.

At the turn of the century, that philosophy began to change. The Europeans had long been comfortable with luxury and performance together, and in the 1990s the Japanese also started figuring it out with brands like Acura and Infiniti. Customers began to realize that a premium experience didn’t necessarily have to be saddled with just enough power, and eventually lost interest in the domestic offerings of the time. While the older customers were happy with their Continentals and Sedan Devilles, younger potential customers lost interest in those brands.

Cadillac CTS-V Wagon front end

Run the CTS-V . in

When the CTS-V debuted in 2004, Americans finally got a taste for performance and luxury, along with a true LS engine. When the coupe and wagon models were released in the second generation of iterations in 2009, there was a solution for everyone on the market. Though stylistically inspired by European competitors, the Cadillacs offered all the finer points of a modern luxury car with traditional, time-tested American power.

Cadillac CTS-V Wagon from behind

The owner of this CTS-V car, Ken Mullis, had an early liking for the Cadillac V cars. Starting with the oft-forgotten STS-V, he came to appreciate not only the driving characteristics, but also the rarity of the cars. He pushed that car’s power to over 400 horsepower, but eventually reached the limits of Cadillac’s Northstar V8. To get more power, he needed a car with more potential power, and the CTS-V ticked that box.

Cadillac CTS-V car from the side

Always room for more power

But Ken still wanted that exclusivity that came with the STS-V. Numerically speaking, the car was the rarest variant, and he went after it. This 2013 car was a perfect starting point, with the sinister metallic black exterior. With good supercharged power, a comfortable and spacious interior and the distinction of a rarely seen model, Ken couldn’t pass it up.

Cadillac CTS-V Wagon on Nitto Invo tires

With 556 horsepower from the factory, the CTS-V is certainly no slouch. That’s no reason to leave a car alone, of course, and Ken dropped the car off at Georgia hot rod shop SOB Motorsports for a complete engine overhaul. Starting with a Kong Performance blazer and muzzle, they set to work building on the excellent factory foundation. They also added improved injectors and a 90mm throttle body.

Cadillac CTS-V Wagon from Front End

To get more power from the supercharger, SOB installed a 2.55 upper pulley and a 9.1 lower pulley. A Vadder heat exchanger keeps intake air cool, while custom 2-inch headers and a 3-inch exhaust efficiently dissipate spent fuel in a sonically pleasing way.

LSA engine in Cadillac CTS-V

OEM+ images

Ken has left the exterior of the car alone well enough that the great design of the Cadillac speaks for itself. A set of 2-inch lower Eibach springs brings the large body closer to the ground, while also stiffening the suspension for a sportier ride.

Cadillac CTS-V Wagon at Eibach Springs

A BMC heat extractor hood keeps the temperature down and adds a touch of aggression to the front of the car. All in all, the changes add up to a respectable 600hp and 610 ft-lbs at the rear.

Cadillac CTS-V Wagon Heat Extractor Hood

power grab

Paint-matched calipers on the Cadillac “V” blue and bronze powder-coated wheels add some color to the otherwise monochromatic look. The OEM wheels are wrapped in ultra high-performance Nitto Invo tires, with wide 285/35/19 tires at the rear and 255/40/19 at the front.

Cadillac CTS-V Wagon in Nitto Invo Tires

A tire for luxury and performance

Like the V-line of Cadillacs, the Nitto Invo is an ultra high-performance street tire that offers a blend of performance, ride comfort and quality. The Invo tire range has been specifically developed for staggered size applications commonly found on luxury and high performance vehicles such as the CTS-V.

Nitto Invo tread design

Future mods and more power

Looking ahead, the next step for Ken and SOB Motorsports is a cam for the LSA engine. Ken uses the vehicle as a daily driver, and he believes this last stretch will be where he stops adding power (yes, right – ed.). With over 600 horsepower on tap and the comfort and practicality of a Cadillac wagon, it seems like it’s already in a sweet spot with the vehicle.

Cadillac CTS-V Wagon on Nitto Invo tires

While Cadillac is sure to leave the ICE (internal combustion engine) era with a bang, the combination of raw American power and luxury will remain a rare combination in the vast automotive landscape. For enthusiasts who want to experience the combo, now is the time to spring into action. Trust us, there’s no better place to be when you’re being pushed into your seat by 600 American horses than good, plush Cadillac leather.

Cadillac CTS-V Wagon from behind

  • Need another CTS-V car? Check out this Caddy that puts no less than 750 horsepower on its wheels!

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