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Staff Photo by Mark Kennedy / The Cadillac CT6 sedan is an elegant executive car.

There's nothing ominous-looking about the Cadillac CT6 Platinum AWD sedan. It appears to be a normal executive car — a little heavy on the starch, maybe.

The body lines are crisp and the interior has a lot of standard luxury upgrades: semi-aniline leather seats, a Bose stereo system with 34 speakers and a semi-autonomous driver-assist feature.

It's under the hood where things get interesting. Wedged into the engine compartment is a hand-built, 500-horsepower Blackwing V-8. The engine is so tightly packed that you couldn't drop a dime through it to the pavement below.

Even more inspiring than the 500 horsepower is the blistering 574 pound-feet of torque which propels this heavy, 5,600-pound sedan from 0-to-60 mph in a mere 4.4 seconds.

Cadillacs are available locally at Integrity Cadillac on International Boulevard. Our Shadow Metallic CT6 was provided for a one-week test drive on Chattanooga streets and highways by the manufacturer.

FAST FACTS

* Model: Cadillac CT6 Platinum AWD

* Exterior color: Shadow Metallic

* Interior color: Jet Black

* Engine: 4.2-liter Blackwing V8, twin-turbocharged

* Horsepower: 500

* Transmission: 10-speed automatic

* Fuel economy: 25 mpg highway, 14 mpg city

* Local Dealer: Integrity Cadillac

* Price: (as tested) $98,790

WHAT IS IT?

The Cadillac CT6 Platinum AWD is Cadillac's flagship car and falls into the full-size sport sedan class. What makes this model special, and correspondingly pricey, is a Corvette-worthy V-8 engine that is hand assembled; and even signed by the builder. For Cadillac buyers, this may result in sticker shock, as the CT6 Blackwing rings up at $98,790.

 

WHAT WE LIKED

The performance of the Blackwing engine is exhilarating. At any moment it can be awakened with a jab of your right foot, which results in a symphony of exhaust notes as the car launches forward.

The "super cruise" feature is a semi-autonomous driving mode that allows you to motor down the highway with limited human input — i.e. no hands. We tried it on a previous tester on the freeway around Moccasin Bend and came away impressed. Also, the 20-inch platinum, 5-spoke wheels are gorgeous.

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Staff Photo by Mark Kennedy / The interior of the Cadillac CT6 sedan features sumptuous leather seats and virtual gauges.

ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT

That huge engine is thirsty. Its 14 mpg city fuel rating means it gets slapped with a $1,300 gas guzzler tax, which helps lift the price to almost 100-grand. The interior is pleasant enough but there are enough mid-grade materials to make one wonder about the price. This is BMW 7-series and Mercedes-Benz S-Class territory, so expectations are high.

 

DRIVING IMPRESSION

The CT6 Blackwing is unrivaled in raw, tire-shredding power. It's hard to imagine ever testing its performance limits outside a track setting. Setting the CT6 into touring mode helps take the edge off and makes it more sedate highway machine.

Your passengers will enjoy plenty of creature comforts. We especially enjoyed that Bose sound system. How did they find space for 34 speakers, anyway?

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Staff Photo by Mark Kennedy / A powerful turbocharged V-8 engine in the Cadillac CT6 sedan makes a massive amount of torque.

BOTTOM LINE

If a "Caddy-vette" sounds like a hybrid creation you would enjoy, by all means take this car out for a test drive. But bring a big wallet. Performance like this comes at a dear price.

In the market for a new vehicle? To access hundreds of Mark Kennedy's Chattanooga Test Drive columns visit www.timesfreepress.com/testdrive.

Contact Mark Kennedy at mkennedy@timesfreepress.com.

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Staff Photo by Mark Kennedy / The Cadillac CT6 sedan has a classic silhouette.
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