This matte black monster comes courtesy of the master fabricators and builders at D3 Cadillac in Signal Hill, California. Sure, they could have given this 2011 CTS-V coupe a blinged-out, boulevard-cruisin' stance and strapped it with a diamond-encrusted Louis Vuitton interior to unveil at the 2011 SEMA Show, but, what fun or challenge would that have been for the world's preeminent aftermarket tuner of Cadillac vehicles?
“We wanted to show the potential of this chassis and had a very aggressive engine combination planned,” said Timothy Pak, D3 Group's business development director, who oversaw this otherwise extraordinary Caddy's hundred thousand dollar transformation into the boss racer you see here.
With well over 250 man-hours invested, the project has been ongoing since June 2011. The 6.2L Eaton-supercharged LSA aluminum V8 starts life with 556 hp and 551 lb-ft of torque, numbers that arguably put it (or any V-spec Caddy for that matter) into supercar territory. But, the D3 brain trust had bigger plans for this vehicle, much bigger in fact.
Dubbed “Le Monstre” it pays homage to its namesake, a 1950 Cadillac Series 61 Coupe DeVille built and driven by Briggs Cunningham in the 24 hours of Le Mans that year. Contrary to its predecessor, however, D3 wasn't hampered by stringent racing regulations or any rulebooks, and although it is lower, wider and more aerodynamic just like the earlier racecar, the modifications to this vehicle are far more extreme.
For starters, the 427 cc powerplant has been CNC-machined, ported, polished, balanced and stuffed with more manly Manley connecting rods and Total Seal piston rings. It boasts a fortified valvetrain with D3-spec Isky cam, custom rockers, push rods and lifters, everything necessary to replace the standard 1.9L Eaton blower with a much larger, more efficient and more powerful one from Kenne Bell that achieves 17 psi of boost on the street and can go as high as 28 psi for racing.
This highly-efficient D3 Ultracharger upgrade is available in four different stages capable of injecting an additional 2.3, 2.8, 3.6 or 4.2 liters of compressed air into the motor for gains on a scale from mild to monstrous. As indicated by the D3 motorsport vented hood, this is stage three, which features Kenne Bell's 3.6L liquid-cooled supercharger, D3 manifold, air intake system, K&N air filter and a 102 mm throttle body. A larger D3 intercooler reduces the charged air temperature before it gets sent to the combustion chambers while a high-flow Kenne Bell boost-a-pump, D3 billet fuel rails and properly-matched VDO injectors supply a high-octane mixture to NGK TR6 spark plugs aided by MSD ignition wires. The highly-potent fumes exit through a Kooks header and V-band pipe on route to the custom three-inch Borla dual exhaust system that looks and sounds scarier than the stock one.
All told, the motor upgrades nearly double the CTS-V's horsepower and torque numbers, now estimated to tap out at 1,000 hp at 5,900 rpm and 1,000 lb-ft at 3,200 rpm, respectively. (Stage four can produce over 1,400 hp.) So, to handle such an immense increase, D3's competition proven powertrain uses heavy-duty 1,000-hp axles and a few tricks to shore up the six-speed automatic transmission (a CTS-V factory option) for greater durability and reliability.
Of course, it's necessary to reprogram the ECU, which includes a full remapping of the ignition tables, fuel, spark and more. As for the OEM traction control functionality, it has been replaced with a custom Racelogic system that retains some daily drivability although that is not the intent of the car.
As the story goes, chassis, suspension, braking and wheel upgrades all followed. Chassis bracing and support comes by way of beefed-up sway bars, custom D3 parts and adjustable end-links that support a set of KW variant three coil-overs. Ride height, as a result, is now two and 2.5 inches lower in the front and rear respectively. Whiteline urethane bushings help reduce shift shock as all that power is transmitted to the staggered-width 20-inch Rennen wheels, which are painted gloss black and wrapped in sticky R-rated Toyo Proxes T1R tires, sized 275/30 and 345/25 in the front and rear. Behind a total of 40 spokes, the CTS-V's high-performance Brembo six-piston front/four-piston rear calipers and vented discs remain intact, though D3's amended setup has Amsoil fluid running through its own stainless braided brake lines.
With the insane motor setup all figured out, the challenge for the design team was to go big and match it visually. In this case, that equals wide! As in a complete D3 custom sheet metal wide body aero kit that adds 1.5 inches to the front and three inches to the rear fenders to accommodate the 13-inch wide rear rollers and achieve the proper stance. The aerodynamic upgrades also include a lower front spoiler and splitter, unique side skirts, rear apron as well as a flat-panel under-body to improve airflow beneath the car as well as protect its undercarriage. The result is a car with so much attitude and presence you'd swear it's Darth Vader driving around in the Batmobile.
Don't let the stealthy matte black Wraptivo skin fool you, it doesn't prevent speeding tickets! But, take a closer look and note how intricately Monster Graphics wrapped this not-so-subtle beast. Note the LED headlight sprayers and all those sharp edges in the rear, as well as the subtle yellow contrast lines in the rocker panels and hood vents that match the painted calipers. (The No. 3 number plate is a cue taken from Cunningham's 1950 racer, which, by the way, is a bit of an ugly duckling!) Not cutting any corners, D3 applied a custom smoke finish to the taillights and refinished all the chrome trim pieces in a high-gloss black instead. The Cadillac crest and CTS-V badges got the special treatment, too. If it were possible for this car to look better than it already does, it would be without that large APR carbon fiber wing. It gets a pass, however, as any car with this amount power demands a certain amount of actual rear downforce, not to mention respect from its driver. As much fun as it probably is to drive, it must be a big handful no less.
The original boss CTS-V interior was retained for the SEMA part of the build, which is not a bad thing at all; although, D3 has plans to run this car in the Cadillac Challenge as well as Global Time Attack events this season. That said, it will receive important upgrades like a roll cage, racing seats, harnesses and other safety modifications in the very near future in hopes of finding out what this beast is capable of.
In the meantime, it does have an upgraded Pioneer A/V system that can be removed for such activities. The semi-stealth installation by Infinite Auto Design features a Pioneer DEH-P9400BH head unit mounted discretely in the center armrest storage console and TS-D1702C components that sit inside custom gloss black speaker pods within the lower front door panels. Though it's not race-ready at the moment, there's still no room for the kids (or much else for that matter) behind the front seats. Instead, the rear seat bottom is now home to some Pioneer amplifiers – two GM-D7500M and one GM-D9500F – while the seat backs have been replaced with a custom panel that matches the rest of the interior, with a pair of TS-W3002D4 subwoofers that protrude into the voluminous 10.5 cubic foot trunk for power.
Rest assured, D3 Cadillac's matte black monster has a date with the race track. “Preliminary testing has yielded low 10-second quarter-miles,” according to Pak, “... and every chance we get to go out to the racetrack, we are fine tuning the setup and combination.” When the time comes to put up or shut up, no doubt it will have the bite to back up its bark!
Vehicle: 2011 Cadillac CTS-V Coupe
Owner: D3 Cadillac
Location: Signal Hill, Calif.
Engine: 6.2L LSA supercharged
Estimated Max Horsepower: 1,000 hp
Estimated Max Torque: 1,000 lb-ft
Top Speed: 220 mph
Curb Weight: 4,100 lb.
Web site: www.D3Cadillac.com
Kenne Bell (3.6L supercharger, intake manifold)
D3 (air intake, intercooler, 102 mm throttle body, Isky cam, billet fuel rail)
K&N air filter
Manley connecting rods
Total Seal piston rings
Cometic head gasket
Cloyes cam gears
NGK TR6 spark plugs
MSD ignition wires
DRIVETRAIN / CHASSIS:
D3 (performance transmission, 1,000-hp axles)
Borla 3-in. custom exhaust with V-band pipe
D3 (custom wide body, flat panel underbody, smoked taillights)
APR Performance wing
Wraptivo Matte Black vinyl by Monster Graphics
WHEEL / TIRES / BRAKES
Rennen Wheels – 20 x 10 (f), 20 x 13 (r)
Toyo Proxes T1R – 275/30R20 (f), 345/25R20 (r)
D3 stainless braided brake lines
Amsoil brake fluid
KW Variant 3 coil-overs
D3 (sway bars, chassis bracing, adjustable end-links)
Whiteline urethane bushings
AUDIO / MOBILE ELECTRONICS:
Head: Pioneer DEH-P9400BH
Speakers: (2) Pioneer TS-D1702C
Subs: (2) Pioneer TS-W3002D4
Amps: (2) Pioneer GM-D7500M, GM-D9500F