Video: Record-Breaking CTS-V Becomes Fastest Of All Time

Photographers: Patrick McGinnis and Mateusz Czarnocki

A few months back, we did a feature on a pretty special Cadillac CTS-V. The car we are talking about is Jeff Hagaman’s back-halfed V2 built by Hot Rod Dynamics. Not only is the car a work of art, it was built to do some serious damage when it comes to half-mile and even quarter-mile racing. Last time we heard from Joe Lutz, the owner of Hot Rod Dynamics, they had just wrapped up the car and were ironing things out to do some serious racing with it. Well, that moment is upon us as the V is now officially the fastest and quickest CTS-V ever. Period.

It wasn’t long after the car was finished that it easily bested the half-mile Cadillac record, cracking off an insane 212.86 mph pass. That alone would be enough to cement the car’s place in the annals of drag racing history but the Hot Rod Dynamics crew wasn’t done yet. They knew that all that power would translate to the quarter-mile as well, so that’s where they went next.

Hot Rod Dynamics CTS-V LSX Magazine

In case you need a refresher on the car’s setup, this V2 is stuffed with a 427 cubic inch LS built by Lynch Mob racing that is capable of making more than 2,000 horsepower at full tilt. It initially utilized a pair of 7275 turbos from Precision to stuff up to 40 pounds of boost down the LS’s throat, but they have since been upgraded to a pair of 7675s. The biggest news, however, is obviously out back as the independent rear suspension was ditched in favor of a solid axle setup and Mickey Thompson 315 ET Street Radial Pro tires, requiring the entire car to be back-halfed, though you can hardly tell. 

The car was originally running a TR6060 six-speed manual transmission but that was ditched in favor of a powerglide when issues with the car’s hydraulics ended with the six-speed giving up the ghost. Honestly, it was the right call for taking a crack at both the quarter-mile and eighth-mile record. While six-speeds are fun to drive and take a lot of skill to launch, they don’t exactly offer the most consistent—or fastest—results; even if it pains us to admit that.

With the car dialed in, the HRD crew—along with the CTS-V’s owner and driver Jeff Hagaman—headed first to Vengeance Racing for a dyno shootout and then on to Street Car Takeover at Atlanta Dragway the following night.

“We went over to Vengeance racing on Friday night for the dyno challenge and blew that out of the water,” Joe said. “We made 1,705 and the next closest was a twin turbo Viper that made like 1,348—so that definitely started the weekend off right.”

Next, it was on to the drag strip with hopes of cracking the previously established record of 7.65 at 181 mph. But before they got down to the business of breaking the world record, the Caddy won both the roll-racing shootout and its class in the drag racing action.

“It was interesting, the track seemed like it was going away so we kept pulling power out of it to keep it hooked up coming down to the finals,” Joe explained. “We went up against a Nova with a twin-turbo small-block and both teams were both dialing power out of them, but they decided to re-prepped the track right before our last run. It felt good on that pass, we won the round, and then we noticed people who had been struggling all night were doing a lot better after that.”

The crew was just getting ready to roll the car back onto the trailer when head tuner Greg Bently purposed that they make a final pass before calling it quits, hoping that the freshly prepped track would hold 1,700+ horsepower. With the record in site after several 7-second passes during competition, they decided to put the hot tune back in the car and go for it.

With the suspension dialed in from competing all night, the team felt that they had a good shot at getting the car down the quarter-mile in record time. On the final pass of the night, the Caddy gave them what they were looking for, cracking off a 7.62 at 182 mph, beating the previous record of 7.65 and making the V2 not only the quickest and fastest CTS-V of all time, but also one of the fastest sedans of all time–especially since it’s stock-body, full interior.

Joe tells us that with the half-mile and quarter-mile records in hand, they have accomplished everything the car was built for. However, that doesn’t mean they’re done with racing. The crew is headed to the Texas Invitational for a little half-mile action next. After that, it’s anyone’s guess but we’d bet we haven’t seen the last of this V.

About the author

Chase Christensen

Chase Christensen hails from Salt Lake City, and grew up around high-performance GM vehicles. He took possession of his very first F-body— an ’86 Trans Am— at the age of 13 and has been wrenching ever since.
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