When I first received the invite to attend the Cadillac Truth + Dare driving event last month, I thought it might be a mistake. I have attended many different driving courses over the years, but to be honest, Cadillac was never really on my radar. I had heard about the Cadillac V-Performance Academy in Las Vegas, but I always assumed it was only offered to Cadillac owners and those associated with the Cadillac name. And as a Street Muscle enthusiast, I was definitely not part of that select club!
But when I signed into the Truth + Dare website and entered my code, that all changed. I was immediately asked to choose a date and time to attend the event. At the time of my registration, there were four cities that I could choose from; San Diego, Chicago, Cleveland, and Washington DC.
Because I live in Southern California, naturally, I picked the San Diego event. And this event would take me back to my old stomping grounds at Qualcomm Stadium. The large parking lot at Qualcomm is host to many different race events throughout the year, including Race Legal San Diego and Autocross SCCA, so I knew the venue at Qualcomm would be a good spot for Cadillac to show off the capabilities of some of their flagship vehicles.
Playing Truth + Dare With Cadillac
Cadillac Truth + Dare is a single-day experience that invites potential customers aged 21 and older a way to enjoy an up-close-and-personal demonstration of Cadillac’s 2017 lineup. The event is completely free of charge, and you don’t have to buy a car to participate in the event.
2017 Cadillac Truth + Dare Lineup
2017 Cadillac CTS Coupe/Sedan
2017 Cadillac Coupe/Sedan
2017 Cadillac Sedan
2017 CadillacCT6 Plug-in
2017 Cadillac Sedan
2017 Cadillac Crossover
2017 Cadillac Escalade
2017 Cadillac ATS-V Coupe/Sedan
2017 Cadillac CTS-V Coupe/Sedan
Because we are in the summer months here in SoCal, I chose to do the 8:30am Sunday session to beat the heat. Upon arriving at the event, we were immediately greeted by the friendly Cadillac staff, and they kindly ushered us into the high-end, air-conditioned tent. Inside, Cadillac had information on the entire 2017 lineup and a surprisingly large lounge area to beat the heat. They also had a nice selection of snacks and a small barista staff serving up espressos. Only the best for Cadillac, right?
Once we were fully checked in, we were assigned into five different groups of about 15 people. I was glad I had chosen the first batch of the day because the numbers were relatively small. Once the experience began, we were then ushered out of the air-conditioned tent, and that’s where the fun began.
Sunday Funday with Cadillac
There were five stations set up outside for the Truth + Dare event: Night Vision, Street Drive, Acceleration, Technology, and Autocross. It just so happened that our group (aka Gold Team) followed this same route. I counted no less than 30 different Cadillac vehicles on hand. We had access to a variety of different vehicles; sedans, coupes, SUVs, and crossovers. Cadillac had brought out an impressive lineup ready for us to explore.
Autoliv’s Night Vision Tech
The first station took us to the Cadillac Night Vision display where we were introduced to the CT6 sedan, which features Autoliv’ Night Vision display. The Night Vision utilizes a front grille-mounted infrared camera to make road hazards visible even in complete darkness and through smoke or fog.
The Heads Up Display displays heat signatures and alerts the driver to those potential road hazards. If an object is detected and the vehicle maintains a trajectory that puts it in danger of a collision, a beeping tone or pulsing of the safety alert seat notifies the driver to change course.
Cadillac Street Drive in a Crossover
The next station had us taking a nice lead follow drive outside Qualcomm Stadium onto the city streets of San Diego to see how the vehicles feel and respond in stop and go traffic. Cadillac had the entire non “V” lineup of vehicles ready and waiting for us.
I picked the 2017 Cadillac XT5 simply because I have never driven a crossover before.
From smaller sedans to the full-size Escalade’s, we were truly able to pick any car in the Cadillac lineup for this particular joyride.
I picked the 2017 Cadillac XT5 crossover simply because I have never driven a crossover before. The XT5 features a 3.6L V6 with direct injection and variable valve timing. It’s an all-wheel drive, twin clutch system and the interior of the vehicle was simply stunning.
Because we were playing a little lead follow for this portion of the drive, I didn’t get the chance to get too crazy with the XT5, but I can tell you the V6 engine had plenty of daily driven power. At the same time, I was also glad this was the first vehicle I had the chance to drive because I was able to check the crossover off my list early and focus on the Cadillac vehicles that had a bit more power!
Street Muscle Likes To Go Fast!
Cadillac brought out professional driving coaches that accompanied us through the acceleration test. Cadillac claims the 640 horsepower supercharged CTS-V can do 0-60 in 3.7 seconds.
While most people wanted to feel just how powerful the Cadillac V-series is under hard acceleration, I was more interested in how quick the 6-piston Brembo brakes could stop these vehicles after a hard acceleration pass. That CTS-V weighs in at around 4,141 lbs and I was fully impressed with the stopping distance these luxury vehicles have.
The ATS-V was no slouch, either and was probably my favorite of the bunch. The 3.6L Twin Turbo engine produces 464 hp and 445 lb-ft of torque. It is also capable of hitting 0-60 mph in 3.8 seconds thanks to a number of lightweight features as well as the patented low-volume charge-air cooler.
Cadillac: It’s All About Technology and Comfort
Cadillac’s lineup of luxury vehicles has always been uniquely American and has quite the loyal following. But many of today’s younger generation still think of Cadillac as your grandfather’s type of luxury. It’s no secret that Cadillac’s new ad campaign is focused on changing that. The “Dare Greatly” ad campaign and now the Truth + Dare event is proof of that. In my group and the group after me, I did notice many younger enthusiasts taking part in the event.
The technology that was featured in the Cadillac CT6 was pretty amazing. The Bose Panaray audio system coupled with the massaging front seats was a big hit and made you feel like you were in a movie theater rather than a luxury sedan. Cadillac also demonstrated the active safety features that are available in their lineups, such as the forward collision alert, lane departure warning, and the Cadillac Rear Camera Mirror.
Autocross Time In A Caddy!
The autocross portion was as expected, the highlight of the five stations. The station had a total of about six or seven regular CTS and ATS coupes and sedans that were equipped with the 2.0L engine. Even though the course was short, we were able to do multiple runs and try out all the vehicles on the course. The best part was that Cadillac allowed us to run the course without a driving coach in the passenger seat!
Now we weren’t driving the V-performance lineup, but it did allow customers the chance to run the cones and get a feel for the handling and performance that Cadillac prides itself on. The fact that we were able to do this without much supervision was what made the experience so much fun.
Cadillac Truth + Dare Overall Thoughts?
Cadillac’s Truth + Dare experience took about three hours to get through, and for an entirely free event, Cadillac did not disappoint. The hands-on approach, without the added stress of being asked if you want to buy a new car just worked. In fact, I don’t think a single Cadillac employee even asked me if I was ready to purchase a vehicle. There was plenty of time to explore the entire 2017 Cadillac lineup, and once we were finished with the day’s event, the lounge area was made available once again to grab a quick bite and ask questions.
If you get the chance to sign up for the Cadillac Truth + Dare event, I highly recommend taking advantage of it. It’s a three-hour experience that is sure to have you walking away with a different perspective of the Cadillac brand. For more information Cadillac’s remaining dates for 2017, you can click on the official website here.