We're in tough company: A couple of Bugatti Veyrons and a Lamborghini Reventon
roadster jostle with a Ferrari
458 Italia and a 599 GTO. A Mercedes Benz S
LS AMG leads various Maserati
Gran Turismos, a brace of Alfa Romeo
8Cs, and a white Lexus
LFA. And at the head of the line is the new McLaren MP4-12C, making its world debut in the same shade of orange the Bruce and Denny Show used to paint their Can-Am-conquering M8 racers back in the '60s. At the wheel is current F1 world champion Jenson Button.
The 2011 Cadillac Cts
-V Coupe I'm driving is also making its world debut here in the Supercar Run at Britain's astonishing Goodwood Festival of Speed, the world's greatest car show. This will be the first time the car has been seen in action outside Detroit. But despite the CTS-V Coupe's glittery grille, polished 19-in. alloy wheels, bazooka-caliber dual exhaust, and slammed roofline, in this crowd I'm reminded of that old movie line about bringing a knife to a gun fight.
I ease the Coupe up to the start line. The Supercar Run, a 1.2-mile blast up the driveway running past Lord March's country house, is not a timed event. It's all about putting on a show. So, shocks set to sport: Check. StabiliTrak off: Check. Automatic transmission in manual mode: Check. I select second gear and ease up to the start line, left foot on the brake pedal. As the starting official gives me a countdown, I brake torque the car off the line, making sure I get the rear tires spinning before lifting off the stoppers. The supercharged 6.2-liter snarls as the tach needle zings around to 5000, and the tail wriggles from side to side. I feather the gas slightly to stop the engine bouncing off the rev limiter, and the CTS-V Coupe smokes rubber almost all the way to the first corner.
You don't always need a Bugatti Veyron to make an entrance...