It's not as if Cadillac really needed to crank up the curbside volume on its CTS-based power trio, but this spring, all three variants -- the 2011 Cadillac CTS-V Coupe, Sedan and Wagon -- will be available in new Black Diamond Editions that promise to add even more visual presence to the mix. While sharing the same 6.2-liter/556-horspower supercharged V8 and performance-tuned Magnetic Ride Control suspension as their basic CTS-V kin, these specially turned out variants are finished in an exclusive Black Diamond paint formulated to give the exterior a gem-like character that causes it to sparkle under changing light angles.

At the heart of this new Black Diamond paint is a proprietary SpectraFlair pigment developed by JDSU, an optical-technology firm in Milpitas, Calif. Unlike conventional metallic paints, SpectraFlair -- in this case SpectraFlair Bright Silver -- encapsulates the aluminum flakes it contains in magnesium fluoride, a glass-like substance that adds a new level of depth to the finish. This is the first use of JDSU's SpectraFlair pigment in the U.S. automotive industry, and the tri-coat Black Diamond paint imparts a dimension that Cadillac exterior paint designer Michelle Killen refers to as "a finely crafted, tailored tuxedo."

To tastefully accent their striking paintwork, the CTS-V Black Diamond Edition power trio wears upsized 19-inch alloy wheels finished in Satin Graphite and wrapped in super-grippy Michelin Pilot Sport PS2 performance tires. While the CTS-V's formidable Brembo-based stopping power carries over, the six-piston front/four-piston rear calipers are painted bright yellow for Black Diamond duty. The passenger compartment comes in for a similar understated upgrade. Its deeply bolstered and highly adjustable Recaro sport seats are done in black leather with microfiber suede inserts set off by unique Midnight Sapele wood trim accents on the dash, doors and console.

"We've already established V-Series as a serious sub-brand for Cadillac," said Rich Pinto, Cadillac creative designer. "Black Diamond further establishes V-Series in the market as a performance-minded line of vehicles with a luxury twist." Arriving at dealerships in March, the 2011 Cadillac CTS-V Black Diamond Editions will open at $69,190 when fitted with the six-speed manual transmission and $70,490 with the six-speed automatic, a $4,850 bump over the standard CTS-V four-door.

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