Do look now—DRIVEN’s ace correspondent James Lamdin is back behind the wheel. Read on…

With much ado over Cadillac’s new CTS in recent months (that whole Motor Trend Car of The Year thing, for one), it was high time for some seat time for the DRIVEN team.

Our friends at General Motors agreed and dropped off an example finished in something called Red Obsession at our New York HQ for a week’s worth of experiential learning.

Testing out the much-discussed Motor Trend Car of the Year

Here’s the takeaway:

At first glance, it is clear that the new CTS is a whole new ball of wax.

2014-Cadillac-CTS-front-left-view

Gone are the endless miles of flat sheet-metal paneling and gaudy chrome trim.

In their place: a svelte design that gives the new CTS, despite its increased size (over previous generations), a lithe appearance much more in line with its competition from Europe and Asia.

A svelte design gives the CTS a new lithe appearance

Which is saying something in its own right, as Cadillac was up until recently not in the running for best sporty midsize sedan.

But we’ll get more into that shortly.

Complementing the brilliant new body style is an entirely new grille and front end, headlight cluster borrowed from Kevin Flynn’s Light Cycle, and some pretty bangin’ wheels.

11161197955_0a0dcba5e5_b

Major kudos to the budget team at GM—they clearly let their top-notch R&D team have their dirty way with this one.

Inside it is very much the same story.

High-tech and high quality is the name of the game.

High-tech and high quality is the name of the game

The interior of the CTS is every bit as comfortable as a vehicle bearing the Cadillac badge should be, but is executed in a modern way, with top-notch materials and an intuitive control setup.

Backseat room is also substantial for a midsize, allowing plenty of room for after-hours activities of the non-driving nature.

2014-Cadillac-CTS-Sedan-Steering

We will not be getting any more into that.

Fit, finish and design are of course only part of the story, and you can be sure our comrades over at MT didn’t apply their loftiest award to the CTS just because it is pretty.

A practical yet utterly fantastic driver’s car

The CTS is a practical yet utterly fantastic driver’s car, equipped with a 3.6-liter V6 and your choice of rear-wheel or all-wheel drive (our Red Obsession had the latter).

Road handling was superb; soft and smooth in all the right places, with just enough growl and gusto to remind you this isn’t your grandmother’s Caddy.

2014 Cadillac CTS Vsport

It also cruises very comfortably at significant highway speeds and pours effortlessly into the corners under a heavy right foot.

Pours effortlessly into corners under a heavy right foot

You know, those things we at DRIVEN live for.

Just a little bit more composed than we’re used to.

Now, about that V-Spec