Cadillac brings the manual back for its ultimate sport sedans—including its most powerful production car ever.
Cadillac revealed the next evolution of its V-Series lineup of performance cars late Monday evening. Both the 2022 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing and CT5-V Blackwing promise the sort of mega performance sport sedan buyers demand, with more power, more tech—and the rarest of features in modern sports sedans: the manual transmission.
Caddy’s hi-po sub-brand had a reboot last year, with the non-Blackwing V models shifting down to more accessible (read: less powerful) parts of the market. They both went auto-only, too. These new models bring back the recipes of the previous V models however, which translates to an extra pair of cylinders for each sedan. There’s more to these Blackwings than just tweaked hearts, though.
2022 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing
The sub-compact CT4-V Blackwing ditches the repurposed Silverado engine of the regular CT4-V for the powerhouse 3.6-liter, turbocharged V6 of the ATS-V. Cadillac has massaged the six-pot for added oomph, squeezing out 472 horsepower and 445 lb-ft of torque. Power heads through the standard six-speed manual to the rear wheels, with the 10-speed automatic still an option. Those figures launch the CT4-V it right to the head of the class, topping the likes of the Audi RS3 (394 hp, 354 lb-ft) and Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 (382 hp, 354 lb-ft). However, unlike the regular Four-Vee and zee Germans, the Blackwing is rear-drive only.
Helping wrangle all the action is a revised suspension system, consisting of MacPherson struts up front and a five-link rear. The Blackwing features stiffer spring rates, new bushings, stronger rear suspension knuckles and cradle mounts, and shock tower braces. An electronic limited-slip differential is standard, with a lighter aluminum housing shaving 22 pounds (10 kg) off the weight. The latest example of Cadillac’s excellent Magnetic Ride Control (version 4.0) is also standard here. The adaptive system allows the Blackwing to handle bumpy roads with aplomb, while still providing the stiffer, more consistent body control necessary for more spirited driving.
Specially-developed Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires, sized 255/35 front and 275/35 rear, wrap 18-inch, forged aluminum wheels. Behind them sit large brake discs, measuring 15 inches (380 mm) and 13.4 inches (340 mm), respectively. Six-piston front and four-piston rear Brembo calipers clamp down on the big dinner plates.
Outside, the transformation from CT4-V to Blackwing is a subtle one. Larger air intakes in the front bumpers and functional side vents mark this more powerful model out. Buyers will also be able to spec an optional carbon fiber exterior package however, and that’s decidedly less demure. A deep lip spoiler, front canards, and an enormous rear lip not only show off the weave, they reduce the CT4-V’s lift by a whopping 214 percent. Since the sedan is capable of an estimated 189 mph (304 km/h) top speed, that’s a good thing.
The CT4-V interior also carries a familiar look, with a heavy helping of carbon fiber to spice things up. Heavily bolstered, 18-way power-adjustable sports seats are standard, trimmed in faux leather—though the steering wheel gets the real thing. An upgraded tiller adds more performance features all easily accessible from the wheel, plus a serialized number plate. Options include increasing levels of interior microfiber, plus massage and ventilation features for the seats (the latter of which is standard for Canadians). Magnesium shift paddles come with auto-equipped Blackwings; manuals include a shifter topped by a 3D-printed topper. Behind the wheel is a 12.0-inch digital instrument panel. Drivers will find different layouts depending on the selected drive mode, with Track opening up access to launch control as well as line lock. Other standard features include an 8.0-inch infotainment screen, 14-speaker AKG audio system, and wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Performance Data Recorder 2.0 is available, offering built-in 1080p recordings from the front camera and performance data from 34 variables.
Pricing for the CT4-V kicks off at $59,990, including $995 in destination. Canadians can expect the Blackwing to start at $67,198, also including destination. It will arrive on dealer lots this summer, with reservations beginning at 7:30 P.M. tonight.
Truth be told, the CT4-V Blackwing arguably makes more sense as a slightly smaller M3/C63 competitor to us. That’s the battle the old ATS-V fought, anyway—but Cadillac is calling the larger CT5-V its compact sport sedan competitor.
2022 Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing
The V8 is back. We’ve known it was coming for a year now, but still, with eight-pots likely not long for this world, we’re celebrating it anyway. The numbers are just as massive as you’d expect: horsepower now sits at 668, with torque at a tarmac-wrinkling 659 lb-ft. Everyone of these pushrod beasts are hand-built, and will feature a signed and numbered engine builder’s plate.
For those keeping track at home, those numbers positively demolish the best the Germans can muster (503 horsepower from both the C63 S and M3 Competition). In fact, it’s more than the next size up offers, too: the M5, E63, and Audi RS6 all offer a little over 600 hp. They all only come with AWD, however—sometimes defeatable—whereas the Caddy is pure rear-drive. Only it and the M3 continue to offer a manual transmission as well. If you’d rather let the car handle shifting duties, a fortified 10-speed auto is available.
Like the CT4-V, the Five-Vee Blackwing sees a round of suspension improvements, an electronic LSD, plus the standard fitment of Magnetic Ride Control 4.0. The larger sedan features 19-inch wheels, with its front meats as wide as the CT4-V Blackwing’s rears (275/35 Michelin P4S). The rear tires are a full 305-width. The larger wheels allow Cadillac to fit even bigger brakes: 15.7-inch (398 mm) front and 14.7-inch (373 mm) rear discs. The CT5-V also offers a carbon-ceramic brake disc option, shedding 53 pounds in unsprung weight.
The CT5-V Blackwing gets a similarly subtle exterior refresh, barely hinting at the fact it’s packing over 300 hp more than the regular CT5-V. Enlarged intakes, side air vents, and lower stance are the only real signs this four-door sledgehammer can top 200 mph. The CT5-V offers a carbon fiber exterior package as well, though with a slightly less in-your-face rear spoiler than the CT4-V.
Inside, CT5-V pilots get the optional steering wheel from the smaller sedan as standard equipment. It features extra buttons for V-Mode and traction control, as well as a red band at the 12-o’clock position. Leather seating is standard, with even more aggressive thrones available, including those with carbon fiber back panels. Heating, ventilation, and lumbar massage are all standard across the CT5-V Blackwing range. You can add more microfiber and leather across the interior too—again, like the CT4-V Blackwing.
Standard equipment includes the 12.0-inch digital instrument panel, 15-speaker AKG sound system (one more than the CT4-V Blackwing), 10.0-inch infotainment screen, and wireless smart phone mirroring. One-upping its little bro, the CT5-V also comes with a head-up display. The Performance Data Recorder is also optional.
The 2022 CT5-V Blackwing will howl into dealerships this summer, starting at $84,990 ($89,898 CAD).
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