The 2022 Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing is the end of an era. A last hurrah for the internal combustion engine.
Engine: 6.2 L Supercharged
Output: 668 hp, 659 lb-ft
Transmission: 6MT, RWD
US fuel economy (MPG): 13/21
CAN fuel economy (L/100KM): 18.3/11.4
Starting Price (USD): $85,390 (inc. dest.)
As-Tested Price (USD): $106,495 (inc. dest.)
Starting Price (CAD): $90,098 (inc. dest.)
As-Tested Price (CAD): $112,653 (inc. dest.)
It’s the high watermark of old school performance before the world fully embraces electric propulsion. It’s a rear-wheel drive sedan with a pushrod V8 engine, supercharger, and six-speed manual transmission. A real throwback that somehow still feels thoroughly modern.
And it’s wholly flexible. The car will happy turn a few laps around the track before arriving at the local country club for a black tie dinner.
Elegant, Sinister, Sporty
The Blackwing is one of those rare cars that looks just as dignified as it does mischievous, mostly due to the way the car is equipped. The Blackwing features punched out fenders front and rear, as well as a quad-tip exhaust and bulging front hood.
Optional are the carbon fiber 1 and carbon fiber 2 packages. The former adds a front splitter, wheel well deflectors and a lengthened rear spoiler to the car, of course all made out of lightweight material. The second package adds more carbon fiber bits, notably a front grille header, rocker moldings, rocker extensions, and a rear diffuser.
When combined with optional 19-inch Tech Bronze wheels and finished in Black Raven exterior paint, the entire package comes together in a way that’s just right. It’s a car that oozes presence and never fails to be noticed.
You’ll Hear It Coming
And just in case someone doesn’t see the car, they’ll definitely hear it. Under the popped-up hood resides a 6.2-liter supercharged V8 producing 668 hp and 659 lb-ft of torque. It can be equipped to a 10-speed automatic transmission, or as is the case with my test car, an honest-to-goodness six-speed manual. If this all sound familiar, that’s because it is essentially the same set up as the highly-praised Chevrolet Camaro ZL1.
As is the case with most modern performance luxury cars, the CT5-V Blackwing has a deluge of drive modes, depending on the road conditions and driver’s current enthusiasm level. There’s also the V Mode button on the steering that allows the driver to quick select a custom setup for various vehicle settings like engine response, chassis stiffness, engine noise, steering weight, and more.
Enable a performance traction mode and the exhaust’s secondary valves eagerly stay open, allowing that sweet V8 burble to explode outward. There’s pops and crackles during any form of deceleration. It absolutely roars under full throttle. It’s a sound that’s as intoxicating as it is addicting. It’s not for introverts and might make one the scorn of their neighborhood, but it’s well worth it.
Set for Speed, Not Efficiency
Noise would be nothing without performance, but that’s no issue for the Blackwing. Cadillac claims 0 to 60 mph happens in just 3.6 seconds for vehicles equipped with the manual transmission, or down to 3.4 seconds with the 10-speed automatic.
I’ll gladly give up a bit of haste to indulge in the joy only a six-speed manual transmission can bring. This might not be the most sophisticated gearbox on the market but considering the amount of power it’s required to handle, I can’t complain. Throws are short, precise and require moderate effort. Clutch engagement is accurate with an easily to define uptake point. It too requires moderate effort but is not as heavy as one might expect from something expected to handle 659 lb-ft. of torque.
Gearing on the manual transmission is quite long, partially to allow the car to reach its apparent 200+ mph top speed. First gear is not just a starter gear but can be utilized for slow cornering as well. The Rev matching system is one of the best I’ve encountered and blips the engine quickly when performing downshifts. Did I mention it also sounds fantastic?
Not a One Trick Pony
It might seem intimidating and potentially unwieldy to pilot a car this large, heavy, and powerful. Especially through a six-speed manual. But the engineers have nailed it with the car’s dynamics. It’s as easy to leisurely cruise around town as it is to attack twisting back roads at full steam.
A lot of this can be attributed to Cadillac’s Magnetic Ride Control 4.0 system that adapts to road conditions, altering vehicle settings instantly. As well, the CT5-V Blackwing isn’t that heavy when compared to other high-powered sedans. Weighing in at 4,123 lbs., it under cuts the BMW M5 by about 200 lbs. and holds a 450 lbs weight advantage over the Dodge Charger Hellcat Redeye.
Taking full advantage of the car’s modest weight is an electronic limited-slip with a high-performance cooler. It ensures the massive 305/30ZR19 Michelin Pilot Sport 4S rear tires stay planted when accelerating out of a corner. It’s enough for a claimed 1.01 lateral g-force capability on a skidpad. And when it’s time to whoa the car down, gigantic 15.67-inch brake rotors up front and 14.7-inch units in the rear bring the super Caddy to a halt. For even more stopping power, there are optional carbon ceramic brakes as well.
During my time with the car I never came close to exploiting its full performance potential on the street, but our Road Test Editor Kyle Patrick did get to spend a day with it at the track and you can read his thoughts here.
More Carbon Inside
Inside the carbon fiber trend continues, with various trim pieces and the front seat backs wrapped in the material. The two-tone natural tan and jet black semi-aniline leather interior is pleasing to the eye. I appreciate the nearly infinite adjustability of the front seats, although they take some time to learn how to fully operate.
All other interior controls and settings are easy to learn and use. I’m sure the sound system works well and sounds good, but I never really used it. Why use the radio when that glorious V8 soundtrack out back can’t be beat? I do appreciate the fact there are volume and tuning knobs though.
Front headroom is listed at 39 inches, which may not seem like a lot. But as a 6-footer with a long torso, I had no issues stuffing my cranium inside. Rear seat space is another case of the specs can be misleading. Officially there is 36.6 inches of headroom and 37.0 inches of legroom. That’s an arguably cramped living space for a mid-size car, but once again, upon actual use two full-size adults fit back there with ample room.
The trunk can swallow up a wide assortment of golf clubs, groceries, and hard case luggage. Officially there is 11.9 cu ft of room to play with.
Pay to Play
A car this special, this good at doing nearly everything, isn’t going to come cheap, correct? Well, that’s a matter of perspective. With a starting price of $85,390 USD ($90,098 CAD) including destination charge, it’s not going to be cross shopped with a Toyota Camry. And as equipped, things only get pricier as the costly options put the as tested price at $106,495 USD ($112,653 CAD).
But compared to some performance luxury contemporaries, the Blackwing begins to look like a value. The less powerful (albeit all-wheel drive) BMW M5 starts at $104,595 USD before any options are added on. And the 620 hp Porsche Panamera Turbo S begins at $187,850 USD.
2022 Cadillac CT5 V Blackwing: The Verdict
There is no perfect car. But for this car-loving dad in his 40s, it doesn’t get much better than the 2022 Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing. High fuel prices be damned, I love its throwback feel and appeal. If we truly are ending the era of luxury cars propelled by ground pounding V8 monsters and manual transmissions, I can’t think of a better send-off than this future classic.
- How fast is the 2022 Cadillac CT5 V Blackwing?
- Cadillac claims the car can reach 0-60 mph in 3.6 seconds with the manual transmission and hit a top speed of over 200 mph.
- How much will the Cadillac CT5 V Blackwing cost?
- The 2022 Cadillac CT5 V Blackwing has a starting price of $85,390 USD ($90,098 CAD) including destination charges.
- Is the CT5 V Blackwing supercharged?
- Yes, the car features a 6.2-liter supercharged V8 engine.
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