Finally, it’s the hard-charging V-Series we’ve been expecting.
After quite a bit of hubbub surrounding the vanilla Cadillac CT4-V and CT5-V, the high-performance Blackwing variants have arrived. There are a couple caveats with that statement to consider: Both are significantly more expensive than their standard V-Series counterparts, and only 250 units for each Blackwing model are available to pre-order now. Nevertheless, I said I was excited to see the Blackwings (particularly the CT5) emerge this year. And on paper, at least, I have some great reasons to be stoked for these cars.
What the CT4-V Blackwing and CT5-Blackwing both share
Since the 2022 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing and CT5-V Blackwing are launching together, you’d expect them to share some common threads. You’d be right, in that GM outfitted both of these cars with similar kit to make them proper successors to the ATS-V and CTS-V. To that end, GM stuck with the powertrains that made those cars monsters in their respective classes, only this time they pack even more punch. Beyond just slapping the same old engines in and calling it a day, though, GM did go through extensive lengths to improve air intake to keep the engines cool — including that redesigned mesh grille — as well as toughening up internal components by way of titanium connecting rods (in manual-equipped cars) and intake valves, and installing the latest generation of its Magnetic Ride Control 4.0. To take on the sports sedan elite like the Audi RS3 or the BMW M5, both the CT4-V Blackwing and CT5-V Blackwing see a range of aerodynamic tweaks.
For this generation, Cadillac brought back a Tremec 6-speed manual transmission as standard fare. Yes, you can still get the 10-speed automatic if you wish, but enthusiasts can rejoice in having a three-pedal option once more. If only for a brief glorious moment, GM’s high-performance sedans aim for thrill before the brand moves full speed ahead into EVs. Both cars also get an electronic limited-slip differential and larger Brembo brakes. Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires come standard, as does all the aero kit.
For example, GM included larger secondary grilles for auxiliary charge coolers and smaller grilles flanking the LED running lights to pull cool air over the brakes. A front splitter and rear spoiler complement each other to improve handling. Mid-body “underwing” panels enhance the effect, as does a rear valence diffuser.
Up front, six-piston Brembo brakes grab nearly 15-inch rotors on the CT4-V, and 15.7-inch rotors on the CT5-V. Four-piston rotors are the back grab 13.4 and 14.7-inch rotors respectively.
Cadillac CT4-V performance specs
Both cars get a digital instrument cluster as standard equipment, as well as a properly sporty interior and V-Series steering wheel. The 6-speed manual option features a heavy-duty twin-disc clutch to handle the extra torque and a no-lift shift feature, so you can actually shift while keeping your right foot plastered to the floor. Active rev-matching is standard too, but as a console-mounted button. That’s a thoughtful touch if you’re the type who prefers doing it yourself (as I am).
Under the hood, the 2022 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing uses a 3.6-liter twin-turbocharged V6, like the old ATS-V. Taking the improvements into account, the updated powertrain manages 472 horsepower and 445 lb-ft of torque. In short, it’s not much more potent on paper, as the new car makes just eight more horsepower. Torque, for what it’s worth, remains the same. GM says the CT4-V Blackwing will still manage the 0-60 sprint in 3.8 seconds, which is another incremental improvement over the old car. Top speed, per GM’s estimates, is 189 mph. Still, we have a small, tightened down performance sedan that is ready to take on the Audi RS3 in a toe-to-toe match.
At $59,990 including destination, the 2022 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing looks like one hell of a bargain, especially as it’s nearly $9,000 less than the old ATS-V.
Meet the CT5-V: Cadillac’s most powerful and fastest car ever.
Then there’s the 2022 Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing. 472 horsepower? That’s a paltry figure here, and we need to beat 640 horsepower to top the old CTS-V. Fortunately, GM pulled it off, and this new model manages 668 horsepower and 659 lb-ft of torque. That is a more notable improvement over the old performance king, with an extra 28 horsepower and 29 lb-ft in the torque department. Power, as you’d expect, comes from a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 built in Bowling Green, Kentucky — home of Corvette performance. GM fitted a high-output 1.7-liter Eaton supercharger to create the most responsive experience.
Even better, the 2022 Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing exceeds 200 mph, at least according to GM’s estimates. Again, engineers had to beef up the internals to handle that much more power, extending to strengthened aluminum alloy cylinder heads and titanium intake valves. 305-millimeter rear tires also help the rear-wheel drive sedan heave all that power onto the road.
But here’s the rub: The CT5-V Blackwing manages a 3.7 second 0-60 time. That’s only a tenth of a second quicker than the CT4-V Blackwing. It’s a larger car, sure, but it’s also half a second off the BMW M5. Mind you, at $84,990 it’s also noticeably less expensive, so whether this makes the best compromise between the CT4-V and the M5 is up to you.
Let us know what you think of both cars in the comments below!