2022 Cadillac CT4-V and CT5-V Blackwing: Strap On Your Helmet

Cadillac has finally unleashed the almighty Blackwing versions of the CT4-V and CT5-V sedans. We at The Car Guide had the opportunity to take them for a few hot laps around the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Bowmanville, Ontario.

Were we impressed? You bet.

Fabulous Powerplants

The late ATS-V and CTS-V used to be the top performers in Cadillac’s lineup. Now that the company has introduced the CT4 and CT5, a different strategy is in order. The V models have become just slightly more powerful versions of the Premium Luxury models. The cream of the crop is now identified by the new Blackwing badge.

Photo: Germain Goyer

The smaller CT4-V Blackwing gets a twin-turbocharged 3.6-litre V6 engine that produces 472 horsepower— 8 hp more than the ATS-V—and 445 pound-feet of torque. Much to the delight of enthusiasts, Cadillac’s engineers made sure the car would deliver a sporty sound. Mark our words: they absolutely nailed it.

Lap after lap, we enjoyed the CT4-V Blackwing’s diminutive size and light weight compared to its larger sibling. Handling is excellent, too. That being said, the CT5-V Blackwing left us speechless.

Photo: Germain Goyer

This land missile disguised as a compact luxury sedan houses one of GM’s most fabulous powerplants ever, namely the supercharged 6.2-litre V8. With 668 horsepower and 659 pound-feet of torque (up 28 hp and 29 lb-ft from the CTS-V), it can make a fool out of anyone who would disregard it because there’s no Audi, BMW or Mercedes-Benz logo on the front. The Americans’ love for all things excessive is really something.

On the track, the CT5-V Blackwing is like a fish in the water and you’d better make the most of it, because the road is no place to do so, otherwise you’ll collect speeding tickets in no time. While it does feel heavier than the CT4-V Blackwing, particularly the nose, it still proves remarkably athletic.

Photo: Germain Goyer

When it comes to styling and interior fit and finish, we prefer the CT5-V Blackwing in a head-to-head comparison. The most powerful CT4 looks too much like the old ATS and probably won’t age very well. The front buckets sure are pleasant to sit in, however. Of course, the larger CT5 offers more interior room, especially for the legs and in the back seat.

Hurray for the Manual Transmission!

It’s not just the powerplants that got us excited. The transmissions and drivetrain are another highlight of these cars. Both the CT4-V Blackwing and CT5-V Blackwing come with RWD only—there’s no AWD option—and you know what that means: drifting bliss.

Photo: Germain Goyer

Naturally, a ten-speed automatic transmission is available, and we have to admit it could hardly be any quicker or more effective. But for maximum fun, the six-speed manual gearbox is the way to go. Cadillac’s chief engineer Tony Roma told us that 60 percent of CT4-V Blackwing and CT5-V Blackwing customers so far have ordered the manual, surprising even himself. He expects the take rate for the automatic to increase over time, though.

Quite a Good Package Overall

While going full speed on the track at the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park and marvelling at the endurance of the braking system, we realized that the Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing is actually quite a good package overall. The Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye Widebody is the only other V8-powered sports sedan on the market, but despite having 100+ extra ponies this model is still based on an ancient platform. Consequently, it could never work its way around a track like the CT5-V Blackwing does. And while the most powerful Caddy benefits from a few aerodynamic upgrades and more aggressive design cues, it proves much more low-key than the in-your-face Dodge. Did we mention it has a manual gearbox, too?

Staying within the GM family, one could even make a case that the sensational CT5-V Blackwing is better overall than the iconic and much celebrated Corvette. Not only is it more powerful, but you can also drive it all year long and enjoy it a whole lot more in day-to-day driving due to its more practical body style. Besides, the latest Corvette has the same problem as the Charger in the minds of purists: it lacks a stick shift.

Photo: Germain Goyer

A Niche Product

Of course, the new 2022 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing and CT5-V Blackwing are attainable only by a select few. The former is priced from $67,648 and you need to add $3,760 for the automatic transmission. Various options and packages can also be specified including carbon fibre accessories and advanced driver assistance features.

Meanwhile, the CT5-V Blackwing starts at $90,348, plus $3,645 if you reject the manual transmission. Check a few more boxes and it will easily land in six-figure territory.

Photo: Germain Goyer

Those who think that Cadillac is still an old man’s car brand are in for quite a shock when they get behind the wheel of these two exceptional performance machines. On the other hand, the new obsession with electrification is already setting an expiration date on these mechanical dinosaurs. Appreciate them while you still can.

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