The genre of sporty, executive sedans has been a mostly European exercise dominated by Mercedes-Benz and BMW. But that’s not to say that other carmakers have not attempted their takes on this niche market catering to tyre-smoking executives. An American contender of the segment has now resurrected itself: Cadillac.
Fans of the Matrix movies and Forza Motorsport video games would know that Cadillac has a history of sporty sedans that also acted as a base for some serious racecars. Like with the M and AMG badges for BMW and Benz, Cadillac’s go-faster cars bore the suffix of ‘V’. However, the new V-branded variants became the sportier versions of the regular sedans instead of being the mad ones. So, Cadillac decided to bring back the enthusiast’s models under a new brand called Blackwing. Sounds perfectly intense, shady and very American. That announcement was a while ago and the first Blackwing cars have now been revealed.
The 2022 CT4-V Blackwing and CT5-V Blackwing are two of the most powerful cars to ever wear the iconic Cadillac badge. Cadillac chose its newest sedan offerings to be their first hardcore Blackwing offerings. The CT4-V Blackwing has a 3.6-litre twin-turbo V6 that churns out 472hp and 603Nm. Want a great big American V8? The CT5-V Blackwing has a 6.2-litre supercharged V8 making 668hp and 893Nm of torque. Both are rear-wheel drive and come with a 6-speed manual as standard. Yes, manual gearboxes as standard!
Performance times? No official tested figures yet but GM’s estimates are not that impressive. Based on the 10-speed automatic option, the carmaker states that the CT4-V Blackwing can do 0-96kph in 3.8 seconds while the CT5-V Blackwing will only be 0.1 seconds quicker. Top speed? Over 200mph (320kph) for the V8 and around 189mph (304kph) for the V6 model.
I tried to do some research into what differentiates the CT4 and CT5 base models and the best way I can explain is to compare it to the BMW lineup. The CT lineup seems to be Cadillac’s sedan lineup, starting with the CT4 (equivalent to the 3 Series) and the CT5 above it (like the 5 Series). There used to be an even more luxurious sedan called the CT6 but poor sales forced the carmaker to discontinue it (for now). To continue the BMW comparison, the CT4-V Blackwing is like the M3 while the CT5-V Blackwing is this American carmaker’s M5.
But these aren’t just souped-up Cadillac sedans with extra performance. These are built to be track-capable as well with better brakes, reduced weight, an electronically limited slip-diff at the rear and improved driving dynamics. Both the V-Series Blackwing models get Cadillac’s latest Magnetic Ride Control system (MR 4.0) that is quick to adjust to different types of surfaces while various suspension bits have been made stiffer too. The chassis rigidity has also been improved. Cadillac has also given these cars get special forged aluminium alloy wheels which can cover the optional carbon-ceramic brakes as well.
The Blackwing models also get an aerodynamic upgrade in the form of the carbon fibre package. It includes the front splitter, front canards, side skirts, bootlip spoiler and rear spoiler. The added vents and outlets aid the cooling of various components to allow the cars to be pushed hard and for prolonged periods. Both cars get a quad-exit exhaust (real ones, not fake tips) and the supercharged V8 sounds pretty good. There’s more carbon fibre trim inside the cabin as well which adds to the sense of occasion.
Speaking of the cabin, the Blackwing sedans look spacious and comfortable. There’s plush upholstery, some Alcantara, lots of V-Series Blackwing logos and a host of premium features. However, the dashboard feels a tad out of date because of the shape and look of the infotainment system’s central display. The driver’s seat view looks neat with the round steering wheel, the 12 o’clock stripe, the customisable digital instrument cluster and the tactile buttons, as opposed to the new fad of touch/haptic controls. The best part, of course, is the manual shifter in the central console with the 3D-printed knob.
Cadillac expects to start deliveries for the new CT4-V and CT5-V Blackwing by late summer. These American super sedans will have a starting price of US$60,000 for the V6 and US$85,000 for the full-fledged V8. But the specifications we’ve seen in the pictures here are packed full of options which takes the CT4-V Blackwing price to over US$77,600 while the CT5-V Blackwing costs more than US$113,700.
The Cadillac Blackwing sedans are an exciting American alternative to the German-dominated niche. But is the more luxurious cabin worth the premium over the more powerful Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody? What do you think of Cadillac’s return to the super-sedan space? Share your thoughts in the comment section and don’t forget to subscribe to the Auto Loons for more cool updates from the car world.