Cadillac hasn't completely abandoned manual lovers.
We'll readily admit that when the 2020 Cadillac CT5-V was first revealed, we thought General Motors had lost its mind. The outgoing CTS-V was a 640 horsepower car, so a car with a 360 hp twin-turbo V6 hardly seemed like a fair replacement. But Cadillac quickly announced that the CT5-V (and the smaller CT4-V) would be followed up by hotter versions, rumored to use the Blackwing name.
The hotter version of the CT5-V was even rumored to get a manual transmission option and thanks to leaked images obtained by The Drive, we now have photographic proof. Cadillac's latest performance sedan will be available with three pedals and a proper stick shift. Can we get a hallelujah?
We are not able to show the photos here, which were reportedly taken by a GM employee. But looking at them via The Drive, we can see the rear end of the new CT5 and several angles of the interior. At the rear, there is clearly a CT5 badge on the left side of the decklid and a V badge on the right. This leads us to believe this hotter CT5-V will go by the name 'CT5-V Plus' or something similar.
Formerly rumored to use the turbocharged Cadillac Blackwing V8, it is now assumed that this hotter sedan will actually be powered by an upgraded version of the supercharged LT4 V8 that powered the CTS-V and the Corvette Z06. In the CTS-V, this engine produced 640 hp and is expected to produce around 650 hp in this new car. Inside, the manual transmission lever looks almost identical to the one in the Camaro and the steering wheel has a new 'V' button that will likely activate sport mode. There are also some aggressive but comfortable-looking sport seats finished in tan leather.
The Drive reached out to Cadillac for a response but received a typical "we don't comment on future product" type of answer. "The ultra-performance variants of our Cadillac CT5-Vs are still under development," a Cadillac spokesperson said. "We will have more details to share in the next few weeks and the CT5 and CT4 ultra-performance versions will debut later this year. Until then, I can only confirm that these cars will build on V's respected legacy."
While we think Cadillac was just using a placeholder name in its response, perhaps this new car will be called the CT5-V Ultra-Performance. It's certainly not a terrible name. Based on the production-readiness of this car, we wouldn't be surprised to see Cadillac make an announcement next month at the 2020 New York Auto Show.