2022 Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing First Look Review: The V8 Lives

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The best BMW fighter Cadillac has ever built.

The arrival of the new 2022 Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing comes at an interesting time. Just days before the reveal, Cadillac's parent company, General Motors, announced that from 2035, it will no longer manufacture or sell combustion-engined vehicles. Between now and then it will continue its transition towards an all-electric vehicle future. The CT5-V Blackwing, however, is the exact opposite of an EV, and the rumbling sound coming from under its hood will be delightful music to the ears and souls of purist gearheads everywhere.

The CT5-V Blackwing is the most powerful Cadillac ever built and will go head-to-head against some of the most powerful super sedans on the planet. Not surprisingly, those rivals come from Germany. Cadillac is certainly no stranger to immensely powerful sedans; the CT5-V Blackwing is the successor to the CTS-V. The two even share an engine, but the new sedan is faster and better-looking. Chances are, it is Cadillac's final (gas-powered) super sedan.

Front Angle View Cadillac
Rear Angle View Cadillac

Enhanced Exterior

Cadillac's exterior upgrades are certainly subtle. The CT5-V Blackwing has been fitted with a new rear spoiler, front splitter, rear diffuser, fender vents, and rock extensions, among other things. Cadillac says the so-called "underwing" underbody panels help to further reduce drag and improve track performance. The front mesh grille was designed to improve airflow while larger secondary grilles direct airflow to auxiliary charge coolers. The smaller front lower grilles do their part by reducing pressure as it channels air towards the brake-cooling ducts. Even the front wheels feature air deflectors to further decrease drag.

Testing was completed at GM's rolling-wind tunnel. Buyers can opt for a carbon fiber package instead of just the standard aero package with the aforementioned features. This package is worth every penny because it enables a 75 percent lift reduction.

A set of staggered 19-inch forged aluminum wheels (19x10 and 19x11 front and rear) are standard. These multispoke wheels have a laser-etched V-Series logo and can be had in a choice of two colors. The Brembo brake calipers can also be finished in bronze, as well as red, blue, or grey.

Headlights Cadillac
Rear View Cadillac
Wheel Cadillac
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Luxury Interior With Performance Touches

The general design of the CT5-V Blackwing's interior apes that of the CT5, but numerous premium touches are new. There are three interior trim levels: Base, Mid-level, and Up-level. All come standard with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, and wireless phone charging. There's also a standard 15-speaker AKG audio system, Surround Vision, and a head-up display. There's an abundance of carbon-fiber trim throughout the cabin, such as the manual transmission console, while the shifter has a 3D-printed cap.

A 14.5-inch high-performance steering wheel is optional, as are track-focused front seats. They're designed to provide ideal lateral support when necessary, with up to 18 power adjustable settings and a slim headrest designed to accommodate helmets. Regardless of trim, all drivers will further benefit from a 12-inch HD display with customizable performance settings like a track screen providing key data for lap times and 0-60 mph acceleration. A Performance Data Recorder is optional.

Dashboard Cadillac
Dashboard Cadillac
Front Seats Cadillac
Front Seats Cadillac

Magic Under The Hood

Engines like this won't be around much longer. The CT5-V Blackwing is powered by an upgraded version of the same hand-built 6.2-liter supercharged LT4 V8 found in the CTS-V, now rated at 668 horsepower and 659 lb-ft of torque. Cadillac estimates a 0-60 mph time of 3.7 seconds when equipped with the optional 10-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters. A Tremec-sourced six-speed manual is standard, with both sending power to the rear wheels. Cadillac claims this is its most powerful vehicle of all time with a top speed in excess of 200 mph.

Performance-focused systems like an electronic limited-slip differential, Magnetic Ride Control suspension, and MacPherson front and five-link independent rear suspension are standard fare. To guarantee all of this equipment delivers the performance goods, the sedan underwent extreme 24-hour track testing. Engineers used this data to refine vehicle calibrations, especially for the automatic gearbox. Among many things, this resulted in ultra-fast and precise shifts.

Cadillac also requested specifically developed Michel Pilot Sport 4S tires for the maximum track performance experience.

Exhaust Cadillac
Spoiler Cadillac

Pricing And Competition

Cadillac has confirmed pricing for the 2022 CT5-V Blackwing will begin at $84,990 when deliveries begin next summer. Sales have already begun and the first 250 examples receive unique badging. Dealers will begin accepting orders shortly.

There are only a few players in the ultra-high-performance luxury full-size sedan segment, specifically the BMW M3 and Mercedes-AMG C63. The Audi S4 is less powerful than its two German rivals. But the CT5-V Blackwing is more powerful than the also just-revealed BMW M5 CS and, unlike any of these competitors, comes standard with a stick. This V8-manual combo is becoming increasingly difficult to find in any new vehicle, and Cadillac has more than delivered the goods here.

Grill Cadillac
Front-End Bumper Cadillac

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