The 2022 Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing is the embodiment of internal combustion
The gasoline era of Cadillac performance vehicles is ending with a roar, not a whine.
Of course, there will soon be incredibly fast and exciting electric Cadillacs.
Performance numbers for the 1,000 horsepower GMC Hummer EVs leave no doubt about that. Their day will come.
But today belongs to the 2022 Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing, arguably the most exhilarating and intoxicating sports sedan in the world.
With a 0-100 km/h time of 3.4 seconds and a top speed of 200 km/h, the CT5-V Blackwing is the stuff of dreams: a super sedan that’s also an everyday driver you can get for less than the cost of some loaded mainstream SUVs.
Constrained by the twin challenges of chip shortages and growing demand for sedans, Cadillac won’t build many Blackwings – the car is great, but the full name is an abomination; truncate it as desired – ensuring collectability.
Get one while you can.
What makes it special?
The CT5-V Blackwing is the fastest vehicle in Cadillac history.
At 668 hp and 659 lb-ft of torque, it was also the most powerful, until the equally bonkers Escalade-V SUV hit the road earlier this year with 684 hp and 653 lb-ft. Sic transit gloriaLatin which roughly translates to “Cadillac engineers were busy”.
The Blackwing – the name comes from an unfortunately short-lived V8 engine Cadillac built for the equally sadly discontinued CT6 large sedan – has a supercharged 6.2-litre V8 engine and rear-wheel drive. A six-speed manual transmission is standard.
Other standard features include adaptive suspension with magnetic shock absorbers, run-flat summer tires and an electronic limited-slip rear differential. The base specification includes a feast of luxury and comfort features including:
- 16-speaker AKG audio
- Largest factory brakes in Cadillac history, Brembos with 15.7-inch front and 14.1-inch rear rotors
- Head-up display
- 18-way power heated and ventilated front seats
- Wireless phone charging, Apple CarPlay
- Alloy pedals
A 10-speed automatic transmission that improves both acceleration and fuel economy is optional. Carbon fiber and alloy shift paddles are included.
M3-killer, AMG slayer, call it what you want. The Blackwing is all that and a bag of chips.
Safety and driving assistance functions available
- Forward Collision Alert
- Automatic emergency braking
- Front pedestrian braking
- Driver’s seat with safety alert
- Front and rear parking aid
- Panoramic view
- Lane keeping alert and assistance
- Blind Spot Alert
- Red seat belts
- Reversing camera mirror
- Adaptive cruise control
Prices for the Blackwing CT5-V start at $83,995, plus $995 destination charge. For reasons that escape me, the destination charge for the Blackwing is $200 less than the other CT5 models. Maybe its delivery trucks are even faster than regular CT5s?
I drove a lavishly equipped Blacking with the manual transmission and options such as:
- Carbon fiber ceramic brake with drilled rotors
- Bronze brake calipers
- Leather seats with quilting and carbon fiber backrests
- Torch Red seat belts (don’t laugh, they really spice up the interior)
- Sueded microfiber trim
- Performance data logger
- Carbon fiber trim
- 19-inch alloy wheels with bronze finish
- Infrared tint layer painting
- Rear camera mirror
- Rear pedestrian alert
My test car came in at $108,620, excluding the Blackwing’s oddly discounted destination fee.
The Blackwing rivals the best sports sedans in the world: the BMW M3 and the Mercedes AMG C 43. Its base price is a little higher than both, but the Blackwing has a lot more power. It also has the highest top speed, but are we to kid ourselves and pretend that the difference between 155mph and 200+ is a real differentiator for a four-door hatchback?
The extreme fringe of the sports sedan isn’t a segment for bargain shoppers, but the Blackwing does just as well on that front as it does on power and performance.
Cadillac CT5 trim levels and prices
Cadillac CT5 Luxury: $37,295
Cadillac CT5 premium luxury: $41,785
Cadillac Sports: $42,995
Cadillac CT5-V: $50,095
Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing: $83,995
Prices exclude destination charge of $1,195 for all models except Blackwing, which is $995
Driving impressions: fast, fun, easy
From the first time I drove a Series V in 2003 until today, Cadillac’s hallmark performance hallmark has been ease of use. That will still be true when the first electric V-Series arrives – it hasn’t been announced yet, but I’ll eat one of Blackwing’s Michelin Pilot Sport summer tires if that doesn’t happen – and that applies to the 2022 Blackwing: It’s a comfortable grocery accessory that’s equally at home on the trail.
From my car’s carbon fiber-ceramic brakes – massive stopping power that’ll get you home safely after a day of hot laps – to its surgically precise shifter and light, easy clutch , the Blackwing is a comfortable and practical car that will leave enthusiasts smiling.
Its steering is precise and direct, the adaptive suspension keeps the sedan planted and secure through corners and quick manoeuvres. The interior is comfortable, with room for the head and the legs.
Small chest, mirrors
The trunk, a comfortable 11.9 cubic feet, will accommodate weekend bags for two, but don’t bring a CT5 to a big box store.
As easy and enjoyable as the manual transmission is, I’m disappointed that Cadillac charges $2,275 more for the 10-speed automatic, which has better acceleration – 0.2 seconds faster 0-60 – and fuel economy – 1 mpg better than manual in combined highway and city/highway driving, according to EPA figures
The lack of standard adaptive cruise control — a $900 option — baffles me in a car with this level of price, performance and technology.
The sports seats offer a wide range of adjustments. Unlike many sports seats, they are comfortable on long journeys.
The interior is nicely trimmed with carbon fiber, leather and real metal trim. The 10-inch touchscreen for navigation and audio is small by today’s standards and angled in a way that sometimes made it difficult for me to hold my hand on the dash and touch the right spot the first time.
As with the standard CT5, the side mirrors are small.
2022 Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing at a Glance
Base price: $83,995 (all prices exclude destination charges)
Rear-wheel-drive 5-seat sports sedan
On sale now
Price as tested: $108,620
Engine: 6.2-liter supercharged V8
Power: 668 hp at 6,500 rpm; 659 lb-ft of torque at 3,600 rpm
Transmission: 6-speed manual
EPA Fuel Economy Rating: 13 mpg city/22 highway/16 combined. Great gasoline.
EPA Estimated Annual Fuel Cost: $4,950
0-60 time: 3.6 seconds
Top speed: 200+ mph
Wheelbase: 116.0 inches
Length: 194.9 inches
Width: 74.1 inches (excluding mirrors)
Height: 56.5 inches
Cargo volume: 11.9 cubic feet
Curb Weight: 4,123 lbs.
Assembled in Lansing, Michigan