The gasoline age of Cadillac performance vehicles is going out with a roar, not a wail.
Oh sure, there will be incredibly fast, exciting electric Cadillacs soon.
The performance figures of the 1,000 hp GMC Hummer EVs leave no doubt about that. Their day will come.
But today belongs to the 2022 Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing, arguably the world’s most engaged, intoxicating sports sedan.
With a time of 3.4 seconds from 0-100 km/h and a top speed of 200 km/h, the CT5-V Blackwing is the stuff of dreams: a super sedan that is also an everyday driver you can get for less than the cost of some loaded mainstream SUVs.
Limited by the twin challenges of the chip shortage and the increasing demand for sedans, Cadillac won’t build many Blackwings – the car is great, but the full name is an abomination; chop it off however you like – ensure collectability.
Buy one while you still can.
What makes it special?
The CT5-V Blackwing is the fastest vehicle in Cadillac history.
With 668 horsepower and 659 pound-feet of torque, it was also the most powerful, until the equally insane Escalade-V SUV hit the road earlier this year with 684 horsepower and 653 pound-feet. sic transit gloryLatin which roughly translates as “Cadillac engineers have been busy.”
The Blackwing — the name comes from a sadly short-lived V8 engine Cadillac built for the equally woefully discontinued CT6 large sedan — has a 6.2-liter supercharged V8 engine and rear-wheel drive. A six-speed manual transmission is standard.
Other standard features include adaptive suspension with magnetic dampers, run-flat summer tires and an electronic rear differential lock. The basic specification includes a feast of luxury and comfort features including:
- AKG audio with 16 speakers
- The biggest factory brakes in Cadillac history, Brembos with 15.7-inch discs at the front and 14.1-inch rear
- Head-up display
- 18-way electrically heated and ventilated front seats
- Wireless phone charging, Apple CarPlay
- Alloy Paddles
A 10-speed automatic that improves both acceleration and fuel economy is optional. Carbon fiber and aluminum shift paddles are included.
M3 killer, AMG slayer, call it what you will. The Blackwing is all that and a bag of chips.
More:2023 Cadillac Escalade-V’s power, comfort and technology throw up the gauntlet
More:2023 Cadillac Lyriq Electric SUV Answers Some Questions, Leave Others Open
Available safety and driver assistance functions
- Frontal Collision Warning
- Automatic emergency braking
- Braking for pedestrians
- Driver’s seat safety warning
- Parking aid front and rear
- Surrounding view
- Lane Keeping Alert and Assist
- Blind spot warning
- Red seat belts
- rear view mirror
- Adaptive cruise control
Pricing for the CT5-V Blackwing starts at $83,995, plus a $995 destination surcharge. For reasons that escape me, the Blackwing’s destination charge is $200 less than other CT5 models. Maybe even his vans are faster than regular CT5s?
I drove a lavishly equipped Blackwing with the manual transmission and options including:
- Carbon fiber ceramic brake with perforated discs
- Bronze calipers
- Leather seats with stitching and carbon fiber backs
- Torch Red seat belts (don’t laugh, they really spice up the interior)
- Suede microfibre finish
- Performance data recorder
- Carbon fiber cladding
- 19-inch alloy wheels with bronze finish
- Infrared tint paint layer
- Rear view camera mirror
- Pedestrian warning behind
My test car had a $108,620 sticker, excluding the Blackwing’s oddly discounted destination surcharge.
The Blackwing competes with the world’s top sports sedans: the BMW M3 and Mercedes AMG C 43. The base price is slightly higher than both, but the Blackwing has much more power. It also has the fastest top speed, but should we kid ourselves and pretend the difference between 255 mph and 200-plus is a real difference for a four-door sedan?
The extreme edge of the sports sedan isn’t a bargain buyer’s segment, but the Blackwing does just as well in that area as it is in power and performance.
Cadillac CT5 trim levels and prices
Cadillac CT5 Luxury: $37,295
Cadillac CT5 Premium Luxury: $41,785
Cadillac Sport: $42,995
Cadillac CT5-V: $50,095
Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing: $83,995
Prices do not include $1,195 destination fee for all models except Blackwing, which is $995
Driving Impressions: Fast, Fun, Easy
From the first time I drove a V Series in 2003 to today, the distinguishing feature of Cadillac’s performance brand has been ease of use. It will still be 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 it doesn’t — and it applies to the 2022 Blackwing: It’s a comfortable shopping bag that is equally at home on the track.
From my car’s carbon-ceramic brakes — tremendous stopping power that will get you home safely after a day of hot laps — to its surgically precise shifter and light, easy clutch, the Blackwing is a comfortable, practical car that will leave enthusiasts grinning.
The steering is precise and direct, the adaptive suspension keeps the sedan firmly planted and safe in fast corners and maneuvers. The interior is comfortable, with head and leg room for eating.
Small trunk, mirrors
The trunk, a snug 11.9 cubic feet, can accommodate overnight bags for two, but don’t take a CT5 to a large store.
As convenient and enjoyable as the manual transmission is, I’m disappointed that Cadillac charges an extra $2,275 for the 10-speed automatic, which gives better acceleration – 0.2 seconds faster 0-60 – and fuel economy — 1 mpg better than manual on both highway and combined 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 beautifully finished with carbon fiber upholstery, leather and real metal. The 10-inch touchscreen for navigation and audio is small by today’s standards and tilted so much that it occasionally made it difficult for me to keep my hand on the dash and touch the right spot on the first try.
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 fee)
Five-passenger rear-wheel drive sports sedan
Now on sale
Specifications as tested:
Price as tested: $108.620
Engine: 6.2L supercharged V8
Power: 668 hp at 6,500 rpm; 659 pound-feet of torque @ 3,600 rpm
Transmission: 6-speed manual transmission
EPA fuel economy estimate: 13 mpg city/22 highway/16 combined. Premium gasoline.
EPA Estimated Annual Fuel Cost: $4,950
0-60 time: 3.6 seconds
Top speed: 200+ mph
Wheelbase: 116.0 inch
Length: 194.9 inches
Width: 74.1 inches (excluding mirrors)
Height: 56.5 inches
Loading volume: 11.9 cubic feet
Curb weight: 4,123 pounds
Assembled in Lansing, Michigan