Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing vs Mercedes-Benz EQS

As car enthusiasts, we long for the continuation of engaging internal combustion engines, maybe even rowdy cars, something to remind us of our childhood. As environmentally conscious drivers, we seek a calming, more grounded experience behind the wheel. As it turns out, we’re currently going through a transition phase of the auto industry where you can really have your cake and eat it. While nearly every automaker has put time, money, and energy into developing an EV-forward program (with good reason), some don’t forget about the hardcore gasoline junkie enthusiasts. We’re officially in the “last hurray” phase for internal combustion, so let’s take a look at an example of that transitional phase with two incredibly awesome vehicles: the Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing and the Mercedes EQS.


Related: 2023 Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing 120th Anniversary Edition

The EQS has instant torque and the Blackwing Raw Power!


Action shot of the driving Mercedes EQS

‘Motors vs Pistons’ is the name of the game. When cornering, you have a choice of single or twin motors in the EQS that provide quiet, smooth, seamless power that lets you glide across the road surface. At the other end of the spectrum, you have a thunderous, screaming, powerful 6.2-liter supercharged V-8 that makes you think the CT5-V Blackwing is about to wheelie at any moment. The EQS, in its best non-AMG avatar, makes a combined 516 horses and takes 4.1 seconds to sprint to 60 mph from a standstill, while the CT5-V Blackwing delivers 668 horses and 659 pound-feet of torque while it shoots to 100 km/h in just 3.6 seconds.

Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing from 2023

Front three-quarter shot of a 2023 Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing

The truth is that virtually all cars are fast enough these days. The CT5-V Blackwing and the Mercedes EQS are exceptionally fast, especially for their segment. Even the standard 329hp EQS450+ feels fast, even at highway speeds, there’s always more than enough power available to propel the vehicle at a moment’s notice if needed. This is the beauty of a powertrain with an electric motor. Conversely, the CT5-V Blackwing’s supercharged V-8 is nearly as jerky as some high-performance electric cars when you hit the throttle, and makes a world of difference in the theater department. In a space where so much power is available in abundance, regardless of your drivetrain choice, there are no losers here.

Related: 2022 Mercedes EQS 580 4MATIC Review: Tech-laden and eager to please

What does luxury mean to you?

2022 Mercedes EQS

Front interior shot of Mercedes-Benz EQS

Today, the definition of “luxury” can vary quite a bit. While both titans offer impressive driving experiences, their approach to “luxury” is vastly different. The EQS soothes you in abundant mood lighting, with cushions on top of the already plush headrests, you can turn on the heated and cooled seats at the same time. You can tell the car what you want and it almost always knows what to do. The quiet cozy cabin is a beautifully decorated isolation room that gives you a sense of your own space from the outside world. There are simply too many features to list, but Mercedes-Benz has done a great job creating a lounge on wheels.

2022 Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing interior

Interior shot of the 2022 Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing

The Cadillac, while not as colorful or quiet inside, offers a different kind of luxury. The available padded leather seats are extremely supportive and are heated, cooled and massaged. The massive double sunroof gives the cabin a warm open feeling. GM even went to the trouble of designing the window regulators specifically to close softly. It’s also a luxury to have a bigger, wider, more planted-out vehicle with an effortless powertrain that can deliver power in any gear at any time. Where the Mercedes cocoons you and can drive for you, the Cadillac puts you, the driver, on a pedestal and begs you to interact with its well-executed input. Both can be ridden quickly, both can be ridden quietly for hundreds of miles in absolute comfort. The choice comes down to whether you choose the path of the promising future or the path of the well-oiled machine of the present.

Related: 2022 Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing: One of the best sport sedans on the market

Style: past, present, future

CT5-V Blackwing rear 3/4
Garret Donahue

3/4 rear view of parked Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing

In terms of style, these two are almost opposites. The Cadillac is sharp-edged everywhere and wants to cut through the air, while the Mercedes took the path of the aero bubble with flowing organic shapes. The CT5-V Blackwing, while wildly rowdy and striking from a performance perspective, is just as impressive to behold with the eyes alone. The car looks like an erratic speed shape while standing still. Inside, the Cadillac won’t necessarily wow you from a materials standpoint (although the seats are quite impressive), but the design is elegant and the interior offers a variety of features that remind you of Cadillac’s history of style and class.

Mercedes EQS rear

Rear three-quarter shot of the Mercedes EQS

In the end, Mercedes concluded that the bubble shape is more aerodynamic than most and also offers optimal proportions for a vehicle without a bulky internal combustion engine. Mercedes establishes this shape as a common standard for their EQ brand. Luxury vehicle drivers often confuse beautiful design with high-quality materials, and the Mercedes-Benz hits the nail on the head for both in the interior of the EQS. It’s a truly breathtaking experience to spend time in, and there’s a beautiful dance that takes place as you drive the vehicle, including constantly changing ambient lighting and generated noise that can be configured.

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Get the job done and then some

Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing from 2022

Front three-quarter shot of a blue 2022 Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing

As luxury sedans, both vehicles excel with ample rear seat space and interior features/creature comfort. As performance cars, both vehicles will launch hard and give you more than enough straight line speed. Ultimately, the Mercedes is clearly more focused on the luxury aspect, just as the Cadillac is performance-oriented; the point is that both cars perform very successfully as intended by the manufacturer (at least from the driver’s perspective). However, these two are about much more than that. The Blackwing is a love song, a last-ditch effort at internal combustion perfection from Cadillac, while the EQS is a bold engineering leap for Mercedes-Benz, both of which offer unparalleled experiences for their target demographics.

Mercedes Benz EQS

Side profile shot of a Mercedes-Benz EQS

The 2022 Mercedes EQS 450+ starts at $102,300, while the 2023 Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing starts at $90,995. Whether you look forward to futuristic products like the EQS or enjoy the most refined examples of internal combustion like the CT5, it’s hard to argue with both as they are both fantastic examples of the beauty of the times we live in. Instead of pitting them against each other, we should be celebrating the fact that both can exist right now. It is truly a spectacular time to be a car enthusiast in any form as there have never been so many transportation options. These two vastly different vehicles accomplish many of the same goals of drivers around the world, but are just two examples of the many choices we have today. It’s a luxury to have such polarizing choices of vehicles within a segment, so we should enjoy the choices we have while they last.

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