Enthusiasts should experience the most powerful Cadillac before deciding to go European.
Cadillac changed everything in 2002. It was a bold, and perhaps a bit desperate, move to change the way the brand was perceived. GM’s historic luxury brand has launched a new mid-size sedan called CTS. Unlike previous Cadillacs, the new car was low, angular and sporty. You could even get it with a manual transmission, which had disappeared from Cadillac’s lineup in the 1950s. To drive the point home, they even had Led Zeppelin provide the soundtrack for their TV commercials. It was a brand new Cadillac, designed for a new generation. In 2004 they launched the CTS-V, with a powerful engine and track-ready suspension and brakes.
The CTS had a good run and was replaced by the CT5 for the 2020 model year, and Cadillac upped the performance ante again. The CT5 V series offered more power and performance than ever before. Cadillac is now unmistakably GM’s performance brand, and the top performing model is the CT5 V-Series Blackwing. It’s a long name, but worth learning for what you get in this car.
The CT5 Blackwing is equipped with a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 engine developing 668 horsepower and 659 lb-ft of torque. Power is sent to the rear wheels via a six-speed manual or a 10-speed automatic.
Let’s get rid of an old myth right now: the automatic transmission is faster than the manual, but the manual is more fun. With the automatic, the CT5 Blackwing will hit 60 MPH from a standing stop in just 3.4 seconds. The manual is a heartbeat slower at 3.6 seconds. Just to compare, that acceleration is the same as a Lamborghini Murcielago; one of the fastest exotic cars in the world 20 years ago. In the decades that followed, exotic cars only slashed that time by 10 seconds, making the Blackwing competitive with the fastest cars ever made.
Oh, you can also go over 200 MPH in the Blackwing, if you can find a spot to do so. I recommend the Bonneville Salt Flats. There’s nothing to hit and you won’t end up in jail.
Inside, the CT5 Blackwing is both luxurious and capable. It is a beautiful leather interior with all the comforts and conveniences. You also get racing-inspired cues like a red band around the top of the steering wheel so you can tell which direction you’re in when drifting around an opposing full-lock curve. There’s also plenty of carbon fiber trim in case you forget this supercharged beast is a sports car.
All the technology and audio quality you could want is there. That works. I tried but I really didn’t pay attention to it. The Blackwing is a car you can drive
work every day, but no one chooses it based on the touch screen.
On the road, the Blackwing is everything you’d expect. The suspension is tight but won’t loose your trim on Portland roads. The engine provides massive amounts of power. Only self-control will save your insurance premiums and your driver’s license. The car is supremely enjoyable, and if you enjoy racing on track days, you can humiliate European sports sedan drivers with impunity. There’s even an optional video and performance data recorder to commemorate your accomplishments.
The 2022 Cadillac CT5 V-Series Blackwing sells for $106,295 at the time we tested it. You can reduce that amount to less than $100,000 if you ditch the optional carbon fiber packages and ultraview sunroof. These don’t really improve performance anyway. The $83,995 base price plus $995 destination puts the Blackwing on par with other high-performance luxury sedans, so if you’re shopping Mercedes-AMG or BMW M, you’ll definitely want to check out Cadillac before picking up one. decision.
2022 Cadillac CT5 V-Series Blackwing
Base price: $83,995
Price as tested: $106,290
Type: Mid-size sedan
Engine: 6.2-liter supercharged V8 (668 hp, 659 lb-ft)
Transmission: 6-speed automatic; 10-speed automatic
EPA Estimated Mileage: 13/21
Total length: 194.9 inches
Unloaded weight : 4,123 pounds
Final assembly: Lansing, Mich.
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