Cadillac is poised to introduce a pair of high-performance, manual-transmission-equipped sedans in the northern summer of 2021, dubbed the CT4-V Blackwing and CT5-V Blackwing – here's everything we know so far about the fast four-doors.
Confirmed for a full unveiling on 2 February 2021 (11am AEDT), the flagship CT4-V and CT5-V models will be the first Cadillac vehicles to wear the Blackwing badge – now used to denote its quickest, most potent performance models, following the restructure of its V-Series line-up in 2019 which saw the 'V' badge reshuffled to replace V-Sport in the brand's hierarchy, and the new Blackwing moniker introduced to fill the role V formerly occupied.
Keen-eyed readers will note the Blackwing badge isn't new to the Cadillac line-up. Instead, it was applied to the brand's first exclusive engine in more than 25 years: the 4.2-litre, twin-turbocharged 'Blackwing' V8 engine, utilised first and only in the 2019 CT6-V sedan, where it developed 410kW of power and 868Nm of torque.
However, despite the shared name, neither the CT4-V Blackwing nor CT5-V Blackwing will feature the Blackwing turbo V8 engine – with insiders citing packaging concerns, the 4.2-litre's taller and wider dual overhead-cam design unable to fit in their engine bays – instead seeking power from a pair of engines closely related to that of their predecessors, the ATS-V and CTS-V respectively.
Above: CT4-V Blackwing camouflaged prototype, pictured in 2019. Top of story: CT5-V Blackwing camouflaged prototype, also pictured in 2019.
Leaked dealer order guides obtained by online publication AutoVerdict reveal the CT4-V Blackwing – designed to compete with the BMW M3 and Mercedes-AMG C63 S – will be powered by an upgraded version of the ATS-V's 3.6-litre twin-turbocharged V6, with outputs expected (though not confirmed in the guides) to surpass its predecessor's 346kW of power and 603Nm of torque.
Stepping up to the CT5-V Blackwing – built to rival the BMW M5 and Mercedes-AMG E63 S – will reportedly bring a 6.2-litre, pushrod supercharged 'LT4' V8 shared with the CTS-V. Given the order guide for the hot CT5 claims it to be the "most powerful Cadillac ever", expect outputs to surpass the outgoing car's 477kW and 854Nm.
Some rumours have pointed to a power output for the flagship CT5 as high as 522kW, which would surpass the circa-450kW figures posted by its German luxury rivals, and would make the high-performance Cadillac a closer rival for America's other supercharged V8-powered sedan, the 527kW/881Nm Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat.
Drive in the pair will be sent through a choice of enthusiast-favourite six-speed manual or 10-speed automatic transmissions, the availability of the former making the Blackwing twins two of the few high-performance luxury cars to offer a three-pedal option, joined in the US solely by the BMW M3 and M4.
AutoVerdict claims the CT4-V Blackwing and CT5-V Blackwing can sprint from zero to 97km/h in 3.8 and 3.7 seconds respectively – on par, if a touch quicker, than their predecessors, likely thanks to quicker transmissions – towards top speeds of 304km/h and 322km/h for the smaller and larger car respectively.
According to the cars' order guides, standard performance equipment shared between the hi-po CT4 and CT5 will include 'FE4' performance suspension (likely with adaptive dampers), an electronically-controlled rear limited-slip differential (with a cooler), Brembo performance brakes and launch control.
Forged magnesium wheels finished in gold and carbon-fibre exterior accents will be available as an option on both cars, with the CT5 to also offer buyers the option of cross-drilled carbon-ceramic brakes.
From the outside, spy shots captured by overseas publications reveal the Blackwing siblings will up the visual aggression over the standard CT4-V and CT5-V, with upgrades set to include more aggressive front bumpers, front wheel-arch vents, taller side skirts and larger rear lip spoilers.
Inside, Cadillac has confirmed the inclusion of a digital instrument cluster and a carbon-fibre-accented sports steering wheel, the latter featuring a red 12 o'clock stripe and a large 'V' button used for accessing the car's Performance Traction Management drive mode select system.
3D printing will feature on the manual gear selector, climate control air vents and wiring harness bracket.
The CT5-V Blackwing will also offer carbon-fibre bucket seats as an option, with engraved V logos and rumoured heating and cooling capabilities.
The 2021 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing and CT5-V Blackwing will debut in full on February 2, at 11am AEDT (10am QLD time). Stay tuned to CarAdvice for the cars' full reveals.
As Cadillac vehicles aren't (and won't be) offered in Australia, the high-performance sedans will remain off-limits for our market.