The 2022 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing and CT5-V Blackwing have been revealed in full, as the most powerful, quickest and fastest models ever built by the American luxury carmaker.
The replacements for the outgoing ATS-V and CTS-V, the Blackwing siblings slot into the Cadillac line-up above the 'standard' CT4-V and CT5-V sports sedans, following the repositioning of the V badge in 2019, from full-bore BMW M and AMG 63 rivals, to mid-tier M Performance and AMG 43 fighters – with the Blackwing badge introduced to fill the 'old V' badge's place.
However, while the hi-po Cadillacs might wear the Blackwing name, under the bonnet is not the American brand’s bespoke 4.2-litre twin-turbo ‘Blackwing’ V8 – used for the first and only time in the 410kW/868Nm CT6-V of 2019 – but rather a pair of engines familiar to those well-versed in the oily bits of the Blackwing models’ predecessors.
Powering the CT4-V Blackwing (shown here in red) – built to rival the BMW M3 and Mercedes-AMG C63 S – is a version of the 3.6-litre twin-turbocharged V6 employed by the outgoing ATS-V, developing 352kW of power and 603Nm of torque.
Meanwhile, the CT5-V Blackwing (white) – a rival for the BMW M5 and Mercedes-AMG E63 S – upgrades to an engine more familiar to Australian muscle-car buyers: a 6.2-litre supercharged ‘LT4’ V8 shared with the CTS-V and Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, producing 498kW and 893Nm.
Alongside the power boosts, the engines' internals have seen an upgrade, with the CT4-V offering a 39 per cent improvement in air intake restriction versus the ATS-V and new low-inertia turbocharger turbine wheels, while the CT5-V features titanium intake valves, a wet-sump oil system, 46 per cent improved air intake flow and aluminium cylinder heads.
Drive in both cars is fed to the rear wheels through a choice of Tremec-designed six-speed manual (enthusiasts, rejoice!) or 10-speed torque-converter automatic transmissions, with the former making the Blackwing duo some of few remaining luxury performance sedans to offer a three-pedal option, joined only in 2021 by the new BMW M3 and M4.
The duo's manual gearboxes are fitted as standard with flat-foot shifting functionality, automatic rev-matching, a high-strength twin-disc clutch and pedals positioned for heel-toe shifting.
Cadillac claims 0-97km/h times of 3.8 seconds for the CT4-V Blackwing and 3.7 seconds for the rear-drive CT5-V Blackwing.
Estimated top speeds are rated at 304km/h and over 322km/h (200mph) for the CT4 and CT5 respectively.
Under the skin, both cars employ the latest (fourth) generation of GM's MagneRide magnetically-controlled adaptive dampers, reportedly rated to track-capable 'FE4' standards.
Electronically-controlled limited-slip differentials – which are 10kg lighter than those in the CTS-V and ATS-V, thanks to aluminium housings – with individual coolers are fitted to the rear axles of both vehicles, as are Line Lock 'burnout' modes and customisable launch control systems allowing drivers to vary the launch RPM and amount of desired wheel slip.
Filling both cars' arches are aluminium alloy wheels, measuring 18 inches in diameter on the CT4, and wrapped in 255/35 front and 275/35 rear Michelin Pilot Sport 4S rubber, with the compound tailored specifically to the CT4-V Blackwing (and its larger sibling).
The CT5 upgrades to 19-inch units, wrapped in 275/35 front and 305/30 rear versions of the CT4's Michelin tyres.
They hide standard-fit Brembo iron performance brakes, measuring 380mm up front and 341mm at the rear on the CT4, and 398mm front (the largest fitted to a Cadillac) and 374mm rear on the larger CT5 – they're clamped by six-piston front and four-piston rear calipers on both models.
Cross-drilled carbon-ceramic discs are available as an option on the CT5-V, saving a total of 24kg of unsprung mass.
In the styling department, the Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing and CT5-V Blackwing mark a significant step up in visual aggression over their 'standard' counterparts, offering sportier styling front, side and rear.
Up front, tweaked front bumpers comprise revised upper grilles, more aggressive lower intakes with black slotted inserts, and pronounced lower splitters. LED headlights with vertical LED daytime-running lights feature on both cars.
Down the side, both models gain aggressive front wheel-arch cooling vents and body-coloured side skirts, while at the rear notably larger black lip spoilers sit above a tweaked rear diffuser with quad exhaust outlets.
A functional carbon-fibre aerodynamics package can be had as an option (pictured on the red CT4-V Blackwing in this story), reducing lift by 214 per cent on the CT4, and 75 per cent on the CT5.
Inside, drivers sit grip a bespoke carbon-fibre and leather-trimmed steering with a red 12 o'clock marker and a pair of switches on the wheel allow easy access to the car's drive modes, including Tour, Sport, Track, V-Mode and My Mode.
Quilted leather-trimmed, 18-way power-adjustable sports seats are standard-fit, with a "high-performance" seat design available as an option, the CT5-V Blackwing's version featuring a carbon-fibre back panel.
Carbon-fibre, leather and suede (depending on which option boxes are ticked) adorn a variety of interior surfaces, while automatic models score magnesium wheel-mounted paddle shifters. A 3D-printed logo features on the top of the manual gear selector.
A 12-inch digital instrument cluster with Blackwing-specific 'Track' displays, performance timers and shift lights is standard-fit on both models, while available features include an AKG premium sound system, a head-up display (CT5 only) and a Performance Data Recorder for recording track-day sessions.
Infotainment displays measure 8.0 inches on the smaller car, and 10 inches on the larger vehicle. Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and wireless charging are standard.
The 2022 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing and CT5-V Blackwing will go on sale in the US late in the northern summer of 2021.
US pricing kicks off from US$59,990 (AU$79,000) for the CT4, and US$84,990 (AU$111,000) for the CT5.
Will the 2022 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing and CT5-V Blackwing come to Australia?
While a General Motors Specialty Vehicles (GMSV) spokesperson wouldn't comment on the Blackwing siblings' chances for Australia (as is standard policy for future products), CarAdvice understands the models aren't in the local arm's future plans.
However, given the duo ride on a newer version of the Alpha platform underpinning the Chevrolet Camaro – a vehicle previously offered in Australia in right-hand-drive converted form – an Australian launch in the coming years is theoretically possible, given the groundwork for a local 'remanufacturing' conversion has already been laid out.