The Cadillac CTS-V successors are finally here, and their names are CT5-V and CT4-V Blackwing. Finally pulling the sheets back on its two new Blackwings, Cadillac ushers in another era of track-taming sedans. Of course, these Cadillacs are more than just rear-wheel drive sedans with potent power plants: there are also targeted performance upgrades that make these cars a complete package for high-performance driving.
That said, let’s start with the engines. Powering the CT5-V Blackwing isn’t a variant of the 4.2-liter Blackwing engine found in the CT6-V. No, instead Cadillac stuffed a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 derived from the LT4 that powered the CTS-V. While Cadillac could have just stuffed the older LT4 V8 into the new car and made people happy, the company instead opted to revise the LT4 to help it make more power. Engineers fit a new supercharger, throttle body and exhaust system and revised the tuning to help this pushrod V8 make 668 hp and 659 lb-ft of torque. That’s a fairly modest 28 pony bump compared to the LT4, but more power is always welcome.
Under the hood of the smaller CT4-V Blackwing should be a familiar engine to those who love the ATS-V. In other words, it’s a twin-turbocharged 3.6-liter V6 that also gets some modest gains for its new job. In the CT4-V Blackwing, the 3.6-liter V6 makes 472 hp and 450 lb-ft, up from the 464 hp and 445 lb-ft of torque found in the ATS-V. On manual-transmission equipped models, the 3.6-liter’s connecting rods are swapped out for titanium replacements.
That’s right, the CT4-V Blackwing will come with a standard transmission as standard. That’s not all: the CT5-V Blackwing will as well. That means you’ll be able to buy both hopped-up Cadillacs with a six-speed Tremec transmission. From there, power travels to the rear axle and its electronic limited-slip to help get as much traction as possible. For an extra fee, you can sub in a ten-speed automatic if you don’t like rowing your own gears. The automatic transmission also unlocks the 3.7-second 0-60 sprint for the CT5-V Blackwing and 3.8-seconds for the CT4-V Blackwing.
Bringing the CT5-V Blackwing to a stop is a massive 15.67-inch front and 14.7-inch rear rotors that are clamped by six-piston front and four-piston rear calipers. If you don’t want to deal with iron rotors, Cadillac offers carbon-ceramic rotors to help shave 53 pounds off the unsprung weight and 62 pounds of rotating mass. Stopping the CT4-V Blackwing are 14.96-inch front and 13.4-inch rear iron rotors. Unfortunately, you’re going to have to jump to the CT5-V Blackwing if you need the carbon brakes.
Suspending these Cadillacs is GM’s magnetic ride control, now in its fourth generation. That means that these cars feature dampers that can quickly change their characteristics to give you the suspension control you need for different conditions. Responsible for keeping the tires hitting the pavement is a MacPherson strut style suspension in the front and a five-link independent suspension at the rear.
The tires? Well, the CT5-V Blackwing sports 275/35ZR19s upfront and 305/30ZR19s at the back. Those, of course, wrap 19-inch forged alloy wheels. The CT4-V Blackwing rides on narrower 255/35ZR18s in the front and 275/35ZR18s at the rear. These also wrap forged alloy wheels but span only 18-inches in diameter. Let’s not forget: Michelin Pilot Sport 4S rubber is standard for both cars.
Obviously, this wouldn’t live up to the Cadillac badge if it were a stripped-down track-mobile. There’s plenty to note on the interiors, too. Both are still focused on supporting performance driving, but not at the price of luxury. That means there are heavily bolstered seats in both cars that also can support 18-way adjustability. These seats are wrapped in leather and should help keep you comfortable while hitting apexes at your local track.
A high-performance steering wheel is also optional, helping you better control the various high-performance functions of these new sedans. This steering wheel features carbon fiber accents and the V-mode drive select button. The wheel also includes the button for your Performance Track Management system.
Behind the steering wheel is a 12-inch, customizable digital gauge cluster. The gauge cluster also responds to your drive mode selection to give you a different aesthetic depending on the mode you select. Also stuffed into the dashboard is an eight-inch, in the CT4-V, and 10-inch, in the CT5-V, touchscreen infotainment system. The infotainment system is also where you find the performance data recorders.
On the outside, it’s obvious that both the CT4-V and CT5-V Blackwing cars are more aggressive. The optional carbon-fiber package adds the extra touch to remind folks that you’re driving a hopped-up version of an already hopped-up Cadillac. Truthfully, the carbon fiber package does affect the Blackwings’ ability to cut through the air. According to Cadillac, the carbon fiber package reduces lift on the CT4-V Blackwing 214 percent.
All in all, it looks like Cadillac is bringing the heat in a continually hotter performance sedan market. Devotees to the CTS-V and ATS-V should be happy with their next adventure in a Cadillac hot rod. If you’ve been waiting too long for your CTS-V replacement, you can call your local dealer tomorrow and make your reservation. The downside: it’s going to cost you. The CTS-V Blackwing starts at a reasonable $59,990. The hotter CT5-V Blackwing? You’re looking at $84,990. Cadillac expects these cars to be delivered in the summer.
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