2022 Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing first drive review: One more than too much

If you want a luxury sedan that takes you to the track and then humbles some suitable sports cars in every session of hot laps, V Series Cadillac cars have always been a good choice. The DNA of that line is strong, drawing on the experience of General Motors’ Corvette and Camaro lineage to create legitimate artists on the track.

Now, with sedans a dying breed and large-displacement engines powering them under threat, Cadillac is upping its V Series to 11 for one last try with the new Blackwing models. The CT4-V Blackwing is the younger of the two, a 472 horsepower beast that recently drove me crazy on the track. It is a miracle of power and performance. But then there is the older brother.

The 2022 CT5-V Blackwing is built on the same platform and visually similar to the CT4-V, but with enough power and performance to make its sibling look a bit quirky. The power here comes from GM’s venerable LT4 engine, a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 that produces 668 horsepower and 649 Nm of torque. That’s nearly 200 more ponies than the Blackwing CT4-V, enough to drop the time from 0 to 60 mph to 3.4 seconds. The quarter-mile will go under this thing’s 19-inch wheels in 11.3 seconds at 129 mph.

The CT5-V Blackwing is, to put it mildly, a monster. But he’s one with enough intelligence and functionality to be manageable, even calm and composed. Cadillac’s most advanced magnetorheological suspension is here, doing its magic to make the Blackwing hover over the Virginia International Raceway’s many bumps and curbs as it is when riding more casual roads, while a 10-speed automatic transmission not only offers brutal shifts. quick, but also smooth and calm ones.

Perhaps more importantly, this car is available with a six-speed manual gearbox, and an excellent one, with short throws and grip feel. Honestly the car is so good it’s hard to imagine wanting the manual, but then if this car is meant to be a beautiful swan song for high-performance sedans, you might as well deliver all the hits.

2022 Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing

The slim fender vents serve the same purpose as the hood vent on the previous large V.

Cadillac

The blackwing CT5-V’s iron brakes are the largest Cadillac has ever offered, measuring a whopping 15.7 inches forward. But spend another $ 9,800 and you can upgrade to carbon-ceramic caps, which are even larger at 15.8 inches.

All of this is wrapped up in a package that’s 5.7 inches longer than the CT4-V Blackwing, coated with a slightly thinner exterior than its younger sibling. This time there is no hood vent; air is directed downward and outward, including through generous doors located low on the front fenders, suggesting the amount of heat the LT4 emits. A modest wing at the rear provides enough downforce to counteract the car’s lift at speed.

How much speed? Cadillac claims the CT5-V Blackwing can break through the 200mph barrier. I haven’t been able to test it, but I did well over 100mph multiple times per lap at the Virginia International Raceway. VIR features a generous crease on the straight front, making it a blind test of courage as you aim for the wall and keep your foot flat. With the speedometer needle swinging to 150 mph, all 668 horsepower pushing me forward, the Blackwing was steady and calm to the point where I jumped on the brake pedal.

If the 10-speed automatic isn’t your thing, you can get the Blackwing CT5-V with a 6-speed manual gearbox.

Cadillac

Surprisingly, the Blackwing also stabilized through the S-curves that followed and through the more technical curves that VIR has to offer. It’s a classic and bumpy circuit with fast corners and big penalties if you’re wrong. With the Blackwing CT5-V, everything seemed perfect.

That’s not to say it wasn’t a handful. All this power delivered exclusively to the rear wheels means it’s easy to get into trouble, despite the active rear differential and all kinds of anticipated traction and stability control safety blankets. Full throttle is best deployed when the car is pointed straight and the suspension is set, and damn hot it goes.

The steering is light but precise, the car pulls 1.01G into the corners, enough to make the comfortable sport seats feel not sporty enough. But then, there aren’t many cars that can move that well on the track while giving a back massage.

2022 Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing

Massager seats to the max, for sure.

Cadillac

Unfortunately I was unable to test the Blackwing CT5-V on public roads, but I returned the car to its most comfortable modes on the cooling laps and aimed for as many bumps as I could find. I’m confident that it will be at least as good on the road as the CT4-V Blackwing has proven, which really means very good.

However, getting one on the street will cost you a little more. The recommended price of the Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing 2022 starts at $ 84,990, including $ 995 for the destination. The Blackwing features a full active safety system, including automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, but you’ll have to pay an additional $ 900 if you want adaptive cruise control and reverse emergency braking. Check all the boxes and you’re looking at $ 125,980.

This means you’re spending a minimum of $ 25,000 more than the CT4-V Blackwing, which is a sublime performer in itself. Is it worth it? It’s hard to think anyone needs more than the smaller Blackwing has to offer, but cars in six-figure territory rarely meet the needs. As for me, I just want a few more rounds.


Editor’s Note: Travel expenses related to this story were covered by the manufacturer, which is common in the automotive industry. The opinions and opinions of the Roadshow staff are ours and we do not accept paid editorial content.