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- Highs Explosive acceleration, agile handling, comfortable ride when it's needed.
- Lows Driver-assists only available with the automatic, doesn't elicit badge envy like its rivals, likely the final V-8–powered Caddy.
- Verdict Among the dwindling niche of V-8 sports sedans, the CT5-V Blackwing is the one to beat.
Fans of the outgoing Cadillac CTS-V take note: The CT5-V Blackwing is the rightful successor to that performance powerhouse, even though it's wearing a different name. The new car is powered by the same supercharged V-8 engine, but its updated styling and new interior are what Cadillac is pinning its high-performance hopes on. The Blackwing is well equipped to take on rivals such as the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio, the BMW M3, and the Mercedes-AMG C63. To win against these world-beating sports sedans the CT5-V Blackwing provides more than just horsepower; it also delivers brilliant ride and handling to accompany its brutal acceleration. The CT5-V Blackwing definitely lives up to the hype and roars to the top of this segment of hot four-doors, claiming a 10Best title and an Editors' Choice nod on its way up.
What's New for 2022?
The 2022 CT5-V Blackwing is an all-new performance sedan in the Cadillac lineup. Don't be confused by the new naming scheme: The Cadillac CT5-V is now merely a sportier trim level of the standard CT5; the Blackwing reviewed here is the brand's all-out hyper-performance version.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
While a 10-speed automatic is optional and theoretically makes the CT5-V Blackwing a little bit quicker, we'd stick with the standard six-speed manual for the more engaging driving demeanor. We'd go easy on options, but we'd splurge on the high-performance sport seats and sueded microfiber interior upholstery. If the CT5-V Blackwing's price is too high for your budget, consider the smaller and cheaper Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing, which we review separately.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
Even though Cadillac is calling it the CT5-V Blackwing, it isn't powered by the newly developed twin-turbo Blackwing V-8 from the now discontinued CT6-V. Instead, an updated version of the CTS-V's supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 making a whopping 668 horsepower pairs to either a six-speed manual or an optional 10-speed automatic. The CT5-V Blackwing is a sharp-handling sedan that also can be set to ride quite comfortably despite its sporting intentions. Standard magnetorheological dampers sense the road surface and your driving intention and adjust accordingly. Acceleration is explosive and in our testing the CT5-V Blackwing with the six-speed manual hit 60 mph in just 3.6 seconds; we estimate it will be capable of hitting 60 mph in as little as 3.4 seconds when equipped with the optional automatic transmission.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
With the optional automatic transmission, the CT5-V Blackwing earned EPA fuel economy ratings of 13 mpg city and 22 mpg highway; going with the six-speed manual drops the car's highway fuel economy estimate to 21 mpg. On our 75-mph highway fuel economy route our manual transmission test vehicle managed an impressive 24 mpg result. For more information about the CT5-V Blackwing's fuel economy, visit the EPA's website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
The CT5-V Blackwing shares its cabin with the standard CT5, which gives the performance sedan a reasonably spacious interior with plenty of features and niceties. We've found the regular CT5's cabin to be a mix of materials—some fine, some decidedly down-market—but Cadillac dresses the CT5-V Blackwing to better match its much higher entry price. All models come with genuine leather upholstery with heated and ventilated front seats and 18-way power adjustments. High-performance sport seats with leather and microfiber upholstery are optional and come bundled with matching door panel inserts. The Blackwing's trunk is the same size and shape as the regular CT5's, into which we fit five carry-on cases during our testing. The gauge display includes a lap timer feature; a performance data recorder is an optional extra.
Infotainment and Connectivity
The CT5-V Blackwing comes with the same 10.0-inch touchscreen display and CUE infotainment interface as the standard CT5. This system also features a secondary rotary controller on the center console for drivers who prefer not to touch the screen. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto will be standard, as will a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot and wireless smartphone charging. While the standard CT5 gets a Bose stereo system as an option, the Blackwing comes with a 15-speaker AKG system as standard. All models also come with a 12.0-inch digital gauge display with unique V-series-specific startup animation and a head-up display.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
A host of driver-assistance features are available, both as standard and optional, but several are not available with the desirable manual transmission. For information about the CT5-V Blackwing's crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features are likely to include:
- Standard automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection
- Standard lane-departure warning with lane-keeping assist
- Available adaptive cruise control with semi-autonomous driving mode
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
When compared to rivals such as the M3 and the C63, the Cadillac's standard powertrain warranty offers coverage for a longer period of time and miles. But Cadillac only covers the first service visit, unlike BMW, which offers three years of complimentary maintenance.
- Limited warranty covers four years or 50,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers six years or 70,000 miles
- Complimentary maintenance is covered for the first visit
2022 Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing
Vehicle Type: front-engine, rear-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door sedan
Base/As Tested: Base/As Tested: $87,090 /$114,645
Options: carbon-ceramic braking system with red calipers, $9000; tan and black semi-aniline leather seats with carbon-fiber seatbacks, $6090; carbon-fiber package 2, $5230; carbon-fiber package 1, $4100; performance data and video recorder, $1600; Electric Blue paint, $625; parking package, $610; faux-suede-wrapped steering wheel and shifter, $300
supercharged and intercooled V-8, aluminum block and heads, direct fuel injection
Displacement: 376 in3, 6162 cm3
Power: 668 hp @ 6500 rpm
Torque: 659 lb-ft @ 3600 rpm
Suspension, F/R: struts/multilink
Brakes, F/R: 15.7-inch vented, cross-drilled, carbon-ceramic disc/14.6-inch vented, cross-drilled, carbon-ceramic disc
Tires: Michelin Pilot Sport 4S
F: 275/35ZR-19 (100Y) TPC
R: 305/30ZR-19 (102Y) TPC
Wheelbase: 116.0 in
Length: 194.9 in
Width: 74.1 in
Height: 56.6 in
Passenger Volume: 98 ft3
Trunk Volume: 12 ft3
Curb Weight: 4092 lb
C/D TEST RESULTS
60 mph: 3.6 sec
100 mph: 7.7 sec
1/4-Mile: 11.6 sec @ 125 mph
130 mph: 12.4 sec
160 mph: 21.1 sec
Results above omit 1-ft rollout of 0.3 sec.
Rolling Start, 5–60 mph: 4.3 sec
Top Gear, 30–50 mph: 7.6 sec
Top Gear, 50–70 mph: 6.2 sec
Top Speed (C/D est): 205 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 154 ft
Braking, 100–0 mph: 321 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft Skidpad: 1.02 g
C/D FUEL ECONOMY
Observed: 13 mpg
75-mph Highway Driving: 24 mpg
Highway Range: 410 mi
EPA FUEL ECONOMY
Combined/City/Highway: 15/13/21 mpg