Lap Time: 2:49.4
Class: LL3 | Base: $101,265 | As Tested: $105,665
Power and Weight: 668 hp • 4132 lb • 6.2 lb/hp
Tires: Michelin Pilot Sport 4S, F: 275/35ZR-19 (100Y) TPC R: 305/30ZR-19 (102Y) TPC
Fast laps come one of two ways: clean or ugly. The 2:49.4 we managed in the CT5-V Blackwing unquestionably falls under the latter classification. On the street, the big Blackwing is an absolute peach—a very fast one, but still juicy and good. But when you put the 4132-pound sedan on a track and right on the limit of its Pilot Sport 4S tires, its mass starts to fight against physics and the controls.
We struggled against the brake pedal. Lifeless with no progressivity, the pedal offered little feedback, or at least not the feedback you like to feel when bombing toward Turn 1 at 154.1 mph. Stomping an inert brake pedal doesn't increase confidence, it shrivels it. Fortunately for the Cadillac, the on-hand engineers assured us that the brakes were fine and that the six-piston front and four-piston rear stoppers would do their job.
Those Cadillac engineers would know; after all, they lapped the CT5-V Blackwing at VIR plenty during development and set a 2:49.5 best lap. They hoped we'd beat them and the Mercedes-AMG GT63 S's 2:49.3 to make a Cadillac the quickest four-door. If our lap had been a little cleaner, we just might have.
You see, we bombed into Hog Pen with a little too much enthusiasm and had to scrub a bit too much speed. Blowing that corner cost us about a quarter of a second. Set the start/finish line before the mistake and the lap is a 2:49.2. But we don't move finish lines to suit us.
Even if the Cadillac had turned that time, it would not be enough to beat the new Lightning Lap four-door king, the Porsche Panamera Turbo S. To do that, Cadillac would have to mount an even grippier tire. A Pilot Sport Cup 2 R could be the way to take the throne. There's only one way to find out, Cadillac.