Cadillac takes on the BMW M3 and Mercedes-AMG C63 with new successor to the ATS-V

The 2022 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing is an upcoming, high-performance version of the company’s compact four-door sedan. A successor to the ATS-V, discontinued in 2019, the 2022 CT4-V Blackwing will sit at the top of range, superseding the existing CT4-V. The 2022 CT4-V Blackwing will be unveiled alongside the CT5-V Blackwing on February 1, 2021. Unlike the midsize sedan, the 2022 CT4-V Blackwing won’t feature a supercharged V-8. Instead, the high-performance compact will make use of a twin-turbo V-6 to tackle the all-popular BMW M3 and Mercedes-AMG C63. What makes it stand out over the CT4-V? Let’s find out in the speculative review below.

Exterior

  • Aggressive front bumper
  • Bigger splitter
  • Lowered suspension
  • Unique wheels
  • Front fender vent
  • Sportier side skirts
  • Bigger rear spoiler
  • Rear diffuser with fins
  • Larger exhaust pipes
2021 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing Exterior
- image 896036

We have yet to see the upcoming CT4-V Blackwing outside some not-so-relevant spy shots, but the sedan’s exterior design isn’t much of a mystery. Just like the CT5-V Blackwing, which we saw in a few official camo shots, the CT4-V Blackwing will be a sportier version of the standard model. Or a CT4-V with some extras if you will. The Blackwing badge will add some aero-enhancing features, but it will also make the sedan look a bit more aggressive than the CT4-V.

Up front, look for a redesigned bumper with larger side intakes, a wider vent in the center, and a new mesh for the main grille. The latter will also sport a different finish for the black color. The CT4-V Blackwing will also feature a big splitter at the bottom of the bumper, but the engine hood and the LED headlamps will remain largely the same. Onto the sides, novelties should include carbon-fiber mirror caps, revised side skirts, and a set of exclusive, lightweight wheels. The CT-4 Blackwing should also ride just a bit closer to the ground and feature "Blackwing" badges on the lower front doors.

The rear is where the Blackwing model will boast some extra sportiness in the form of bigger spoiler atop the trunk lid, a more aggressive diffuser with vertical wings, and revised exhaust pipes in black. The diffuser should be crafted from carbon-fiber, while the badging should be black. Also look for a "Blackwing" badge on the fascia. Cadillac may introduce a couple of exclusive colors for this model.

Interior

  • Optional carbon-fiber seats
  • 3D-printed medalion on shifter knob
  • Custom displays
  • Leather and Alcantara
  • Flat-bottom steering wheel
  • Aluminum and carbon trim
  • Sporty but still luxurious
2021 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing Exterior
- image 966954

Just like the ATS-V before it, which was an ATS with some extra features, the CT4-V Blackwing will incorporate visual extras that you usually find in performance-oriented premium vehicles. For starters, most of the upholstery will be in leather and Alcantara. You’ll probably be able to order an Alcantara-only interior for that race-inspired look. Also look for trim elements in aluminum and carbon-fiber on the dashboard and the door panels, although the lightweight composite might be optional. Contrast stitching will probably adorn everything from the dashboard and the door panels to the seats and the center console.

The CT4-V Blackwing will come standard with a pair of sports seats in the front. These will feature enhanced side bolstering for increased lateral support for spirited driving. We already know that the bigger CT5-V Blackwing is available with carbon-fiber seats, so maybe this option will be offered on the CT4 too. We don’t know if Cadillac will also offer the bookmatched carbon-fiber finish it previewed for the CT5-V. Bookmatching is a practice usually found on high-end musical instruments and it’s about the matching of two surfaces so that they mirror each other, giving the impression of an opened book. Cadillac is the first to use this technique in a production car.

Let The Fun Begin: Cadillac Confirms Manual Gearbox for Blackwing Models
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The CT4-V Blackwing will also be, alongside the CT5-V Blackwing, the first GM to feature 3D-printed parts. This technique was mostly used for the gearbox and HVAC ducts, but Cadillac said the shifter knob will also sport a 3D-printed medallion.

On the tech side, the Blaclwing model should come with the 12-inch instrument cluster as standard. Usually optional on the regular CT4, this massive display offers multiple customizable configurations and it will probably feature a few extras, like a new theme for the track driving mode and a bigger focus on performance numbers. The infotainment display on the dashboard should also include a few extra menus and an exclusive start-up screen in addition to the usual wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and cloud-based voice recognition.

Drivetrain and performance

  • Twin-turbo V-6 engine
  • More than 460 horsepower
  • At least 450 pound-feet of torque
  • 0 to 60 mph in 3.9 seconds
  • Optional manual gearbox
  • Stiffer suspension
  • Top speed in excess of 180 mph
2021 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing Exterior
- image 966953

Available with a choice of turbocharged, four-cylinder engines, the CT4 sedan is no slouch. The regular model comes with a 2.0-liter four-banger rated at 309 horsepower and 348 pound-feet of torque, which is enough to send it flying from 0 to 60 mph in 6.2 seconds. The CT4-V model, on the other hand, features a 2.7-liter four-cylinder that cranks out 325 horses and 380 pound-feet of twist. The sprint to 60 mph takes 4.8 seconds in this version. However, the CT4-V is no match for competitors from BMW M and Mercedes-AMG and it’s also notably less powerful than the old ATS-V.

And here’s where the Blackwing model comes in. While it won’t feature the supercharged, 6.2-liter V-8 engine that’s likely to motivate the CT5-V Blackwing, the CT4-V Blackwing will adopt a 3.0-liter V-6 instead of the usual four-cylinder. The twin-turbo will replace the 3.6-liter V-6 that Cadillac offered in the old ATS-V. Output figures are unknown, but the CT4-V Blackwing should generate at least as much as its predecessor, so expect it to deliver more than 460 horses and 450 pound-feet of torque. With both BMW and Mercedes offering beefed-up versions of the M3 (Competition) and AMG C63 (S), the CT4-V Blackwing could also generate close to 500 horsepower.

Cadillac Just Revealed the CT4-V and CT5-V, and I'm Pissed Exterior
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Either way, it should be able to hit 60 mph in 3.9 seconds or less, which will make it at least three tenths quicker than the old ATS-V and a full second quicker than the CT4-V. It should also hit a top speed of at least 180 mph. The 3.0-liter V-6 engine will mate to a 10-speed automatic gearbox as standard, but Cadillac confirmed that there will be an optional manual transmission. No word on whether the CT4-V Blackwing will remain RWD or take the AWD route.

Of course, the beefed-up drivetrain will be backed by a revised suspension system with a sportier setup and maybe even some components derived from GM’s many racing programs.

How much will the 2022 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing cost?

2021 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing Exterior
- image 896038

Pricing information is unknown at this point, but we can use the ATS-V as a reference. Before it was discontinued in 2019, the compact sedan came in at $68,790 before options. It’s safe to say that the CT4-V Blackwing could start from around $70,000. That’s a big premium compared to the CT4-V, priced from $44,495, but it’s on par with the German competition.

Will the 2022 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing be better than the BMW M3?

2021 BMW M3 Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 935335

Redesigned for the 2021 model year, the current BMW M3 is as fresh as they get. It features a revised, crisp exterior, but it also features a massive kidney grille that’s been the source of a lot controversy. Power continues to come from a twin-turbo, 3.0-liter inline-six engine, but it has been upgraded to deliver 473 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque. For the first time, BMW is also offering a Competition option that increases oomph to 503 horses and 479 pound-feet. The regular model hits 60 mph in 4.1 seconds, while the Competition version gets there in 3.8 clicks. Top speed is locked at the usual 155 mph, but the BMW M Driver’s package will raise it to a more impressive 180 mph. BMW will soon offer an all-wheel-drive option for the M3. Pricing starts from $69,900 for the regular model and from $72,800 for the Competition variant.

Read our full review of the BMW M3.

Will the 2022 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing be better than the Mercedes-AMG C63?

2015 Mercedes-AMG C63 Edition 1 Exterior
- image 569828

Introduced in 2014, the current Mercedes-Benz C-Class is a bit long in the tooth, but the facelift operated in 2019 kept it fresh on the technology and equipment fronts. Output-wise, the AMG C63 model is more than capable to run against the M3 and the upcoming CT4-V Blackwing. Powered by the 4.0-liter V-8, the C63 comes with a solid 469 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque on tap. Upgrade to the AMG C63 S version and power increases to a whopping 503 horses and 516 pound-feet twist. The latter is the car with the most torque you can buy in this niche. How quick is it? Well, the standard model hits 60 mph in 3.9 seconds, while the S-badged model needs 3.8 clicks. Top speed is limited to 155 mph, but you can optionally raise it to 174 mph. Pricing starts from $68,600, but the "S" badge version will set you back $76,200 before options.

Read our full story on the Mercedes-AMG C63.

Conclusion

2021 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing Exterior
- image 896036

It’s been almost two years since Cadillac had a performance compact sedan on the market, so the arrival of the CT4-V Blackwing is an important event. But will it be able to keep up with the competition? Although it delivered plenty of power, the ATS-V failed to win customers from BMW and Mercedes-Benz. And that’s not only because the Cadillac badge lacks the glamour of the BMW and Mercedes emblems on the performance front. It’s been criticized for its cluttered dashboard design and cramped rear seats, as well as for lagging behind the competition in the technology department. Hopefully Cadillac will fix these problems and give the CT4-V Blackwing a fighting chance.

  • Leave it
    • Can it live up to the hype?
    • Will it stand a chance against the popular BMWs and Mercs?
Ciprian Florea
Ciprian Florea
Senior Editor and Supercar Expert - ciprian@topspeed.com
Ciprian's passion for everything with four wheels (and more) started back when he was just a little boy, and the Lamborghini Countach was still the coolest car poster you could hang on your wall. Ciprian's career as a journalist began long before earning a Bachelor's degree, but it was only after graduating that his love for cars became a profession.  Read full bio
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