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

LISTEN 16:13

The 2022 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing is a high-performance version of the company’s compact four-door sedan. A successor to the ATS-V that was discontinued in 2019, the 2022 CT4-V Blackwing sits at the top of the range, superseding the existing CT4-V. The 2022 CT4-V Blackwing was unveiled alongside the CT5-V Blackwing, but unlike the midsize sedan, it doesn’t feature a supercharged V-8. Instead, the high-performance compact packs a twin-turbo V-6, just like its predecessor. The 2022 CT4-V Blackwing arrives 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 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
  • Optional carbon-fiber bits
2021 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing Exterior Wallpaper quality
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As expected, the Blackwing is a slightly more aggressive version of the CT4-V. The front fascia is largely the same from a distance, but take a closer look and you will notice that the Blackwing package brings a new mesh for the front grille. Also, a honeycomb-style mesh-like on the CT4-V, it features slightly larger openings that improve airflow. The lower bumper grille retains the same design of the CT4-V, but it’s no longer a one-piece mesh on the Blackwing. Cadillac added two new vents to the sides, which direct airflow to the auxiliary charge coolers. The center section features the same mesh as the main grille.

Other features that set it apart include a bigger front splitter and additional winglets at the lower corners of the bumper. There’s also new black trim around the lower sections of the vertical LED bars. The headlamps themselves and the engine hood remain unchanged.

2021 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Upgrades aren’t as significant to the sides. The Blackwing rides just a tad lower than the CT4-V, but that’s hardly noticeable. However, the sedan features extended side skirts for improved aero and rides on a set of unique forged aluminum wheels. The multi-spoke rims measure 18 inches front and rear and are available in two finishes. There’s satin Graphite or polished with Dark Android highlights. You can pair these with one of four finishes available for the brake calipers, including grey, blue, red, and bronze.

Around back, the Blackwing sedan stands out thanks to three unique features. Arguably the most visible of them is the big spoiler atop the trunk lid. The Blackwing retains the integrated spoiler of the regular CT4 too, so it basically sports a dual spoiler layout that looks rather cool. I’d say it’s better than having a fixed rear wing. The second new element is the diffuser. While not overly more aggressive than the one on the CT4-V, the Blackwing diffuser features six, more prominent vertical fins. Finally, the diffuser is flanked by larger exhaust pipes finished in black.

2021 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Moving onto features we can’t see, the CT-4 Blackwing sports underbody panels that reduce drag. The sedan can also be fitted with an optional carbon-fiber package that adds aero features and reduces lift by up to 214 percent on the race track.

Interior

  • Sporty seats
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • Optional performance seats in leather
  • Wireless tech
  • 12-inch instrument cluster
  • 8-inch infotainment display
  • Optional Performance Data Recorder
  • 3D-printed manual shifter components
  • Premium audio system
2021 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing Interior
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The Blackwing is obviously based on the CT4-V, so you’ll get all the features offered in the well-equipped sedan. But you’ll also find all sorts of extras and some unique features. The CT4-V Blackwing comes standard with sportier seats wrapped in faux leather. These are 18-way adjustable. It’s also fitted with a leather-wrapped steering wheel, carbon-fiber trim on the center console, and a Taffeta headliner. The standard color is Jet Black.

Cadillac offers a second Mid-level trim that adds Level 1 Performance front seats with leather and microfiber appointments. These seats feature 16-way power adjustability and are heated. There’s also a steering wheel with additional controls and carbon-fiber trim. With this package, you can replace Jet Black with Sky Cool Grey. The third optional trim adds Level 2 Performance seats with ventilation and lumbar massage. The door panels feature leather and microfiber, while the headliner is also made from microfiber. In addition to Jet Black and Sky Cool Grey, you can select Natural Tan as an upholstery color.

2021 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing Interior
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Unfortunately, the carbon-fiber seats that Cadillac offers in the CT5-V Blackwing aren’t available on the CT4-V Blackwing.

When it comes to tech, the sedan is fitted with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and wireless phone charging as standard. You’re also getting unique graphics for the 12-inch instrument cluster. The latter also includes a Track Screen display that shows performance timers for 0-60 mph sprints, quarter-mile runs, and lap times. Cadillac’s latest Performance Data Recorder, with enhanced recording and analysis capability, is optional. The infotainment system includes an eight-inch screen, which is notably smaller than the industry standard for the premium market.

2021 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing Interior
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Stick with the standard manual transmission, and the CT4-V Blackwing will come with a unique center console with carbon-fiber accents and a gear shifter with a 3D-printed medallion cap.

An AKG premium audio system with 14 speakers will keep you entertained during long trips.

Drivetrain and Performance

  • Twin-turbo V-6 engine
  • 472 horsepower
  • 445 pound-feet of torque
  • 0 to 60 mph in 3.8 seconds
  • Top speed at 189 mph
  • On par with the competition
  • Manual gearbox standard
  • Optional automatic
  • Stiffer suspension
  • Magnetic Ride Control
  • Bigger brakes
  • Limited-slip differential
2021 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing Exterior Wallpaper quality
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The CT4-V Blackwing packs a twin-turbo, 3.6-liter V-6 engine under the front hood. This is a notable departure from the CT4 and CT4-V, both powered by four-cylinder engines, but the unit is far from new. It’s actually an upgraded version of the V-6 that powered the ATS-V. The engine generates 472 horsepower and 445 pound-feet of torque.

Is the 2022 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing more powerful than its predecessor?

Yes, the CT4-V Blackwing packs a bit of extra grunt, but the difference over the ATS-V is rather minor. Specifically, the redesigned sedan benefits from an extra eight horsepower, while torque remains unchanged. The ATS-V came with 464 horsepower and 445 pound-feet of torque on tap.

Is the 2022 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing more powerful than the competition?

The CT4-V Blackwing goes against two of the most iconic high-performance sedans out there: the BMW M3 and the Mercedes-AMG C63. The M3 was recently redesigned, and its twin-turbo, 3.0-liter inline-six was upgraded to generate 473 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque. The Cadillac falls behind by just one horsepower but packs an extra 39 pound-feet, so we can say it’s up for the battle. However, BMW is also offering an M3 Competition model with 503 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of twist. The CT4-V Blackwing lags behind this version by 31 horses and 34 pound-feet.

Moving over the Mercedes-AMG C63, it features a twin-turbo, 4.0-liter V-8 good for 469 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of twist. That’s an extra three horses for the Caddy, but the Merc benefits from an additional 34 pound-feet. Like BMW, Mercedes offers an upgraded S version that comes with 503 horses and 516 pound-feet of tap. That’s 31 horsepower and 71 pound-feet more than the CT4-V Blackwing.

Finally, there’s the Audi RS4, fitted with a 2.9-liter V-6. The turbocharged engine delivers 444 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque, 28 horses, and two pound-feet below the Cadillac.

How fast is the 2022 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing?

2021 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Cadillac says the CT4-V Blackwing hits 60 mph in 3.8 seconds with the automatic transmission. There’s no figure for the manual model, but it’s safe to assume that the benchmark drops to four seconds flat. The sedan can reach a top speed of 189 mph.

Is the 2022 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing quicker than the ATS-V?

Somewhat surprisingly, the Blackwing model is a tad slower. The ATS-V was rated at 3.7 seconds from 0 to 60 mph. Top speed remains unchanged at 189 mph.

Is the 2022 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing quicker than the competition?

2021 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing Exterior
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At 3.8 seconds from a standing start, the CT4-V Blackwing is actually a solid three tenths quicker than the BMW M3. It’s also on par with the M3 Competition, which comes with notably more oomph. The Blackwing is also a tenth-second quicker than the Mercedes-AMG C63 and on par with the company’s more powerful S model. As for the Audi RS4, it’s three tenths slower. All these cars are fitted with automatic transmissions.

When it comes to top speed, the CT4-V Blackwing is the clear winner with a 189-mph rating. The M3 tops out at 155, while the M3 Competition hits 180 mph. The AMG C63 is also limited to 155 mph, while the S version goes up to 174 mph. The Audi RS4 doesn’t go beyond 174 mph either.

The 2022 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing features a manual transmission

2021 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing Interior
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The CT4-V Blackwing comes standard with a six-speed manual transmission. And this is a big thing because manual gearboxes are rare nowadays. The BMW M3 is the only one fitted with a manual. The M3 Competition, the AMG C63, and the Audi RS4 all come with automatic gearboxes. Cadillac’s Tremec cog-swapper features a twin-disc clutch and an Active Rev Matching system. It also features a No-Lift Shift system that allows you to shift gears without letting off the gas pedal.

If you’re not a fan of manual gearboxes, Cadillac offers a 10-speed automatic. It comes with magnesium paddle shifters behind the steering wheel. Retuned specifically for the Blackwing sedan, it features a Sport Mode and a Dynamic Performance Mode, both suitable for track use. No matter the transmission, you’ll get an electronic limited-slip differential that’s lighter than before.

2021 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing Exterior
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The CT4-V Blackwing combines the latest Magnetic Ride Control system with a revised suspension system that features stiffer spring rates, bespoke stabilizer bars, and higher-rate bushings. There’s a McPherson strut setup at the front and a five-link layout in the rear.

Stopping power comes from a Brembo braking system that combines 15-inch rotors and six-piston calipers in the front and 13.4-inch rotors and four-piston calipers in the rear. But while the CT5-V Blackwing is available with carbon-ceramic brakes, you can’t order them on the CT4-V Blackwing.

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

2021 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing Exterior
- image 968232

Pricing for the high-performance sedan starts from $59,990. That’s a significant premium over the CT4-V, priced from $44,495, but notably more affordable than its predecessor. The ATS-V was priced from $68,790 before it was discontinued in 2019. The CT4-V Blackwing is also more affordable than its competitors. The BMW M3 comes in at $69,900, while the Mercedes-AMG C63 starts from $68,600. The Audi RS4 is not available in the U.S. at the moment.

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

2021 BMW M3 Exterior Wallpaper quality
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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 of 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.

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

2015 Mercedes-AMG C63 Edition 1 Exterior
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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 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 Wallpaper quality
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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. Cadillac fixed most of those problems with the CT4-V Blackwing, so the American brand may finally stand a chance against the German competition.

  • Leave it
    • Can it live up to the hype?
    • Tough competition from BMW and Mercedes
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
About the author

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