2022 Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing: One of the Best Sports Sedans on the Market

This week I invite you to ride along in what is quite possibly the best sports sedan that I have ever driven during my 25 years as a car critic. And, no; it’s not from Germany. This is the CT5-V Blackwing and if you fancy yourself a driver, this is the Cadillac of your dreams.

  • 2022 Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing: One of the Best Sports Sedans on the Market
  • Year:
    2022
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    V8
  • Transmission:
    6-speed manual
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    668 @ 6500 (Est.)
  • MPG(Cty):
    13
  • MPG(Hwy):
    21
  • Torque @ RPM:
    659 @ 3600
  • Energy:
    SIDI
  • Displacement:
    6.2 L
  • 0-60 time:
    3.6 sec.
  • Top Speed:
    200+ mph
  • Layout:
    Front engine with RWD
  • Price:
    87000

I recall being at the New York Auto Show 4 years ago when Cadillac reveled the CT6-V, debuting the new Blackwing Twin Turbo V8. Mysteriously, that car lasted only 2 model years and the 4.2-liter Blackwing engine was a one and done. Flash ahead to 2022 and this car is the new Cadillac flagship sedan, priced from near $87,000, packing a souped-up Corvette engine and yes; a manual transmission. With 659 pound-feet of torque and a 0-to-60 mph time as quick as 3.4-seconds, this is the most powerful and fastest production car Cadillac has ever made, and it’s sensational. There’s not one part of this car that Cadillac got wrong perhaps with the exception of its penchant for premium gas at 13 mpg city and its associated $2,100 gas guzzler tax.

HIGH PERFORMANCE WITH 3 PEDALS

2022 Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing: One of the Best Sports Sedans on the Market
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It’s sexy yet elegantly understated, pulls at the driver’s heartstrings, and is midsize-spacious with luxury in spades. Cars packing 668 horsepower almost never come with a stick shift anymore but here it is - a short-throw six-speed and race-heavy clutch pedal combo that’s so good it would be almost criminal to opt for the 10-speed auto. With a 0-to-60 mph time of 3.6-seconds the manual isn’t quite as quick as the automatic and at 15 mpg in combined driving it’s also not quite as fuel-efficient, but the CT5-V is a car you want with 3 pedals. It’s easy to drive with torque for days and gives you personalized control over this hand-built 6.2-liter supercharged V-8 and its intoxicating exhaust score.

The system also provides a rev-match feature which can be activated for true performance enhancement or simply to show-off. And with this one, you can keep your foot in it while changing gears with the No-Lift Shift feature. Staggered-width Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires developed exclusively for Blackwing are top-shelf summer rubber but even they struggle at times to come to grips with all of this power on the wet pavement I’ve experienced the majority of my test week. And if you ever drive this car on a racetrack - and you should because a 2-day V-Performance Academy session at Spring Mountain Motor Resort in Nevada is included with your Blackwing purchase – a steering wheel knob controls traction management with 5 settings of wheel slip intervention from full-on to full-off. Launch control, however, is reserved for the automatic model.

MUST-HAVE OPTIONS

2022 Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing: One of the Best Sports Sedans on the Market
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There’s a customizable V driving mode for one button access to your favorite setup which spans everything from Engine Sound to Brake Feel. And yes; there’s an exhaust system stealth mode for polite neighborhood operation. One of the key components to the CT5-V’s prowess is Magnetic Ride Control; an adaptive suspension system that accommodates everyday driving while also connecting the driver with the road. It’s a technical highlight of any GM model that offers it. So, while this Blackwing’s chassis is stiff and pulled tight in every direction – a sensation that’s palatable as soon as you buckle up – it’s not prohibitive, meaning highway travel and trips with friends are just as reasonable as race day shenanigans.

And this car in particular is ready for the later, with the optional $9,000 Carbon Ceramic Brakes with cross-drilled rotors, the $4,100 Carbon Fiber 1 Package with its front splitter and the performance data and video recorder which shoots 1080 video of your driving heroics with personalized overlays and in-car audio saved on an SD card for later viewing.

WIDE DYNAMIC RANGE

2022 Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing: One of the Best Sports Sedans on the Market
- image 1088101

Whatever superlatives you use to describe a sports car that satisfies in every way can be heaped on here. And this is a fairly large car that can easily accommodate 4 adults yet despite its sizeable dimensions continues to amaze me with each passing day. First off, the stick shift is to die for. The clutch pedal does require the requisite effort you would expect from a track-capable car, yet with its pinpoint engagement and robust torque on-tap you can easily drive this car around all day at sane speeds and never leave 4th gear. The MRC (Magnetic Ride Control) dampers take the edge off this super-stiff body, it’s very well-planted yet steerable with your right foot, the carbon ceramic brakes play every day friendly with immediate stopping power and the guttural sounds coming from this V-8 are nothing short of heavenly. With the sport seats replete with touring-level comfort, the only thing you have to worry about is how to pay for the gas. With a 17-gallon tank, the driving range is a miniscule 255 miles.

THE BLACKWING CABIN EXPERIENCE

2022 Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing: One of the Best Sports Sedans on the Market
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These gorgeous Sky Cool Gray full leather sport seats with carbon fiber seatbacks are spot on for a sports sedan and not nearly as suffocating as the equivalent seats in the BMW M5 CS; another amazing car of this ilk. And GM knows how to make even a complicated car like this very easy to use. The excellent touchscreen with wireless phone projection and its intuitive layout anchors a cabin rich in features, including a rear camera mirror, surround view camera, reconfigurable driver display, cooled and heated seats with lumbar massage, and an AKG 15-speaker audio system – a premium brand Cadillac introduced on the Escalade. Because my car has the manual gearbox it doesn’t have adaptive cruise control or enhanced automatic braking but it does have the Safety Alert Seat which vibrates your bottom when danger lurks. Furthering safety, the customizable head-up display allows you to focus on the road.

A PERFORMANCE BARGAIN?

2022 Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing: One of the Best Sports Sedans on the Market
- image 1088117

It’s quite a bit smaller than the departed CT6 Blackwing, and the rear seats are legit with the Ultraview Sunroof overhead. As it sits with options and other charges, MSRP is $112,265 - over $30,000 less than the aforementioned Bimmer I tested last summer. And this car, with rear-wheel drive and a stick shift, is one that drivers will certainly find more engaging.

Though its little brother, the CT4-V Blackwing, is more spirited and juvenile in its drive; tons of fun in own right – this Blackwing goes full tilt in a full-fledged wrapper.

Steven Hammes
About the author

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