• Let The Fun Begin: Cadillac Confirms Manual Gearbox for Blackwing Models

The upcoming Cadillac Blackwing cars will feature manuals and 3D-printed parts

Cadillac’s next generation of V-Series models, the CT5 Blackwing and CT4 Blackwing will feature a manual transmission, the automaker confirmed. Set to slot above their CT5-V and CT4-V counterparts, the Blackwing sedans will be the first of their respective nameplates to feature a three-pedal layout. Cadillac also confirmed that these cars will be the first GM vehicles to employ 3D-printed components.

The Blackwing sedans will come standard with six-speed manuals

Let The Fun Begin: Cadillac Confirms Manual Gearbox for Blackwing Models Exterior
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While their less powerful siblings are fitted with 10-speed automatic gearboxes as standard, the Blackwing models will be fitted with six-speed manual transmissions. The 10-speed will remain optional, though. It’s worth noting that the CT4-V Blackwing will be the only vehicle in its segment to offer a manual. Cadillac didn’t say much about the six-speed gearbox, but it did mention that it’s quieter and more durable than the previous generation.

Why is Cadillac fitting both cars with manuals? Well, it seems that a recent Harris Poll study conducted on behalf of the premium brand revealed that performance car enthusiasts still want a stick and a clutch. The poll revealed that 66 percent of American adults surveyed know how to drive a manual and that more than 60 percent of drivers with $75,000 or more in annual income and those aged between 18-34 in age are interested in driving a shifter. Cadillac also learned that 55 percent of Americans say they have owner or leased a car with a manual and that 40 percent of those who do not know how to drive a manual would be interested in learning.

Let The Fun Begin: Cadillac Confirms Manual Gearbox for Blackwing Models
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These are interesting findings given that most automakers are claiming that manual gearbox demand is extremely low, but we don’t have full access to how this poll was conducted. It’s possible that these figures have some value only when it comes to high-performance cars.

The Blackwing models will be the first GM cars to feature 3D-printed parts

Let The Fun Begin: Cadillac Confirms Manual Gearbox for Blackwing Models
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3D printing technology is slowly finding its way into production models and Cadillac will be using it for the very first time in the Blackwing models.

The manual transmission is actually the component that benefits the most from this technology. An undisclosed amount of gearbox parts were manufactured using 3D printing, but Cadillac used the same technology to create HVAC ducts, an electrical harness bracket, and a medallion for the shifter knob.

Cadillac says this technology helped recuduce both costs and waste when developing the manual transmission.

The CT4-V Blackwing and CT5-V Blackwing will arrive in 2021

Let The Fun Begin: Cadillac Confirms Manual Gearbox for Blackwing Models
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Cadillacs’s new high-performance sedans will become available in the summer of 2021 for the 2022 model year. Details about these models are slim, but we know for a fact that they won’t use the twin-turbo 4.2-liter V-8 Blackwing engine that Cadillac used to offer in the CT6-V.

The CT5-V Blackwing is rumored to arrive with an updated 6.2-liter V-8 rated at well in excess of 500 horsepower.

For reference, the V-6-powered CT5-V comes with "only" 360 horsepower on tap. The smaller CT4-V Blackwing, on the other hand, will feature a twin-turbo, 3.0-liter V-6. The CT4 is a four-cylinder-exclusive model, while the CT4-V sports a 2.7-liter turbo-four. The latter cranks out 325 horsepower, so the CT4-V Blackwing will deliver at least 400 horses.

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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