2022 Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing Review: Easy to Love
The Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing thumbs its nose at German sport sedans with a huge helping of American badassery. It's the fastest, most powerful production car Cadillac has ever built, and to put it frankly, I absolutely love it. It's impossible not to.
The Blackwing's specs speak for themselves. A 6.2-liter supercharged V8 engine pushes out 668 horsepower and 659 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual transmission is standard, as is rear-wheel drive. Hitting 60 mph takes just 3.6 seconds, and this Cadillac will crest 200 mph flat out. As far as super-sedans go, the CT5-V Blackwing is one of the best.
You'll crest 50 mph by the time you hit the 6,500-rpm redline in first gear. And when its time to shift, Cadillac's manual transmission has a no-lift shift feature so you can drop it into second without taking your foot off the throttle, allowing for smoother gearchanges with no loss of power.
Give the high-power, rear-drive setup, the CT5-V Blackwing will do burnouts all day long. But the Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires are also great for handling, and the Blackwing's traction control has settings for Wet, Dry and Sport, as well as two Race modes. This is in addition to drive modes like Snow/Ice, Tour, Sport and Track, as well as a configurable My Mode, where you can adjust the programming for the steering, suspension and traction control.
The Blackwing's sheer straightline speed is impressive, but with the standard Magnetic Ride Control suspension, this Cadillac can scoot through corners. These quick-reacting magnetorheological dampers read the road and react to what's happening quicker than any coilover setup could, bringing in ultimate control at high speeds and a cushy ride while toddling around town.
Crest a hill in the Blackwing and just when you think the car is going to get too light to control, the Magnetic Ride Control sucks it back to the pavement. The big ol' Brembo brakes -- the largest Cadillac has ever offered -- slow the sedan quickly before entering a turn, and the transmission can rev-match on its own for easier downshifts. Even in the standard Tour mode, the CT5-V Blackwing absolutely rips.
In Sport mode, the throttle input gets sharper and the suspension is a bit more taut. If the rear end steps out a bit while cornering, I can easily rein it in thanks to the quick, direct steering response. The car just... well, it makes me feel like a goddess. I am a supreme being, one with my sport sedan, and nothing else can touch me. It's so, so, so easy to drive fast.
According to the EPA, the CT5-V Blackwing should return 13 mpg city, 21 mpg highway and 15 mpg combined. Shockingly, despite driving with aggression all of the time, I saw 17.5 mpg after a week of testing. That's way better than I expected.
When you aren't on full attack, the CT5-V Blackwing has plenty of advanced driving aids. Automatic emergency braking, forward-collision alert, a rear-seat alert, lane-keeping assist, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert and automatic high-beam headlights are all standard. I fail to understand why adaptive cruise control isn't included, instead only available as an option, but whatever. Want Cadillac's nifty Super Cruise highway driving tech? Not on the Blackwing, friends.
A 10-inch color touchscreen runs Cadillac's infotainment system, and wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are included. The native multimedia tech is simple and straightforward without a lot of menus and submenus to work through.
For track rats, the Blackwing also has Cadillac's Performance Data Recorder, which captures high-quality video and includes data points for things like speed, G-forces, engine revs and location around a track. At the end of the day, upload your data to the Cosworth Toolbox to get a turn-by-turn breakdown of how you did on track. It's a great way to see where you're losing speed -- for me it's always corner entry -- and where you're kicking some serious butt.
Great tech aside, the CT5-V Blackwing is really let down by its interior. Sure, the seats are supportive, and I like the 12-inch digital gauge cluster, but the rest of this cabin reeks of General Motors cost-cutting. The design and materials are truly a few steps behind what you'll find in rivals from Audi , BMW and Mercedes-Benz .
Thankfully, the exterior design is hot. You can add carbon fiber trim to the grille header, rocker moldings, front splitter, front wheel well deflectors, rear diffuser and rear spoiler. I also love the screaming Electric Blue paint job, which looks great with the lightweight 19-inch aluminum wheels. The CT5-V Blackwing is as handsome as it is aggressive.
It's also a pretty solid value -- relatively speaking, of course. It starts at just $84,990 including $995 for destination, while competitors like the Audi RS7, BMW M5 and Mercedes-AMG E63 all play in six-figure territory before adding options. You can definitely push a CT5-V Blackwing up above $100,000, too, but similarly optioned Germans will still cost a lot more.
In a way, the CT5-V Blackwing is sort of a swan song. Cadillac, like other major automakers, is going electric, and this huge V8 is one of the company's last gas-powered hurrahs. All I can say is: Go get one while you can. Cars like this won't be around much longer, and the CT5-V Blackwing is one of the most special sport sedans ever built.