2022 CT5-V Blackwing is the most powerful Cadillac ever


With 668 horsepower on tap, this is the most powerful production Cadillac in history.


Cadillac unveiled a pair of missiles on Monday. No, this stalwart luxury automaker isn’t getting into the weapons business, even if the new Blackwing versions of its CT4-V and CT5-V cars are basically roadgoing rockets. With mega power and loads of tech, these two high-performance sports sedans are poised to put the hurt on rival models from Audi, BMW and Mercedes-AMG.

The 2022 CT5-V Blackwing is a superlative product in more ways than one. For starters, it’s the most powerful production Cadillac ever. Keeping that ample giddy-up in check, it also has the largest brakes in the brand’s long history. From its aggressive bodywork to a track-proven engine to the purposeful interior, this machine is all about speed. Accordingly, maximum performance and driver engagement were top priorities during the development of this car and its little sibling, the CT4-V Blackwing.

Providing the oomph, and plenty of tire-smoking theatrics if you feel like roasting a little rubber, is a supercharged 6.2-liter LT4 V8, an engine that’s hand-built in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Thanks to 46% more intake airflow and a freer-breathing exhaust system, this engine delivers 668 horsepower and 659 pound-feet of torque.

A trio of interior themes is offered in the new CT5-V Blackwing, which should give drivers plenty of choice. 

Nick Miotke/Roadshow

Managing that output is a standard six-speed manual transmission (yay!). It’s spun by a twin-disc clutch that’s designed to withstand all that torque and provide good pedal feel. For added performance, active rev-matching and No-Lift Shift capability are standard. Thanks to these features, you can execute perfect downshifts every time and peg the accelerator with each gearshift so that big V8 keeps pumping.

Of course, if you’d rather not dance the three-pedal shuffle, a 10-speed automatic is available in the CT5-V Blackwing. This transmission can shift quicker than some dual-clutch gearboxes and with greater refinement to boot. As for performance, with the self-shifting transmission, this Caddy can hit 60 mph in as little as 3.7 seconds and its top speed is north of 200 mph. The CT5-V Blackwing is rear-wheel-drive only, though, like its smaller sibling, it comes standard with an electronic limited-slip differential for greater control in hard cornering. Both cars are also fitted with Cadillac’s latest Magnetic Ride Control, which allows you to adjust the dampers to your preference, giving you a smooth ride for commuting to work and a much stiffer feel when you’re on track or navigating your favorite back road.

Bringing things to a safe, secure stop and withstanding abusive hot laps, the CT5-V Blackwing is fitted with massive Brembo brakes. Up front, the rotors measure 15.7 inches in diameter and are clamped by six-piston calipers. The rear discs are a bit smaller but still huge, clocking in at 14.7 inches. They’re squeezed by calipers with four pistons. Taking things a step further, you can also get a carbon-ceramic braking system. Not only does this arrangement withstand heat even better than the standard setup, it decreases unsprung mass by 53 pounds, which is a relatively huge reduction.

Here it is, 6.2 liters of supercharged glory.

Nick Miotke/Roadshow

The CT5-V features lightweight, forged-aluminum wheels. These staggered-width rollers clock in at 19 inches and are fitted with a custom set of Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires designed with special compounds specifically for Blackwing duty.

A range of different elements set this car apart visually from lesser CT5s. For starters, the bodywork has been massaged to slice through the wind with less resistance. The front grilles flow more air underhood to keep temperatures under control, and the car has a front splitter, a rear spoiler, functional fender vents and too many other elements to list. For added looks and even better performance, a carbon-fiber aero package is offered, which reduces lift at speed by a claimed 75%.

Inside, the CT5-V Blackwing has a familiar interior, one that’s nonetheless gussied up compared with standard models. Customers will have three different cabin trim levels to choose from, which include different colors and materials, from basic leather seats to front buckets trimmed with imitation suede and carbon fiber. As for tech, the car comes standard with a surround-view camera system and an ever-helpful head-up display. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a 15-speaker AKG sound system and a 12-inch digital instrument cluster are also included at no extra charge. A high-performance steering wheel, a microfiber headliner and a second-generation Performance Data Recorder so you can relive your driving exploits are all available. For a bit of visual flair, models fitted with the manual transmission feature a 3D-printed cap on top of the shift lever.

You can reserve a 2022 Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing right now, though deliveries don’t start until later this summer. This ultra-high-performance sports sedan ain’t cheap, either, though its pricing isn’t that outrageous considering how much you’re getting. It starts at $84,990, including $995 in destination fees. 

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