Pricing for the 2022 CT5-V starts at $52,998 in Canada and $50,995 in the US.
The Blackwing models are respectively priced at $87,798 and $83,995.
There hasn’t been a more desirable or special Cadillac vehicle since the Allanté.
And by some immense margin. I feel like a 40+-year-old virgin admitting this, but I’ve not yet had the pleasure of driving a C8 Chevrolet Corvette. Even so, I’m 100% convinced that the C8 is not as special, unique, and admiration-worthy as the Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing.
Of the many reasons why this is boils down to the fact that the CT5-V Blackwing is unexpected. In contrast, the 2023 Cadillac Escalade-V is a plainly and painfully obvious cash grab on behalf of GM whereas the CT5 is a soul-full exquisite masterpiece of raw performance, functional design, and child-like enthusiasm.
Truly designed and built for fun
The Blackwing’s specifications read as though an excitable though wise car-guy or gal had been behind the car’s creation. The first item on the list is a supercharged V8. A hand-built 6.2L unit massaged and tuned to deliver a monster 668hp and a whopping 659 lb.-ft. of torque, and that makes an equally frightening amount of noise. Next a 10-speed automatic transmission, which is a must for those who just want to go. And for true driving fanatics, the ones who profess unwavering allegiance to the manual transmission, a Tremec 6-speed unit.
All the power is sent to the rear wheels because that’s how nature, in the 60s and 70s, intended it to be – no fancy AWD mumbo-jumbo. But, as the planners were not barbarians, the rear axle holds an electronic limited-slip rear differential (eLSD) and the car features a customizable launch control system with performance traction management. The result is a sprint to 96 km/h in only 3.4 seconds with the auto, and 3.6 seconds with the manual. The CT5-V decision-makers were not done. As a real treat, the Cadillac deciders opted to fit the chassis with Magnetic Ride Control 4.0.
Achingly and ruggedly handsome
Designers also had their say in conceiving an extremely appealing high-performance car. The CT5-V is muscular and endowed with various spoilers both up front and around the back. The Blackwing is a little more obsessive when it comes to aerodynamics. Because of the power produced by the engine and attainable speeds, this version requires far more cooling, and it was penned to feed an extra 11 auxiliary coolers.
The tested unit was painted Black Raven, included the Carbon Fibre packages, and bronze-painted wheels. Although black is grossly played out, it did the Blackwing justice beyond comprehension. In fact, all the car needed was a big fat screaming chicken tattoo on the bonnet.
Docile, vicious, and ultra-lovable
This exceptional car is the automotive equivalent of Dwayne Johnson. Despite huge muscles and a menacing presence, the CT5-V Blackwing is generally easy to get along with. I know nothing about The Rock, but I can imagine that he’s typically a nice guy but also not always that easy to work with, much like the Caddy’s manual transmission. The clutch is a switch and not a dimmer – the friction point is very short, possibly like Dwyane’s fuse. The shifter’s throws are heavy, like 50lb free weights.
But beyond this, the world over loves The Rock for the nice agreeable person that he portrays. The 2022 Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing is very much a civilized car despite its capabilities. The above-mentioned magnetic ride control suspension is in large part responsible for both the impressive level of comfort and unflappable amount of grip. Long cruises on highways or quick jaunts on country roads are equally gratifying.
No matter the drive mode, the Blackwing’s dampers permit sufficient travel for soaking up less-than-perfect road surfaces. It’s possible to adjust drive modes however there are two, V Mode and My Mode, to be as insane or forgiving as desired. With the dampers set in sport, the smoother the road, the better the experience.
The traction management, the small wheel on the lower-right portion of the steering wheel is, in the wrong hands, more of a gauge of how fast the rear-end with Electronic Limited Slip Rear Differential (eLSD) will come around than anything else. Its existence is a testament to Cadillac’s childlike enthusiasm for the CT5-V Blackwing. It also features a launch control function, if you were wondering.
The right amount of tech and pizzazz
For the CT5-V and the Blackwing, Cadillac focused on what truly matters. Unlike the Escalade and its massive OLED display, the sedan makes do with a 12.3-inch diagonal driver cluster, a head-up display, a 10-inch touchscreen display, and a well-laid series of HVAC controls.
The important bits are the gorgeous natural tan and jet-black accents full semi-aniline leather seats. Ultra-supportive and comfortable, they are the cabin’s highlight and focal point, right after the shifter. As expected in a Cadillac, materials are top-drawer, and fit and finish are spotless. If I was to compare the M5’s interior to the Caddy’s, I’d have to admit that the BMW’s is far more visually imposing but, in my opinion, the drive is all that really matters.
The most special premium ultra-high-performance sedan
And I mean it. BMW, Audi, AMG, Lexus, and even Porsche have given up on the manual transmission for their larger sports saloons. In fact, short of the M3, the only other four- or five-door sedan with a manual gearbox in this sphere is the Cadillac CT4-V. My friends, Cadillac deserves our respect and admiration.
Having said that, don’t wait and order your CT4-V or Blackwing now. There won’t be others like them ever again. And while I still haven’t sampled a C8, there’s no denying the 2022 Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing’s greatness.
And lastly, as tested with the optional packages, the car retailed for $111,000 – worth every last penny.