3D printed parts helped Blackwing sticks come to life
Cadillac survey shows more interest in MT than expected
A six-speed manual transmission will be the standard gearbox on the two latest Cadillac Blackwing models, and it comes thanks to new 3D printing techniques that lets GM make the small but expensive changes needed more economically. And a new study the brand commissioned on the status of the manual transmission shows some hope for the DIY shifting option.
The brand is calling the 2022 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing and Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing models the revival of the manual transmission, and it will be the default gearbox choice for the two high-powered cars. A 10-speed automatic will be an option, though likely a common one so you might need to order the default choice. That makes the CT4-V Blackwing the only car in its class to offer a stick.
It’s not even the same transmission as previous models; GM says it will be quieter and more durable than the previous generation stick.
New and functional 3D parts were used to help make it possible, but they might not be parts you expected. Two of them include HVAC ducting that needed to be different as well as an electric wiring harness bracket. Topping it off will be the unique 3D-printed medallion on the shift knob you see in the photo up to.
Now that survey, which Cadillac had Harris Poll conduct about knowledge and adoption of the manual transmission. Surprisingly, 66 percent of American adults said they know how to drive a manual, with 40 percent of those who don’t either somewhat or very interested in learning. Most of the interest is found either in those with higher incomes (64 percent of $75,000 or more) or those between 18 and 32 (62 percent). So most American drivers are still interested in the stick, especially the young and the rich. That second demographic is surely of interest to Cadillac, despite their commitment to go electric over this decade. It might not change their future plans, but there could be some other automakers reading, or other parts of GM looking to put MT cars in the hands of young drivers.