Gather 'round the campfire, kids, and I'll spin you a yarn complete with thundering V8s, super sport sedans, and everyone's favorite topic: confusing nomenclature. In 2020, Cadillac replaced the CTS midsize sedan with the CT5 — a vehicle that is more like a slightly enlarged version of the CT4 compact than its own distinct model. Gone too was the high-performance CTS-V and its supercharged V8.
2022 Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing
General Motors reserves the supercharged 6.2-liter V8 for its most extreme sleds, and we're happy to report the Blackwing made the cut. Here, the eight-cylinder churns out 668 horsepower and 659 lb-ft of torque. It also comes standard with a six-speed manual transmission that has a no-lift shift feature to eke out that extra bit of performance. A 10-speed automatic with magnesium paddle shifters is optional and will probably be the default choice for most buyers, but I love that Cadillac is giving more control to those who want it. Both transmissions send the engine's power to the rear wheels and an electronically controlled limited-slip rear differential.
The standard CT5's interior is thoughtfully laid out, but the overall materials mix is a little underwhelming, even in the currently top-level CT5-V spec. The Blackwing version — shown here with two-tone upholstery, contrast stitching, imitation suede headliner and carbon-fiber trim — appears to be a step in the right direction. Every Blackwing comes with heated, ventilated and massaging front seats, and interior upgrade packages add faux suede or carbon-fiber backing. I also dig the sport steering wheel that features a Ferrari-style driving mode switch, a red stripe at the 12 o'clock position, and a plaque bearing the car's production number.
There are few Blackwing-specific enhancements. It will come standard with a digital instrument cluster and a head-up display, and the Performance Data Recorder (it allows you to record the vehicle's camera feeds for later analysis and review) is upgraded to hi-def 1080p resolution. A 15-speaker AKG audio system is also included, along with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. A basic set of driving aids — such as forward collision warning and blind-spot monitoring — are likely to come standard, but there's no word yet on whether Cadillac's superb Super Cruise automated driving function will be available on the performance-oriented Blackwing. (You can option it on lesser CT5s.)
We've gone a few years without a true successor to the CTS-V, but the 2022 CT5-V Blackwing is ready to take up the mantle. We can't wait to get behind the wheel of this 668-horsepower land rocket.