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Tested: 2022 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing Puts Up Some Serious Numbers

Tested: 2022 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing Puts Up Some Serious Numbers

Loads of fun in the shadow of the CT5-V Blackwing

  • Wonderfully balanced chassis pulled 1.09 g on our skidpad.
  • Twin-turbo V6 makes 472 horsepower but could sound better.
  • The braking and stability control systems are excellent.

You could be forgiven for not realizing that Cadillac makes a Blackwing version of its CT4 sedan. That's due in large part to two things: the puzzling and pointless CT4-V (without the Blackwing moniker) and the bigger, badder brother that gets all the attention — the CT5-V Blackwing. And that's a shame because the CT4-V Blackwing is one of the best-handling sedans you can buy, at any price, and it packs a decent wallop of power from its twin-turbocharged V6 engine. Oh, yeah, and you can get it with a manual transmission. Let's talk to our test driver. But first, the numbers:

  • 0-60 mph: 4.6 seconds (4.4 seconds with a foot of rollout)
  • Quarter mile: 12.8 seconds @ 111.1 mph
  • 60-0 mph braking: 109 feet
  • Skidpad: 1.09 g
2022 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing

2022 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing

Chassis, chassis, chassis

Underneath the CT4-V Blackwing's (we're already over typing this name out) sheetmetal sits GM's Alpha chassis. The Alpha chassis can be traced back to 2012 and has underpinned the Cadillac ATS and CTS and currently serves as the bones for the Camaro and the CT5. All of these cars have shown outstanding handling traits and the CT4-V Blackwing is no exception. To our test driver's notebook:

"Best part of the CT4-V Blackwing, right here. It's still hard to believe this is the same platform as the Camaro BECAUSE YOU CAN ACTUALLY SEE OUT OF IT. Thanks to a low cowl and thin pillars, cornering visibility is excellent. Steering is immediate without being darty and is nearly telepathic in its responses. Nose goes where you look and the rear is usually content to follow, so long as you don't smack the throttle. Lots of grip. ESC is super well sorted (I'd expect nothing less from GM's world-class PTM system), and even in its Race 2 setting I was barely able to beat the normal-setting numbers. If this had wider tires, or even stickier tires, it would positively rail through turns and you'd spend your days embarrassing sports cars everywhere you go. On the handling loop, it's more of the same. Visibility gives confidence, as do the feel and feedback from the chassis and steering. PTM modes are a blessing for every driver level and the CT4-V Blackwing has a great balance of power and grip. Oh, and MagneRide is magnificent. Pretty great drive. A hidden (unfortunately) gem of a car."

Yeah, that bonkers 1.09 g on our skidpad was done with fairly modest 255 front, 275 rear section Michelin Pilot Sport 4 S rubber. That's better than a whole lot of sports cars and wannabe sports sedans.

2022 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing

2022 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing

Under the hood and behind the wheels

Under the hood is GM's LF4 V6 engine. Which, in normal-people speak, is a 3.6-liter twin-turbocharged V6 engine that puts out 472 horsepower and 445 lb-ft. Our test car was equipped with the standard six-speed manual transmission (yes!), though a 10-speed automatic is available. It should be noted that the automatic will give you quicker 0-60 times, just like it does in the bigger, badder CT5-V Blackwing. From the notebook:

"Packs a pretty good wallop of power. It must be the 3.6 liters of displacement that helps, but this engine doesn't really have much of a dead zone, especially down low. Strong, tractable and fairly linear, this engine loves to rev out. I passed on the flat-foot (no-lift) shift feature for the run with default settings, but I used it for the quickest runs. Gearbox is plenty positive and seems happy to be treated nicely or manhandled. Engine note is … meh. I never have high hopes for a V6, but the turbos quell any possibility of emotion and don't add any of their own. Big turbo whistle or even some blow-off valve magic would have helped. Launching it was just an exercise in frustration. Launch control has an automatic mode where [the car] determines the best launch rpm and slip percentage, or you can mess around with it on your own until you run out of clutch, gears, fuel, tires, time or all of the above. I did both. The CT4-V Blackwing wanted to either light the tires up or stumble just a bit before getting down to business. No-lift shift is active over a certain rpm so you just say a prayer, grip it and rip it. Worked every time. Gears are spaced fairly well. Any taller and it would have killed acceleration and any closer and you'd probably have to fight wheelspin, especially through third. Potent little package, but I did expect a touch higher trap speed. Maybe it's our [California's] crummy 91 octane fuel."

The brakes were similar to the engine, offering stout performance, even if we expected slightly shorter stopping distances. Back to our resident test dude:

"What's not to like here? Other than distances that are about 5 feet longer than I expected, the CT4-V Blackwing returned stops that were neat and tidy every single time. Brake pedal has a firm, short stroke. Minimal dive — the whole car feels like it squats under braking and the Blackwing stops hard without any rebound. ABS noise is well isolated. Not a ton of feel but there is some to let you know you're deep into the stopping power. Feels like they could do this for an entire afternoon. Carbon-ceramics would be a good option on this car as you already want to drive it all day."

2022 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing

2022 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing

Edmunds says

The CT4-V Blackwing might not be top of mind for many enthusiasts (the name doesn't exactly roll off the tongue, either), but this Cadillac should be at the top of the list if you're looking for a compact luxury sport sedan with serious performance. It might not be as fast as a BMW M3, but it offers far more engagement and comes with one of the better six-speed manual transmissions you can buy. It's already a future classic.