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472-HP 2022 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing Is a High-Tech Alternative to the BMW M3, Mercedes C 63

472-HP 2022 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing Is a High-Tech Alternative to the BMW M3, Mercedes C 63

Cadillac hopes you'll always bet on black

  • New high-performance version of the CT4 sedan
  • 472-hp turbocharged V6 engine
  • Standard manual transmission or optional 10-speed automatic
  • Part of the first CT4 generation introduced for 2020

What is the CT4-V Blackwing?

Cadillac's new naming scheme can be tricky to follow, but here's the short version: The 2022 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing is a high-performance luxury sedan. Think of it as a direct competitor to cars like the BMW M3 and Mercedes-AMG C 63. Like those sedans, the CT4-V Blackwing gains a suite of track-ready hardware, including a twin-turbo V6, beefed-up chassis, large brakes, a sport-focused suspension and more.

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How does the naming convention work? Start with the CT4, which is a standard luxury sedan offering similar to a BMW 330i. The CT4-V is a sportier version with a slightly more powerful engine, but it's not the successor to the high-performance V-Series models you may remember from Cadillac such as the ATS-V or CTS-V. That duty falls upon the cars called Blackwing. Got it?

How does the CT4-V Blackwing drive?

The CT4-V Blackwing has a twin-turbo 3.6-liter V6 with 472 horsepower and 445 lb-ft of torque. When equipped with the 10-speed automatic transmission, Cadillac claims the Blackwing can rip from 0 to 60 mph in 3.9 seconds, which is similar to the M3 and C 63. You can expect slower acceleration from the standard six-speed manual transmission, but far more fun. The manual has a no-lift feature that allows you to keep the gas pedal pinned during a full-throttle upshift without fear of damaging the driveline. Doing so also keeps the turbos spooled, improving acceleration.

When the Blackwing is set to Track mode, the exhaust pops and backfires when you lift off the gas pedal, and it emits an aggressive burble when you slow down in gear. While the power delivery is robust through the rev range, the V6 sound isn't as appealing as what the M3's turbocharged inline-six or the Mercedes' turbocharged V8 emits. It's too bad Cadillac didn't go with a version of the 6.2-liter V8 in the Chevrolet Camaro instead of this turbo V6 — the two produce similar power but the V8 has a more rousing soundtrack.

Past the thrust from the turbo V6 engine, large Brembo brakes and sticky Michelin tires, the Blackwing's sophisticated electronic controls provide both a high degree of confidence on a racetrack and comfortable cruising on country roads.

The Blackwing is able to understand what you're asking from each tire and adjust various parts of the car to make it happen, from the suspension dampers to the differential and so on. For example, let's say you upshift the automatic transmission when you're midcorner. In a different car, that change in power and rpm could upset the car's traction. But the Blackwing's computer considers how much grip is available and slows the speed of the shift accordingly to ensure you don't lose traction.

From these kinds of controls emerges a confidence that encourages you to try braking later, take turns at higher speeds, and apply the gas pedal sooner. As with many modern performance cars, drivers can even fine-tune the car's behavior, from steering effort to suspension firmness to brake pedal response to exhaust volume.

How comfortable is the CT4-V Blackwing?

The same electronic controls responsible for speed also provide a relaxed drive during the commute. When you dial back the variable exhaust noise, the resulting quietness can make you forget you're driving a high-performance vehicle. The adaptive dampers soften out bumps, but they still relay an appropriate amount of road texture through the wheel. Some credit is also due to the fact you can only get 18-inch forged wheels and tires with decent sidewall on the Blackwing. Where the BMW M3 and Mercedes C 63 start out with similarly sized wheels and tires, their optional 19s and 20s come with tires that have less sidewall, sometimes resulting in an overly firm ride.

How's the CT4-V Blackwing's interior?

While the Blackwing adds racy carbon-fiber accents, the interior materials don't offer the same impression of quality as German competitors. On the other hand, the digital displays, functionality and features are very strong.

Every CT4-V Blackwing comes with heated front seats and a sport steering wheel. Optional upgrades include ventilated and massaging seats, leather and a suede microfiber-wrapped steering wheel. The CT4 is a compact sedan, but drivers of any size should be able to fit without issue. Once you start adding occupants, the limits of the CT4's small footprint become apparent. Four average-size passengers will have enough room, but anyone with a long torso will quickly run out of headroom. And sitting behind a tall front-seat occupant will sap the CT4's modest amount of legroom.

How's the CT4-V Blackwing's tech?

The CT4 offers a wide selection of driving aids, but the most impressive is the standard Performance Traction Management system, which is an advanced stability control tool intended for high-speed driving. Drivers can progress through the five modes — including a setting for wet surfaces — by twisting a dial on the steering wheel. Once you experience PTM's effectiveness at reducing the chances of spinning the car, you feel more confident in pushing harder on the racetrack.

We're big fans of the optional performance data recorder, which adds a forward-facing camera and an SD card slot near the headlight controls. The camera embeds data from the car, including GPS-based lap times and things such as brake pedal position, into video files that you can upload straight to YouTube or analyze through free software. You can also simply use the system as a dashcam.

The standard launch control system is adjustable for the surface you're driving on, including a setting for prepared drag strips. The Blackwing also includes a line lock feature that allows you to heat up the rear tires in a burnout by only applying the front brakes.

You can easily configure the 12-inch digital gauge cluster to show your preferred displays, including a track-oriented tachometer that prioritizes the area near redline. An available head-up display even flashes shift lights. All CT4s come with an 8-inch center display and wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone compatibility. You can control the infotainment screen by touch or through a rotary controller, giving options to occupants with different preferences.

How economical is the CT4-V?

The CT4-V Blackwing gets an EPA-estimated 18 mpg combined when equipped with the manual transmission and 19 mpg with the automatic. The lower result matches the estimate for the manual-equipped M3, but overall these ratings trail those of other automatic-equipped high-performance luxury sedans.

Is the CT4-V Blackwing a good value?

With a starting price of $59,990 (destination included), the CT4-V Blackwing undercuts the M3 and C 63 by approximately $10,000. Like the M3, the Blackwing comes standard with a six-speed manual transmission. A 10-speed automatic is available for $3,175, as it includes adaptive safety features that aren't available with the manual.

Unlike the BMW and Mercedes, the Blackwing comes standard with nearly all performance-enhancing features, including an advanced multi-mode stability control system. The exceptions are two optional carbon-fiber packages that add different levels of downforce. Also, Cadillac doesn't offer a higher-performance and more powerful variant like the M3 Competition or AMG C 63 S. So if you need to brag about having more than 500 horsepower under the hood, look elsewhere or go with the CT4-V Blackwing's big brother, the 668-hp CT5-V Blackwing.

What are the CT4-V Blackwing's trim levels?

There's only one trim level but it's well stocked with features. Highlights include:

  • LED headlights
  • 18-inch wheels with summer tires
  • Brembo brakes
  • Adaptive suspension dampers
  • Electronically controlled limited-slip rear differential
  • Adjustable drive modes
  • Power-adjustable front sport seats with heating

The CT4-V Blackwing also comes with:

  • 8-inch central touchscreen
  • Integrated navigation system
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration (with wireless connectivity)
  • 15-speaker premium sound system
  • Forward collision mitigation (warns you of an impending collision and applies the brakes in certain scenarios)
  • Lane keeping assist (steers the Blackwing back into its lane if it begins to drift over the lane marker)
  • Blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert (warns you if a vehicle is in your blind spot during a lane change or while in reverse)

Notable options include:

  • Technology package
    • Air ionizer
    • Head-up display
  • Driver Assist package (requires automatic transmission)
    • Enhanced forward collision mitigation system
    • Adaptive cruise control (maintains a driver-set distance between the Blackwing and the car in front)
    • Rear automatic braking (brakes if sensors detect an imminent collision with an object behind the vehicle)
  • Climate package
    • Ventilated front seats
    • Heated steering wheel
  • Aerodynamic carbon-fiber trim pieces

Edmunds says

The 2022 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing is a hugely confidence-inspiring car to drive fast on a racetrack. While the V6 may not sound as thrilling as the engines in rival sedans, the tech features and resulting driving experience should make the Blackwing a front-runner among high-performance small luxury sedans.