If you want a luxury sedan that will take you to the race track and then humiliate some proper sports cars every hot-lap session, Cadillac’s V-Series cars have always been a good choice. The DNA of that line is strong, drawing on the experience of General Motors’ Corvette and Camaro lineage to create legitimate track day performers.
Now, with sedans a dying breed and large-displacement engines that put them at risk, Cadillac is turning its V-Series 11 for one last time with the new Blackwing model. NSThe smaller of the two is, a 472-horsepower beast that recently blew me away on the track. It is a marvel of power and performance. But then there’s his big brother.
2022 Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing dominates the road and track
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The 2022 CT5-V Blackwing is built on the same platform and visually identical to the CT4-V, but with enough power and performance to make its sibling a little quirky. Power here comes from GM’s venerable LT4 engine, a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 that churns out 668 hp and 649 pound-feet of torque. That’s about 200 more ponies than the CT4-V Blackwing, enough to drop the 0 to 60 mph time to 3.4 seconds. The quarter-mile will go from under this thing’s 19-inch wheels to 129 mph in 11.3 seconds.
The CT5-V Blackwing is, to put it mildly, a monster. But it’s one smart enough and with features to be manageable – even cool and composed. Cadillac’s most advanced magnetorheological suspension is here, working its magic to prepare the Blackwing over the many bumps and curbs of Virginia International Raceway as it cruises through more casual roads, while the 10-speed automatic transmission not only Provides brutally quick turnaround, but also smooth and quiet ones.
Perhaps more importantly, the car is available with a six-speed manual transmission, and with a nice, short throw and tight feel at that. Honestly the auto is so good that it’s hard to imagine a manual, but then if this car is a pretty swan-song for a performance sedan, you might as well give all the hits.
The CT5-V Blackwing’s iron brakes are the largest Cadillacs ever built, measuring 15.7 inches. But spend another $9,800 and you can step up to carbon-ceramic stoppers, which are even bigger at 15.8 inches.
It’s all wrapped up in a package that’s 5.7 inches taller than the CT4-V Blackwing, in a somewhat more subtle exterior than its smaller sibling. There is no hood vent this time; Air is directed down and out, through generous ports located low on the front fenders, indicating the amount of heat being released from the LT4 pump. A slight wing at the rear provides enough downforce to counter the car’s lift at speed.
how much speed Cadillac says the CT5-V Blackwing can break through the 200-mph barrier. I wasn’t able to test it, but I did well over 100 mph several times per lap at Virginia International Raceway. Aiming toward the wall and keeping your foot flat, the VIR has a generous kink in the front, which makes it a blind test of courage. With the speedometer needle swinging toward 150 mph, all 668 hp pushing me along, the Blackwing was steady and quiet no matter where I jumped on the brake pedal.
Impressively, the Blackwing was arranged through S-curves and through the most technical turns offered by the VIR. It’s a classic, bumpy circuit with sharp turns and big penalties if you get them wrong. With the CT5-V Blackwing, everything felt right.
That’s not to say it wasn’t a handful. That much power given exclusively to the rear wheels means it’s easy to get yourself into trouble, despite the active rear differential and all kinds of advance traction and stability control safety blankets. Full throttle is best deployed when the car is upright and the suspension is fixed, and hot damn.
Steering is light but precise, the car pulling 1.01 Gs in the corners, not sporty enough to make for a comfortable sport seat. But then again, there aren’t many cars that are capable of taking this well on the track while massaging the back.
Sadly, I wasn’t able to sample the CT5-V Blackwing on public roads, but I dialed the car back to its more comfortable mode on cool-down laps and aimed for as many bumps as I could find. I believe it will be at least as good on the road as the CT4-V Blackwing proved, which is really cool.
However, getting one on the road will cost you a bit more. MSRP on the 2022 Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing starts at $84,990, which includes $995 to destination. The Blackwing comes with a comprehensive active safety system, which includes automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, but you’ll need another $900 if you want adaptive cruise control and emergency braking in reverse. Tick all the boxes and you’re looking at $125,980.
That means you’re spending at least $25,000 more than the CT4-V Blackwing, which is an excellent performer in its own right. worth it? It’s hard to think of anyone needing more than the little Blackwing has to offer, but then again cars in the six-figure zone are rarely about to meet the needs. For me, I just need a few more laps.
Editor’s Note: Travel costs related to this story were covered by the manufacturer, which is common in the auto industry. The decisions and opinions of Roadshow staff are our own and we do not accept paid editorial content.