Cadillac has unveiled the CT5-V Blackwing and CT4-V Blackwing, and if you look past the confusing naming strategy, they’re the saviour of the old-school super saloon.
We’ll concentrate on the CT5-V primarily, because V8. It pairs performance to match – and beat – the BMW M5 CS, with a price closer to that of a standard M3. That’s not even the big news with this 6.2-litre 668PS (498kW) supercharged V8 monster, though. The big news, as with the CT4-V Blackwing too, is that a six-speed manual transmission is standard. Yes, the ability to row your own returns in this iteration, after Cadillac nixed the option in favour of auto-only on the last CTS-V.
The engine is carryover with some small modifications allowing a modest bump in power but really, that manual is what’s got everyone’s attention. Yes, if you must, a quick-shifting ten-speed automatic is optional. There’s good reason beyond its mere existence to get the manual too. In addition to a short-throw shift action, it features no-lift shifting meaning you can slam home those changes without so much as a twitch off the throttle pedal. We like.
Okay, the actual numbers. The auto gets from 0-62mph in under four seconds on the way to a top speed of over 200mph. Acceleration figures aren’t given for the manual and that doesn’t matter. The full power figures for the revised LT4 supercharged V8 are 668PS (498kW) and 659lb ft (893Nm). The extra 28PS over the CTS-V come courtesy of a new 1.7-litre supercharger, generally improved airflow in the induction system and a new exhaust. The CT4-V Blackwing features a 3.6-litre twin-turbo V6 with 472PS (351kW) and 445lb ft (603Nm). It’ll get to 62mph in under four seconds, on the way to a 189mph top speed.
Both Blackwings come with GM’s fourth-generation magnetic ride dampers and an electronic limited-slip differential, while only the CT5 offers carbon-ceramic brakes as an option. Optional exterior accoutrement improves aerodynamics, including a 214 percent reduction in lift on the CT4-V Blackwing.
On the inside wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto come as standard on both, as does wireless phone charging. Only the CT5-V Blackwing gets a head-up display and Surround Vision with recording as standard. Both also get a configurable 12-inch instrument cluster with a special ‘track screen’ mode for lap and quarter mile timing as well.
Can you have one? Well, American buyers can reserve the CT4-V and CT5-V Blackwing models for $59,990 or $84,990 starting. UK buyers will be looking at a hefty increase when the costs of importing and registering are accounted for. Even throwing in an extra cost of £20,000 for getting a CT5-V Blackwing from America to the UK, on the road duty- and VAT-paid, it’ll set you back comfortably under £90,000. That’ll be around £10,000 under the £98,000 price of admission for an M5 Competition and an entire Alpine A110 less than the £140,000 M5 CS. A CT4-V Blackwing landed and licenced should be well under £65,000, or £10,000 less than an entry-priced M3. America, delivering bang for your buck as ever.