2022 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing first drive review

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This is Cadillac's most powerful and track-capable four-door model and among the best cars in its segment.


It is possible to get virtually any luxury sedan on the market today with some sort of enthusiast-oriented package, if you possess the necessary budget and desire for speed. If they're wearing an M badge or AMG badges, manufacturers are usually happy to trade a little more performance for a pretty hefty premium.


In reality, if you were to put these hypercars with larger wheels and flared fenders on a race circuit, you would find that they lack the poise to match their pomp. The CT4-V Blackwing, Cadillac's latest vehicle in the V-Series, is unaffected by that rule. It is powered by 472-horsepower. 


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One of the most track-capable luxury sedans on the planet has been created yet again by this bizarre brand. It's not about being the fastest or the quickest; it's about taking a car to the track, running all day long, and still getting home with brakes and tires intact.


The Blackwing series, which includes the highest-spec versions of the CT4-V and CT5-V, is the culmination of that formula. It's the one with the lower number that's probably best-suited for regular tracks use -- although I recognize that very few if any owners are willing to test that theory.


The Virginia International Raceway (also known as VIR) is one of the most challenging and demanding circuits in the United States. The whole facility was rented by Cadillac, so I was able to run the 3.3-mile full course configuration as much as I wanted.

It has a twin-turbocharged 3.6-liter V6 engine with 445 pound-feet of torque, allowing it to accelerate to 60 mph in 3.9 seconds. The sedan will reach 189 mph with its top speed. Cadillac says its bespoke aero kit helps keep the car afloat at that speed with the most amount of downforce of any production vehicle.


Adding the optional aero package, which includes a chin spoiler and other protruding appendages, you would certainly expect this to be the case. Visually, I thought the fins and strakes were a bit overwhelming, but as I bombed down VIR's front straight at 140 mph, I could not have been happier.


If you drive at speed in VIR, you'll find punishing curbs and slick run-off areas replete with slick grass that will take you right to the nearest wall. It's a major test for the best, and the CT4-V Blackwing excelled session after session. The car's magnetorheological suspension took care of its bumps and allowed it to float over curbs despite its weight of 3,900 pounds. Still, the car settled in instantly, turning sharply into every bend and braking with perfect poise and balance.



I always wanted to get out of the Cadillac after a session to ensure that it was really a heavy and big automobile. 

In exchange for the sticky heat in Virginia, leaving the comfortable, ventilated seats would be impossible. For the most part, I sat in my car idling until someone told me I was ready to head out for another session.


I could have done without those seats that could have used a bit more bolstering given the Blackwing's lateral acceleration of 1.04 g, but given the design intentions I'm not sure I would have given up that needed ventilation for more support.


A 10-speed automatic transmission or a 6-speed manual transmission is available as an option on the Blackwing. My favorite was the latter, which had a firm shifter feel augmented by Cadillac's rev-matching and lift-free upshifting. I enjoyed my first few sessions on this unfamiliar track with this 10-speed automatic, however. The transmission shifts quickly when I want it to, smoothly when I don't, and does an excellent job selecting the appropriate gear at the right time.


Taking the meandering street drive through North Carolina in the afternoon proved to be the stress-free option for the afternoon. Although the drive did not compare to what the Blackwing has in terms of performance, it did show that you can still get a Cadillac. Even with the higher volume the CT4-V is still as comfortable as the CT4 base, and the droning sound is anything but annoying. An exhaust with a low, burbling sound is enjoyable at any speed.


The Blackwing is equipped with a full technology suite including wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, as well as comprehensive active safety features such as automatic emergency braking and pedestrian detection. As an option, adaptive cruise will cost you $900, something that wasn't available on earlier models. However, Cadillac's hallmark Super Cruise will not be available.


It was definitely easier to experiment with the various drive modes since I had 18-inch wheels and tires. A dedicated V button on the steering wheel puts the car into its sportiest modes, which is augmented by a separate traction control knob on the right, where you can adjust the amount of assistance you want, starting with a conservative rain setting and going up to Race 2. If you follow the right steps to recover, the stability control system of your car will let you get out of shape without cutting you off.

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Having spent the morning behind the wheel, I was thoroughly impressed with the CT4-V Blackwing. In the luxury sedan market, it ranks among the most track-ready models. Comparatively to the more sporty competitors, like say, a BMW M3 Competition, it's far more affordable, as well, starting at $59,990. The automatic transmission costs around $3,000 more, and the carbon fiber will run you an additional $7,000. With everything loaded, you're looking at $87,775.


Yes, that's a lot of money, but in exchange, you get some great performance. Are you interested? Hold out not too long. There aren't many sedans like this left in the world, especially ones that are magical. 


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SPECIFICATION OF Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing 

PRICES


MSRP   :      $58,995

Invoice   :     $56,045


FUEL


Fuel Type:Gasoline

MPG:18 MPG


BASICS


Engine:
Turbocharged, V6 Cylinder Engine

Drivetrain:
All Wheel Drive, Rear Wheel Drive

Transmission:
6-Speed M/T, M/T


BODY


Body style:Sedans

Seating:5

Doors:4


BRAKING & HANDLING


Brakes:4-Wheel Disc Brakes, ABS

Suspension:Active Suspension

Differential:Locking/Limited Slip Differential

Steering:Power Steering

Tires:Tire Pressure Monitor

Wheels:Aluminum Wheels


TECHNOLOGY FEATURES


Audio:Premium Sound System, AM/FM Stereo, Auxiliary Audio Input, MP3 Player, Smart Device Integration, Satellite Radio, HD Radio, WiFi Hotspot

Locks:Power Door Locks, Keyless Entry

Mirrors:Heated Mirrors, Power Mirror(s), Mirror Memory, Auto-Dimming Rearview Mirror, Driver Illuminated Vanity Mirror, Passenger Illuminated Visor Mirror, Passenger Vanity Mirror, Driver Vanity Mirror

Tech:Intermittent Wipers, Rain Sensing Wipers, Variable Speed Intermittent Wipers, Navigation System, Bluetooth Connection, Requires Subscription, Adjustable Steering Wheel, Heated Steering Wheel, Leather Steering Wheel, Steering Wheel Audio Controls, Engine Immobilizer, Keyless Start, Cruise Control, Universal Garage Door Opener, Telematics, Back-Up Camera, Rear Parking Aid


SAFETY


Safety Features:Tow Hooks, Automatic Headlights, Integrated Turn Signal Mirrors, Driver Restriction Features, Cross-Traffic Alert, Lane Departure Warning, Lane Keeping Assist, Blind Spot Monitor

Air Bags:Driver Air Bag, Passenger Air Bag Sensor, Rear Head Air Bag, Passenger Air Bag, Front Head Air Bag, Front Side Air Bag


CABIN


Air Conditioning:Climate Control, A/C, Multi-Zone A/C

Seat Trim:Premium Synthetic Seats

Windows:Power Windows

Seats:Bucket Seats, Driver Adjustable Lumbar, Passenger Adjustable Lumbar, Heated Front Seat(s), Pass-Through Rear Seat, Rear Bench Seat, Seat Memory


DIMENSIONS


Wheelbase (in):109.3 in

Length,Overall (in):187.6 in

Height,Overall (in):56 in

Base Curb Weight (lbs):3900 lbs, 3860 lbs


OTHER DETAILS


Fuel Tank Capacity, Approx (gal):17

EPA Classification:Compact Cars


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