2022 Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing: Quick review

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At times you have to wonder whether a good thing can ever be enough?


Cadillac's V-Series cars have always been a good choice if you want a luxury sedan that will drive you to the track and humiliate some proper sports cars in every hot lap. There is a strong DNA behind that line, drawing expertise from GM's Corvette and Camaro product lines.


Today, with sedans a dying breed and engines that power them under threat, Cadillac is turning up the V-Series to 11 for one final push with the all-new Blackwing models. The CT4-V Blackwing is the smaller of the two, a 472-horsepower beast that recently blew me away. A miracle of power and performance. It also has a big sibling.


The 2022 CT5-V Blackwing is based on the same platform and looks similar to the CT4-V, but with enough power and performance to make its predecessor seem quaint. This model is powered by GM's iconic LT4 engine, a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 with 668 horsepower and 649 lb-ft of torque. With nearly 200 more horsepower than the CT4-V Blackwing, the 0-to-60 mph time drops to 3.4 seconds. It will take this thing's 19-inch wheels 11.3 seconds to go the quarter-mile at 129 mph.


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CT5-V Blackwing is a monster, to put it mildly. It's smart enough and has enough features to be manageable - even calm and composed. The Blackwing's most advanced magnetorheological suspension makes it as poised over Virginia International Raceway's numerous bumps and curbs as it is when cruising over more casual streets, while its 10-speed automatic transmission offers not only quick but smooth and calm gearshifts.


The six-speed manual transmission in this car is also quite impressive, with short throws and tight feel. In truth, the automatic is so good that it's hard to imagine wanting the manual, but, if this is to be a beautiful farewell to the performance sedan, let's do it right.


Cadillac's CT5-V Blackwing comes with a whopping 15.7-inch front iron brake, the largest ever offered by the automaker. Alternatively, for another $9,800 you can upgrade to carbon-ceramic stoppers, which are even bigger at 15.8 inches.


All of this comes in a package 5.7 inches longer than the CT4-V Blackwing, wearing a slightly more subtle exterior than its smaller sibling. The LT4 lacks a hood vent this time, but it does have plenty of vents on the front fenders, hinting at how much heat LT4 can expend. Despite its modest size, the rear wing provides enough downforce to counter the car's lift at speed.


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What is the speed? Cadillac claims its CT5-V Blackwing is capable of breaking through the 200-mph barrier. My best speed at Virginia International Raceway was over 100 mph numerous times per lap, although I wasn't able to test that. The front straight of VIR has a generous kink, making it a test of courage to aim at the wall while keeping your foot flat. Despite the speedometer needle swinging towards 150 mph with all 668 hp pushing me along, the Blackwing was stable and calm right up until I stepped on the brake pedal.


It was impressive to see the Blackwing handle the S-curves and technical turns that can be encountered at VIR just as well. With fast turns and big penalties if you make a mistake, it's a classic bumpy circuit. A CT5-V Blackwing made everything feel right.


That's not to say there were not a few. The fact that this much power is exclusively delivered to the rear wheels makes it easy to get into trouble, regardless of the active rear differential and all sorts of advanced traction and stability control. A car that is pointed straight and has settled suspension is best suited for full throttle, and holy cow, does it go.


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The steering is light, but precise, pulling 1.01 Gs in the corners, enough to make the comfortable sport seats feel less than sporty. However, there aren't that many cars that can move this well on the track while also providing a back massage.


It was unfortunate that I wasn't able to test the CT5-V Blackwing on public roads, but on my cool-down laps, I dialed the car back to its more comfortable modes and drove over as many bumps as possible. It should be at least as good on the road as the CT4-V Blackwing, which is to say very good.


On the other hand, you will have to pay more to get one on the road. It starts at $84,990, plus $995 for destination, when ordering the Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing 2022. Among the Blackwing's active safety features is automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, but you'll need to shell out an additional $900 if you want adaptive cruise control and emergency braking in reverse. If you check all the boxes, you'll be looking at $125,980.


In other words, you are spending a minimum of $25,000 more than the CT4-V Blackwing, which is itself a superb performer. Is it worth it? I can't imagine anyone needing more than what the Blackwing has to offer. Then again, cars in the six-figure range are rarely about meeting needs. To me, another few laps would be great.


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