Behind The Wheel Of The Most Powerful Cadillac Ever–The CT5-V Blackwing
With a 668-horsepower supercharged V8, this bruiser of a Caddy has more power than a Lamborghini Huracan.
Despite its European-inspired opulence, the Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing definitely appeals to thoroughly American sensibilities. The 6.2-liter big block, supercharged V8 almost patriotically rumbles and roars, sending 668 horsepower through the crankshaft and six-speed manual gearbox to the rear wheels.
Even with manual shifting, the CT5-V Blackwing needs just 3.5 seconds to reach 60 mph. That’s mainly because by the time you push the 6,500-rpm redline in first gear, the car is already doing 50 mph. The no-lift shift feature zips to second gear in the blink of an eye then swooshes past the 60-mph mark. Work your way through to the sixth gear and find the CT5-V flat out at an impressive 200 mph.
With main competitors of the CT5-V Blackwing—the BMW M5 (617 hp, Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S (639 hp) and Audi RS 6 Avant (621 hp)—pushing significantly less power, it’s clear that Blackwing’s V8 has the upper hand. It is only surpassed by Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid (690 hp), which costs almost twice as much as the Cadillac.
For even more perspective, even the Lamborghini Huracan STO (630 hp) and Ford GT (660 hp) don’t even match this Caddy V8’s output. And while all the aforementioned names make use of automatic transmissions and all-wheel drive systems, engineering warlocks of GM found a way to make the power usable via good-old RWD and classic stick shifting.
So much power is delivered to the rear wheels that burnouts are sinfully easy. Yet, this may be troublesome when you actually want to put the power down and tackle the road. Thankfully, GM engineers have also thought this aspect through. The Performance Traction Management (PTM) system does an amazing job balancing the car’s electronic stability system and powertrain management systems.
In previous generations of the V models, the PTM system toggle was hidden deep in the drive mode selector. It felt like GM wanted the driver to discover it. Thankfully, the 2022 CT5-V puts the controls right on the steering wheel, via a small toggle switch. Clicking the toggle scrolls through Wet, Dry, Sport, Race 1 and Race 2 driving modes . If you’re really picky about how your car behaves, there are two fully customizable modes named My Mode and V-Mode.
The Wet, Dry and Sport modes are self-explanatory, but Race modes are where the magic happens. Toggle the PTM switch all the way to Race 2 and the car will turn into a long-range missile. Computers keep the wheels biting the asphalt as the tachometer climbs.
While you’re letting the engine cool down—and regaining composure—have a peek at the interior of the 2022 Cadillac CT5-V. Cadillac marketed the CT5-V Blackwing as a competitor for the BMW M3 and Mercedes-Benz-C63 rather than the superior M5 and E63, but the combination of spaciousness, luxurious features and premium materials doesn’t fit that narrative.
The CT5-V can easily host four tall adults, with plenty of headroom and legroom both in the front rear. The performance-oriented seats appear aggressive but are surprisingly comfortable on long drives. The carbon fiber seat frames come packed with heating and ventilation, keeping you warm and cool throughout the seasons.
The infotainment system doesn’t win any prizes for aesthetics but on the bright side, it doesn’t lack practicality. The two physical knobs controlling volume and menu selections alongside actual, tangible, physical buttons for climate control are definitely desirable, especially given that the previous CTS had annoying touch-sensitive plastic strips that were hard to use.
The combo of a big-block supercharged V8, a manual transmission, blistering performance and a premium interior make the CT5-V Blackwing a standout in its category. It may be a gas-guzzler and very likely the last of its kind, as Cadillac is one of many automakers aiming to go all electric in the near future. This valiant effort won’t be forgotten. From $92,390