2022 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing Packs 472 HP and a Stick Shift

·3 min read
Photo credit: Michael Simari
Photo credit: Michael Simari

From Road & Track

The letter "V" has always meant big power in the language of Cadillac. So when the automaker rolled out the new CT4 (basically a refreshed, renamed ATS), we were mildly perplexed to find that the CT4-V packed nothing more than a 32o-hp four-cylinder under the hood. Finally, a true successor to the brilliant ATS-V is here. Meet the 2022 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing, complete with a twin-turbo V-6, an available six-speed manual transmission, and a very tempting base price.

In Cadillac's new naming system, "Blackwing" represents the most high-performance variant in a model range. Here, that means a revised version of the twin-turbo 3.6-liter LF4 V-6 familiar from the old ATS-V, with a new intake and exhaust system, new oil squirters, and in manual-transmission cars, titanium connecting rods. Power has increased, from 464 hp in the ATS to 472 hp in the CT4-V; torque remains unchanged at 445 lb-ft. The Tremec TR6060 six-speed manual is unchanged too, and like the ATS-V, the CT4-V Blackwing offers no-lift upshifts and automatic rev-matching on downshifts (which you can switch off if you like). Prefer not to shift yourself? A 10-speed automatic is optional, a 25 percent increase in gears over the past 8-speed.

Photo credit: Michael Simari
Photo credit: Michael Simari

An electronic limited-slip differential is standard, and as with all serious GM performance cars, it works in tandem with Performance Traction Management. PTM offers a number of traction control settings for various street and track scenarios, switchable on the fly via a steering wheel button. Cadillac says the automatic-transmission CT4-V Blackwing will hit 60 mph in 3.8 seconds, and regardles of transmission, top speed is 189 mph.

Also standard is the latest version of GM's excellent MagneRide adaptive damping system. Bucking current sport-sedan trends, the CT4-V Blackwing rides on reasonably-sized 18-inch wheels, wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires (with a Cadillac-specific tread compound) measuring 255/35 up front and 275/35 out back. Lightweight magnesium wheels will arrive as an option later. Braking is accomplished by six-piston front and four-piston rear Brembo calipers. And like the lesser CT4-V, the Blackwing is brake-by-wire, allowing drivers to adjust pedal firmness to their liking.

Visually, the CT4-V Blackwing is distinguished from the regular CT4-V by its big fender flares; an optional Carbon Fiber Track Package includes a splitter, spoiler, and diffuser to reduce high-speed lift. Inside, the CT4 is greatly improved over the previous ATS, and the Blackwing expounds on that with a new all-digital gauge cluster. The steering wheel also has a "V-Mode" button that calls up your custom-selected drive mode instantly.

The old ATS-V was pitched as a competitor to the BMW M3 and Mercedes-AMG C63. Now that those cars have grown in size and price, Cadillac says the CT4-V Blackwing is more aimed at the Audi RS3 and Mercedes-AMG CLA 45. Nevertheless, the Blackwing's performance figures should give the new M3 a headache.

The 2022 CT4-V Blackwing starts at $59,990, around $5000 more than the RS3 and CLA 45—but nearly $10,000 cheaper than an M3. That's mighty tempting, especially if the Blackwing is, as promised, an improvement over the already excellent ATS-V. We can't wait to find out.

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