END OF AN ERA: 2022 CADILLAC CT4-V BLACKWING
Let’s be frank, the drive towards electric cars is here to stay whether we like it or not. And as hard as it may be to admit, performance driven gas cars, like the V-Series from Cadillac is coming to a near end as we know it. Electric cars have their own perks of performance and fun-to-be-had, but there is nothing quite like the feeling of your left foot on the clutch and your hand around the gear shift. Seeing Cadillac continue the V-Series performance hoodlumism into this latest generation goes to show that the Executives at General Motors still like to have a little bit of naughty entertainment… that their spouses can approve of.
Essentially being a heavy refresh, the CT4 rebadged from the ATS is just what the doctor ordered when Cadillac needed to spruce up their entry marked premium compact sedan. Starting out in life as a $34,840 family driven premium sedan, the CT4 has all the right attributes of a solid luxury car – rear wheel drive at the back, a solid chassis in the middle and a hardy turbocharged four-cylinder engine at the front. Add that with its brawny noble expressions and timeless, simplistic design, the CT4 appears as if it will carry itself well as the years march forward.
To add confusion to all the name changes, should one explore online through the Cadillac’s website, clicking on the CT4-V, one does not get the high performance variant of the V-Series. Despite the 325-horsepower, 2.7-liter Dual-Volute Turbocharged four-cylinder engine being a mighty source of its merit, the CT4-V Blackwing is the top-teir V-Series receiving the returning 3.6-liter, 472-horsepower, twin-turbocharged V-6 engine. That’s the one you’ll want. Keeping true to a sports sedan nature, the CT4-V Blackwing is one of the last few performance cars that can come available with a six-speed manual transmission… but if you prefer your shift points to be on par of a BMW M3 or Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG, perhaps the all-new 10-speed automatic may be more up your alley, it is after all only a $3000 upgrade.
Quicker off the line than the previous ATS –V, the CT4-V Blackwing pulls a gosh-darn near close to 4-seconds to 60-mph – pending your shifting skills. Our shifting skills are not of a determined race car wannabe, so we managed to keep the shift points below the redline the smell of a burning clutch out everyone’s noses. Being on the performance side however, the clutch is not as forgiving for, say, a newbie learning to drive a manual. However, with the entry point being close to the tip of the clutch petal and having short throws between gears, it doesn’t require a racing license to heel-to-toe and nail the shift points.
Unlike some its rival gangsters, Cadillac forego all-wheel drive and left the CT4-V Blackwing in a rear-wheel drive setup only. Adopting the latest generation of suspension, the MagneRide control system keeps the rough stuff out and the solid peace of mind held well into the cabin space. On the road, things feel well connected and clean to the driver. Every motion of the steering wheel and input of the pedals, we feel at one with car.
From behind the wheel, things are noticeably more upscale from the previous ATS. The CT4 feels more premium with better quality materials throughout. The leather wrapped seats were might comfortable with thick bolstering and supportive for larger sized adults. Just don’t look at the back seat, or offer anybody a ride – consider that back seat to be a single star Uber rating. Using the latest tech from Cadillac’s CUE system, its nice to see that Cadillac hasn’t maximized the interior real-estate with screens, though while on the smaller scale, the infotainment system is on par to the cabin size and manages to be sufficient for the standard consumer’s needs.
Although this may be an end of a era for the V-Series and their gasoline powered ways – the CT4-V Blackwing goes out with a hardy bang being an enjoyable, luxury performance sedan that still offers a manual transmission for under $70,000.
Vehicle: 2022 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing
Base Price: $59,990
As-Tested Price: $69,050
Engine: 3.6-liter Twin-Turbocharged V-6
Horsepower | Torque: 475-Horsepower | 445 lb-ft of Torque
Transmission: 6-Speed Manual
Drivetrain: Rear-Wheel Drive
MPG: 15 | 23 | 18 (City | Highway | Combined)
As-Tested MPG: 19.5-MPG Combined | 23.5-MPG Highway
Fuel Range: 300 miles
0-60 MPH: ±4.0-seconds