General Motors pretty much gave it all it had in the warmup to Monday night’s unveiling of the 2022 Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing and CT4-V Blackwing.
It kicked things off last week with an online media reveal of the four-door cars that was conducted by members of the engineering and design staffs. During the discussion, several mentions were made of Cadillac’s dominance in recent years of the Rolex 24 at Daytona, the first of sports car racing’s three big events, the 12 Hours of Sebring and the 24 Hours of Le Mans being the others.
It was obvious that Cadillac anticipated big things from its teams at Daytona last weekend and even emailed reporters a link to a commercial teasing the cars that was shown during the NBC telecast.
Everything was going to plan – except that Cadillac didn’t win the race. It came close. The Chip Ganassi Racing entry being driven by Renger van der Zande was second late in the running but a flat tire ended the team’s hopes with only minutes remaining.
That didn’t spoil the party, though. Cadillac officially unveiled the cars Monday night and you’d have to be a slug if you said you weren’t impressed. We’re talking about two ultra-high performance sedans that, the company says, “combine on-track excitement with luxury and comfort.”
Sounds good. Let’s take a closer look, starting with the power.
The CT5-V Blackwing uses an upgraded 6.2-litre supercharged V8 that, because of a higher flow air-intake and revised exhaust system, is rated at 668 horsepower and 659 lb-ft of torque. The company says that this makes the CT5 the most powerful production Cadillac ever built.
Now, get this: each CT5 V8 is hand-assembled at GM’s plant in Bowling Green, Ohio. Each engine is numbered and its plate is signed by the builder. Now, that’s luxury, in my books.
The CT4-V Blackwing is an evolution of the Cadillac 3.6L Twin-Turbo V6 and features an improved air intake system coupled with revised control system software to create 472 horsepower and 445 lb-ft torque.
Both cars come with Brembo brake calipers (they come in grey, blue, bronze and my favourite, red) for controlled braking on the track and, if necessary, sudden stops on the street.
We know that both cars have plenty of power (GM-estimated top track speed: more than 300 kilometres an hour; GM-estimated 0-100 kph: 3.7 seconds) but because of its racing heritage, speed plants like the ones at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park are the best places to stretch the legs of these two beauties.
There are other elements that go into making these cars fly like eagles – electronic limited slip rear differential, advanced suspension refinements, magnetic ride control, improved steering response and handling on the track – but that’s enough about speed and smoothness.
Because just as it’s highly unlikely that people who purchase luxury automobiles that double as off-road vehicles actually drive them onto the tundra, the same goes with people who will purchase these two dillacs. The cars might be track worthy but chances are they will probably never see one.
For those folks, here’s what interesting about the insides of the cars.
There are three levels of premium interiors (Base, Mid-level and Up-level) boasting unique trim and technologies including standard wireless Apple CarPlay, Android Auto capability and wireless phone charging.
The high-performance front seats can be adjusted 18 ways and include lumbar massage. The carbon-fibre seats in the CT5-V Blackwing cost extra but will likely be worth it.
As is the case with most manufacturers, Cadillac has been working on seat design that will improve comfort. The seats in these cars are designed to improve lateral support during track-day driving and adjustability to make people of all shapes and sizes feel comfy in other environments.
The seats have heat and driver’s memory settings plus those previously mentioned 18 adjustments.
The high-performance steering wheel comes with magnesium shift paddles and traction control. The steering wheel on the CT5-V is standard and an option on the CT4, which has one that’s less fancy. Meantime, the manual transmission centre console has a gearshift featuring a 3D-printed medallion cap.
A 12-inch-diagonal HD display includes unique V-Series Blackwing graphics and Track screen performance settings with timers for 0-100 kph and quarter-mile acceleration. A Performance Data Recorder will provide new levels of driving analysis. There are three display personas: Tour, Sport and Track.
The audio system has 14 speakers in the CT4-V Blackwing and 15 speakers in the CT5-V.
Reservations for both vehicles are now open with deliveries expected this summer. Pricing begins at $67,198 for the CT4-V Blackwing and $89,898 for the CT5-V.
Norris McDonald / Special to Wheels.ca