General Motors’ car, SUV and light-duty truck range might be going all-electric by 2035, but that doesn’t mean the company won’t have some fun with internal combustion engines before then.
Its luxury brand, Cadillac, has debuted its new line of high-performance sedans: the CT4-V Blackwing and CT5-V Blackwing.
GM Specialty Vehicles remains tight-lipped on future product and hasn’t commented on whether the hi-po sedans could come Down Under.
The two sedans indirectly replace the ATS-V and CTS-V and, though their powertrains look familiar, they’ve been fettled for extra performance.
The CT5-V Blackwing is the most powerful production Cadillac ever, with its supercharged 6.2-litre V8 engine producing 498kW of power and 893Nm of torque.
Hand-built at the same Bowling Green, Kentucky plant that produces the Chevrolet Corvette, the blown V8 is mated to a six-speed manual transmission and rear-wheel drive.
A 10-speed automatic transmission is optional but there’s no all-wheel drive on offer.
Thanks to a revised exhaust and a higher flow air intake, it puts out 21kW and 39Nm more than the supercharged 6.2-litre in the defunct CTS-V.
GM estimates a 0-60mph (0-96km/h) time of 3.7 seconds with the automatic transmission and a top speed of over 200mph (321km/h).
Stopping duties fall on 398x36mm front rotors and 373.5x28mm rear rotors, the largest brakes ever in a production Cadillac, with staggered Brembo six-piston front calipers and four-piston rear calipers.
An available carbon ceramic brake package reduces unsprung weight by 24kg.
Though the two sedans use a version of the Chevrolet Camaro’s Alpha platform, the CT4-V Blackwing eschews V8 power for a twin-turbocharged 3.6-litre V6 engine.
It produces 352kW of power and 603Nm of torque and is also mated to either a six-speed manual or 10-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive.
GM claims a 0-60mph (0-96km/h) time of 3.8 seconds with the automatic, with a top speed of 189mph (304km/h).
Power is up only slightly – 6kW – from the defunct ATS-V, though Cadillac says it’s made various changes under the bonnet including retargeted piston oil squirters for improved temperature control.
Like the CT5-V Blackwing, it uses Brembo six-piston front and four-piston rear calipers. The rotors measure 380x34mm up front and 340.5x28mm at the rear.
The selectable drive modes in both cars also adjust brake pedal feel.
Both the CT4-V and CT5-V feature an electronic rear limited-slip differential and Magnetic Ride Control 4.0, the latest version of the magnetorheological damping system first introduced in 2002.
A carbon fibre aero package is available, while the Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tyres were developed exclusively for the Blackwing models and feature staggered widths.
Forged aluminium alloy wheels measure 19 inches for the CT5-V Blackwing and 18 inches for its smaller sibling.
Cadillac says the auto models underwent 24-hour continuous track testing and the manual models 12-hour testing.
Both cars’ Tremec-sourced six-speed manual has active rev matching and No-Lift Shift, allowing drivers to shift gears without releasing the accelerator.
In the CT4-V Blackwing, that allows the turbos to remain spooled.
The CT4-V Blackwing will be priced from US$59,990 (A$78,442), while the CT5-V Blackwing rings in at US$84,990 (A$111,132). US deliveries begin in the northern summer.
Cadillac used to reserve the V-Series name for its most powerful models but now the Blackwing models represent the height of performance for the brand and the V-Series is a tier below – think BMW M3 vs. M340i.
To that end, the CT4-V uses a 242kW/515Nm turbocharged 2.7-litre four-cylinder engine while the CT5-V has a 268kW/549Nm twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre V6.
Unlike past V-Series models, these engines are also available in lesser CT4 and CT5 models, though all-wheel drive is available for the first time.
With its most recent generation of sedans, Cadillac has done some repositioning.
In turn, the 5 Series-rivalling Cadillac CTS ended production in 2019 and the CT5 was introduced for 2020 as a rival for the 3 Series, even though it’s almost identical in size to the 5 Series.
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