As the automotive ICE age edges to extinction, we are left with only a few nameplates that offer the kind of performance old-school guys seek in 2021. While this is cause for much consternation, the good news is these last remaining models are the most highly evolved of their kind, benefiting from over 100 years of internal combustion progress and refinement.
The surviving go-fast machines from the Big 3 (2.5?) are the Camaro, Corvette, Mustang, Charger, Durango, Trackhawk, Challenger, and big kahuna Cadillacs. There are no gas-powered replacements in the wings for any of these vehicles as R&D development is being funneled to scalable, electric platforms. All of these muscle machines will go the way of the dodo in 5-10 years.
So while this is a bit of a bummer, there is a silver lining. The horsepower race of the last decade has brought us the best Detroit iron ever produced, and all are a fitting send-off for the internal combustion engine.
This brings us to the new Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing. This car is the culmination of decades of rear-wheel-drive performance from Cadillac that began with the first-generation CTS-V. The new model is an incredibly good piece of engineering and now sadly, a swan song for Cadillac.
Let’s start with the mighty supercharged LT engine under the hood. With a whopping 668 hp and 659 lb-ft of torque, it can be mated to either GM’s 10-speed automatic or a six-speed manual gearbox. With 28 additional horsepower and 29 additional lb-ft of torque compared to the outgoing CTS-V, the increase is attained with a beefier 1.7-liter Eaton supercharger, better breathing intake plenums, and a new free-breathing exhaust system. Cadillac claims 0-60 in 3.7 seconds and a top speed of over 200 mph.
This beastly mill sits in the latest version of GM’s excellent Alpha 2 rear-drive architecture and there will be no stinkin’ AWD version available. The new flagship will use Cadillac’s excellent Performance Traction Management (PTM) system and allows the driver to select suspension attributes with Tour, Sport, Track, and a customizable My Mode setting. The dampers are the fourth generation of GM’s MagneRide Control, otherwise known as MRC. New mechanicals allows reaction times four times faster than previous generation iterations.
The “Whoa” is supplied by Brembo and are the biggest brakes ever fitted to a Cadillac. The front rotors come in at 15.7 inches, the rear units at 14.7 inches. The pads are copper-free and don’t hurt aquatic life, so Cadillac can sell Blackwings in the Golden State.
Cosmetically, there is little to differentiate the CT5-V Blackwing from lesser siblings. The car’s wider fenders cover up larger, staggered wheels and tires: 19×10 inches up front, 19×11 inches at the rear. The mesh grille allows for better cooling and more high-speed stability. One of the highest-pressure areas on the nose feeds the brake ducts for additional cooling. Inside, the Blackwing offers unique trim, badging, and seat treatments.
If there were ever a time to buy a new-age, gas-powered Cadillac, here is your chance. The CT5-V Blackwing goes on sale late this summer with an MSRP of $84,990. This car is the very best that GM can muster and is appropriately the “King of the Hill” of sedans for the next five years or so. Revel in our time, people.
Photos – General Motors