With our 668-hp, six-speed-manual sports sedan, the highs are high, and the lows are low.
It’s been unforgettable since day one: Despite our fully respecting the break-in restrictions, the CT5-V Blackwing forcefully blew off its tires in a fit of wheelspin on its first drive home in our long-term fleet. Sure, the conditions were chilly and wet, but the amount of hooliganism at the ready, even when using well shy of this car’s full 668 horsepower, can almost seem reckless. That is, if the CT5-V weren’t so communicative, predictable, and controllable, making it easy to ease past the limit without losing the handle. But we didn’t yet know the breadth of emotions that Cadillac’s V-8 sports sedan would quickly sear into our memory during this long-term test.
After the CT5-V Blackwing ran with far more expensive four-doors at our Lighting Lap track showdown, and after we named each of Cadillac’s Blackwings to our 2022 10Best list, we ordered up both for a long-term test so we could hang on to some of the best-driving sports sedans ever created for as long as possible.
When it came time to spec, we had to have a manual. The last CTS-V, the CT5-V’s predecessor, went automatic only, but Cadillac righted that wrong with the new car, and 62 percent of CT5-V Blackwing buyers have chosen the DIY gearbox. Our car is a tasteful dark blue called Wave Metallic, which we would have preferred to pair with the $1500 bronze-colored wheels rather than the bronze Brembo brake calipers it has. This car also has the $4100 Carbon Fiber 1 Package of aerodynamic add-ons, black-and-tan leather seats with carbon-fiber seatbacks ($6090), and the $1450 weight penalty that is the sunroof option. Between that sunroof and the iron rotors (versus the carbon-fiber option), this example weighs 115 pounds more than the first CT5-V Blackwing manual we tested. Not surprisingly, this one ran 0.1 second slower to 60 mph and through the quarter-mile, although 3.7 and 11.7 seconds, respectively, is bonkers for a 4200-pound sedan that can comfortably seat five. At 1.02 g’s, skidpad grip nearly matches that of the Corvette Z51, and the CT5-V’s 143-foot stopping distance from 70 mph beats every C8 Corvette we’ve tested, proof that the Blackwing-spec Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires are considerably grippier than the off-the-shelf versions.
But those numbers didn’t come easily. The supercharged small-block V-8 that powered our car for its first 1700 miles didn’t survive the initial test session. After about 15 standing-start acceleration runs, the V-8 started misfiring dramatically, and the Caddy left on a tow truck. Somehow, combustion got too lean on the even bank, which led to cylinder scoring and necessitated a heart transplant. We’ve outlined the carnage and findings from a teardown of that engine once it made its way back to GM in a separate story.
Roughly six weeks later, the CT5-V was back, and we started a 1500-mile stint of restraint to break in the new V-8—keeping engine speeds below 4000 rpm, no wide-open throttle or constant vehicle speeds. The engine swap was covered under warranty, although we got charged $50 for fuel used to test the new engine after it was installed.
Back at the track a second time, the CT5 was all bellow and zest, turning in the acceleration times mentioned above. Just when we were thinking all was right once again in CT5-V Blackwing land, a cluster of deer appeared during one of our final runs, and one ran into the CT5’s flank, primarily damaging the passenger’s-side rear door.
If you thought that was unlucky, the very next day our long-term CT4-V Blackwing went to the track, where it startled one of the birds feasting on the fresh kill. The bird then swooped straight into the A-pillar of the lesser Blackwing, which was going 100-plus mph.
What are the odds?
Months in Fleet: 5 months Current Mileage: 5937 milesAverage Fuel Economy: 15 mpgFuel Tank Size: 17.4 gal Observed Fuel Range: 260 miles
Service: $0 Normal Wear: $0 Repair: $50
2022 Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing
Vehicle Type: front-engine, rear-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door sedan
PRICEBase/As Tested: $84,990/$100,160
Options: tan and black semi-aniline leather seats with carbon-fiber seatbacks, $6090; Carbon Fiber 1 package (front splitter, front wheel-well deflectors, trunk spoiler), $4100; performance data/video recorder, $1600; sunroof, $1450; parking package (rear camera mirror, hands-free trunk release, rear pedestrian alert), $710; Wave Metallic paint, $625; bronze brake calipers, $595
ENGINEsupercharged and intercooled pushrod 16-valve V-8, aluminum block and heads, direct fuel injection
Displacement: 376 in3, 6162 cm3Power: 668 hp @ 6500 rpm
Torque: 659 lb-ft @ 3600 rpm
CHASSISSuspension, F/R: struts/multilinkBrakes, F/R: 15.7-in vented disc/14.7-in vented discTires: Michelin Pilot Sport 4SF: 275/35ZR-19 (100Y) TPC Spec 3162
R: 305/30ZR-19 (102Y) TPC Spec 3163
DIMENSIONSWheelbase: 116.0 inLength: 194.9 inWidth: 74.1 inHeight: 56.5 in
Passenger Volume: 99 ft3
Trunk Volume: 12 ft3
Curb Weight: 4207 lb
C/D TEST RESULTS: NEW60 mph: 3.7 sec100 mph: 7.9 sec1/4-Mile: 11.7 sec @ 124 mph130 mph: 12.8 sec150 mph: 18.4 secResults above omit 1-ft rollout of 0.3 sec.Rolling Start, 5–60 mph: 4.3 secTop Gear, 30–50 mph: 7.2 secTop Gear, 50–70 mph: 6.0 secTop Speed (C/D est): 205 mphBraking, 70–0 mph: 143 ftBraking, 100–0 mph: 302 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft Skidpad: 1.02 g
C/D FUEL ECONOMYObserved: 15 mpg
Unscheduled Oil Additions: 0 qt
EPA FUEL ECONOMY
Combined/City/Highway: 15/13/21 mpg
WARRANTY4 years/50,000 miles bumper to bumper6 years/70,000 miles powertrain4 years/50,000 miles corrosion protection6 years/70,000 miles roadside assistance
1 year/1 visit scheduled maintenance
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