I hate goodbyes and in the case of the 2022 Cadillac CT4 V Blackwing sedan it’s forever, and that’s very sad since it will be the last gas-powered sports sedan Cadillac will ever build since they are very busy transforming into an electric luxury brand.
The good news is Cadillac knows its buyers so the CT4 Blackwing’s standard transmission is a 6-speed manual which they expect to get about a 20% take rate for. If you opt for the ten-speed, paddle-shifted automatic the price rises to $63,165 from the base price of $58,995, which is a relative bargain considering what you get.
My loaded tester had a few options including Natural Tan with Jet Black accents, a high-performance steering wheel, and a Microfiber trim package ($4,900), a Performance data recorder ($1,600), and Infrared paint ($1,225).
Other options checked included the Tech Package with Air Ionizer, Head-up display ($725), 18-inch graphite wheels, climate package with massage seats ($600), and Red brake calipers ($595). This took the total cost to $70,235 including destination.
Gone is the ATS-V’s smooth and angular look replaced by a much more modern exterior very much influenced by Cadillac’s Escala concept. Creases form a subtle power bulge in the hood and there are no Blackwing badges to differentiate this car from the CT4 V.
My tester wasn’t fitted with the optional Carbon Fiber 1 package ($4,350), and I was glad because the last Cadillac ATS V I tested I managed to crack the front carbon-fiber splitter, which at the time were $1,500. I also think it takes away from the overall sleeper feel of the car. If you do choose the package, the CT4-V Blackwing makes 169 pounds of downforce at 180 mph, the most of any V-Series car.
Just add power
Running on the already excellent Alpha platform Cadillac upped the ante with the CT4 Blackwing by making modifications to the magnetic ride control technology which now makes changes faster thanks to a suite of new sensors.
Putting that power down is a very tasty set of 18-inch graphite alloy wheels shod with bespoke-compound Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires (HINT: there’s some Cup 2 DNA thrown in). Power has been increased by eight horsepower thanks to a tune and revisions to the intake and the twin-turbo six now makes 472 HP.
Torque remains the same at 445 lb-ft. Cadillac claims its 2022 CT4-V Blackwing can get from 60 mph in 3.9 seconds with the optional 10-speed automatic or 4.1 seconds with the manual.
One thing that was disappointing about the ATS V was its lack of sound, more specifically exhaust sound. This has been rectified in the CT4 Blackwing, by reworking the exhaust to hit maximum allowable decibel levels, and for the most part, it works, the exhaust crackles on the overrun and snarls at full chat.
Settle down into the very comfortable multi-adjustable driver’s seat place your left foot on the clutch and right foot on the brake and push the start button. The engine is quite subdued on startup since the default mode is Tour, the most relaxed of them all. The suspension soaks up road undulations and the steering is light and precise. Exercise your right arm with some downshifts and the power from the twin-turbo 6 is easily accessible.
Tour mode doesn’t exactly set your hair on fire though, for that you need to press the V button located on the left side of the steering wheel. This dials everything up to TEN except the PTM (Performance Traction Management) which is best left alone unless you are on a track. V mode ups the Steering Brakes, Exhaust, etc. to the max level, and this is where the fun begins.
The Blackwing is insanely good on twisty back roads, the car simply goes, the 6-speed is one of the best I’ve used and the traction from the Michelins is immense. The engine has a ton of torque, but it also loves to rev, and the exhaust lets out a crack as you hit the red line and grab the next gear. No lift shifts help you maximize acceleration and rev-match prevents any jerky heeling and toeing. It’s all absolutely grin-inducing.
The Blackwing has an old-school feel to it, it oozes soul, you feel part of the car, not separated and distanced behind electronics. Everything about the car communicates to you especially the very precise steering although I dialed it back to Sport when in V mode since it felt a tad artificial at level ten.
Having exceptional tires and great suspension tuning means this Cadillac can generate 1.04 g’s of lateral acceleration in curves. Brakes are by Brembo brakes, and are superb, stopping the car from silly speeds without fuss. At the front, the Brembo’s have six-piston calipers and enhanced cooling to increase fade resistance.
The new interior is a huge improvement over the ATS’s cabin, and even though it’s not quite up to German standards I don’t really care because the cabin is still a very nice place to be.
The new interior offers physical buttons to compliment the 8-inch touch screen, which e like knobs, knobs are good. All CT4s have an 8.0-inch infotainment touchscreen, it’s easy to use, intuitive, and incredibly responsive. All other controls fall easily to hand, the HVAC is below the vents that sit below the infotainment screen, and heated and cooled seat buttons sit below them, it’s very well laid out.
Space is decent in the front although, rear-seat space is average for this class, and the trunk has 10.7 cubic feet of space, plenty for a set of golf clubs but why waste your time with that when you can simply drive.
Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and an onboard Wi-Fi hotspot are standard, and the CT4 Blackwing is fitted with GM’s new digital vehicle platform architecture, which is faster and accepts over-the-air updates. It also has a very good AKG sound system if you ever get bored listening to the engine.
Safety features include Automatic Emergency Braking, Forward Collision Alert, Front Pedestrian Braking, Distance Indicator, Intellibeam Headlamps, Lane Change Alert, Side Blind Zone Alert, Lane Keep Assist w/ Departure Warning, and Rear Cross-Traffic Alert.
What Cadillac has created here is a perfect epilogue, a love letter to the performance sedan that we’ll probably never see or drive again. They could have stopped at the CT4 V and said ok we’re done but they didn’t and I’m glad because this is simply the best sport sedan period, sorry BMW M3, you lose.
2022 Cadillac CT4 V Blackwing Numbers
BASE PRICE: – $58,995
PRICE AS TESTED: – $70,235
VEHICLE TYPE: – Front-engine, rear-wheel-drive, 4-passenger, 2-door coupe
ENGINE TYPE: – 3.6-liter twin-turbocharged DOHC 24-valve V-6
POWER: – 472 hp @ 5,850 rpm
TORQUE: – 445 lb-ft @ 3,500 rpm
TRANSMISSION: – 6-speed manual
CURB WEIGHT: – 3,851 lb
Zero to 60 mph: – 4.1 sec (3.9 sec automatic)
EPA city/highway/combined: – 15/23/18 mpg
OUR OBSERVED: – 15.9 mpg
PROS: – Incredible performance, 6-speed is a gem, the greatest sedan
CONS: – The end of an era