The Cadillac ATS-V is back! Well, spiritually at least—the all-new 2022 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing picks up right where Caddy’s hi-po compact sports sedan and coupe models left off in 2019 with the same BMW M3/M4-baiting performance and capability. An identical powertrain package, standard manual transmission, and a suite of upgraded go-fast hardware means that if you liked the ATS-V, the CT4-V Blackwing is sure to hit the same spot just as sweetly.
Like the preceding ATS-V, the CT4-V Blackwing represents the zenith of its lineup—in this case, the CT4 family, rather than the old ATS family. The Blackwing also smokes the rears and squishes straights with an upgraded version of the ATS-V’s twin-turbo 3.6-liter LF4 V-6, now rated to 472 hp and 445 lb-ft. This is only a slight upgrade over the ATS-V’s 464 hp, but a significant leap over the regular, non-Blackwing CT4-V’s 325 hp and 380 lb-ft. Caddy coaxed out this extra gumption through improved airflow, upgraded turbochargers, and revised cooling over the ATS-V’s version of the LF4. A six-speed manual transmission is standard, with GM’s 10-speed automatic transmission optional; equipped with the latter, the new compact-ish hotshot scoots from 0-60 mph in 3.8 seconds, and both transmissions allow for a mighty 189-mph top speed.
Stick with, er, the stick, and you’ll find the CT4-V Blackwing comes bundled with all the modern hot-hatch manual transmission accoutrements that automakers can’t resist peppering onto three-pedal variants, including standard active rev-matching and no-lift shifting. Regardless of transmission, each CT4-V Blackwing slithers around with an electronic limited-slip rear diff.
You’re going to do a lot of this aforementioned slithering, as the hottest version of the CT4 rides on a significantly battened-down chassis, dripping with goodies like the fourth-generation of GM’s vaunted Magnetic Ride Control and a five-link rear suspension; springs and bushings are stiffer, stabilizer bars are now hollow, and GM’s Alpha 2 platform is upgraded for improved rigidity across the board. To burn off all the speed generated by that twin-turbo V-6, six-piston front and four-piston rear Brembo brakes are standard, though it doesn’t look like the CT4 will offer the optional carbon-ceramic brake kit as the larger CT5-V Blackwing.
Visually, the CT4-V Blackwing adds the requisite level of aggressive angularity and punched-out portions of the exterior to match the new top-dog status and to differentiate itself from the lower CT4-V. Compared to the non-Blackwing car, there are updated front and rear fasciae with larger secondary grilles, a more effective lower front splitter, a rear spoiler, and more muscular rocker extensions that generally beef-up the CT4’s profile. Not enough testosterone? Both Blackwings are available with a functional carbon fiber aero kit that on the CT4-V Blackwing provides a 214-percent reduction in overall lift.
The CT4-V Blackwing’s cockpit wears the requisite spruced-up trim, but the most impressive upgrades are digital. Both Blackwings carry a standard and very handsome 12.0-inch digital gauge cluster that changes appearance as the driver swaps between Tour, Sport, and Track driving modes. When in Track configuration, the display bristles with all the performance-oriented gizmos and widgets expected of a premium sports sedan; there’s a shift light, g-meter, launch control menu, and access to GM’s popular Performance Data Recorder (PDR).
While you’re fiddling with the new digital toys, you might lose sight of the CT4-V Blackwing’s performance-oriented sport seats, trimmed in either leather or microsuede and feature helmet-friendly headrest ergonomics. What you won’t miss is the optional aggressive 14.5-inch steering wheel lifted from the CT5-V Blackwing, decked-out with carbon fiber trim and a quick-access V-Mode button and traction control switch.
If this sounds like the perfect alternative to the BMW M3 or an upgrade over your older ATS-V, set aside at least $60,985 for the privilege. Get in touch with your Caddy dealer soon, as deliveries begin later this summer.
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