Blackwing Swoops in: Replacing V-Series as Cadillac's Top Performance Line

Anthony Magagnoli
by Anthony Magagnoli

With the launch of the new Cadillac CT4-V and CT5-V models, enthusiast balked at the mild power outputs and engine configurations. The CT4-V provides 320 horsepower from its 2.7-liter turbocharged four-cylinder mill, while the CT5-V’s turbo V6 makes 355 hp. Both figures are significant degradations from the previous ATS-V and CTS-V models, respectively.

Fear not, dear readers. The V-Series moniker has simply moved down-market, effectively replacing the V-Sport line. But this has made room for a new top-tier performance line: Blackwing.

As reported by Muscle Cars and Trucks, the V-Series will assume the position in the Cadillac lineup that was previously occupied by the V-Sport line. The briefly-offered V-Sport models did not sell well, possibly due to a lack of recognition in what they offered. The third-generation CTS V-Sport came with a 420 hp, 430 ft-lb twin-turbo V6, which positioned it well between a 335 hp CTS 3.6 and CTS-V with 640 hp. Maybe there were simply too many engine choices on offer. There were four, when the base 2.0L turbo four-cylinder was included.

Offering an intermediary performance line is not unique to Cadillac, of course. The new V-Sport models are in line with BMW’s M Sport, Audi’s Sport Line, Mercedes’ lower-level AMG models, or Dodge’s Scat Packs. And, like the AMGs and Scat Packs, the specific engine choices will be exclusively tied to the V-Sport models.

However, the CT5-V still takes a significant step back in energy output from vs outgoing CTS V-Sport. While making a still-respectable 355 hp and 400 ft-lbs from its 3.0L V6, the CT5-V is down 65 hp and 30 ft-lbs to the previous generation V-Sport car. With the CT4-V coming with a 4-cylinder engine, it appears that the new V-Series may actually be positioning itself below the outgoing V-Sport line. In the case of the CT5, the V model will be taking the place of the two V6 engines, which may explain the final numbers.

Fortunately, the CT4-V and CT5-V retain a host of performance-oriented features, aside from the higher-output engines. Limited-slip differentials, magnetic ride control, customizable V-Mode driving configurations, Brembo front brakes, and Michelin Pilot Sport 4S summer tires indicate that they’re more than a badging exercise. With the V-Series models mildly sedated though, we can all hope that the Blackwing models will soar to former V-Series levels of performance, or beyond.

[Images: Cadillac]

Anthony Magagnoli
Anthony Magagnoli

Following 10 years in Toyota's Production Engineering division, Anthony spent 3 years as a Vehicle Dynamics Engineer for FCA. From modest beginnings in autocross, he won a NASA SpecE30 National Championship and was the 2017 Pirelli World Challenge TC Rookie of the Year. Aside from being a professional racecar driver, he is a private driving coach and future karaoke champion.

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  • Mmreeses Mmreeses on Jul 03, 2019

    once again, collective comment wisdom trumps the results of some marketing department pow-wow. why not keep the V upmarket and use "Blackwing" as Cadillac's F-Sport. Makes no my kneejerk reaction is that "Blackwing" just sounds like another trim level like "Platinum," "Denali," "Unobtanium," etc.

  • Art Vandelay Art Vandelay on Jul 03, 2019

    As a Ford fan, seeing this unfold makes me happy Ford just let SVT die with find memories of each product they are associated with. Not so much with ST sadly.

    • NG5 NG5 on Jul 04, 2019

      Good point. Somehow this extremely confusing end of the V brand for Cadillac seems more dignified for the letter V than if they started plugging it on the Escalade, but I'm not sure that's better from a selling-cars standpoint.

  • Teddyc73 As I asked earlier under another article, when did "segment" or "class" become "space"? Does using that term make one feel more sophisticated? If GM's products in other segments...I mean "space" is more profitable then sedans then why shouldn't they discontinue it.
  • Robert Absolutely!!! I hate SUV's , I like the better gas milage and better ride and better handling!! Can't take a SUV 55mph into a highway exit ramp! I can in my Malibu and there's more than enough room for 5 and trunk is plenty big enough for me!
  • Teddyc73 Since when did automakers or car companies become "OEM". Probably about the same time "segment" or "class" became "space". I wish there were more sedans. I would like an American sedan. However, as others have stated, if they don't sell in large enough quantities to be profitable the automakers...I mean, "OEMs" aren't going to build them. It's simple business.
  • Varezhka I have still yet to see a Malibu on the road that didn't have a rental sticker. So yeah, GM probably lost money on every one they sold but kept it to boost their CAFE numbers.I'm personally happy that I no longer have to dread being "upgraded" to a Maxima or a Malibu anymore. And thankfully Altima is also on its way out.
  • Tassos Under incompetent, affirmative action hire Mary Barra, GM has been shooting itself in the foot on a daily basis.Whether the Malibu cancellation has been one of these shootings is NOT obvious at all.GM should be run as a PROFITABLE BUSINESS and NOT as an outfit that satisfies everybody and his mother in law's pet preferences.IF the Malibu was UNPROFITABLE, it SHOULD be canceled.More generally, if its SEGMENT is Unprofitable, and HALF the makers cancel their midsize sedans, not only will it lead to the SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST ones, but the survivors will obviously be more profitable if the LOSERS were kept being produced and the SMALL PIE of midsize sedans would yield slim pickings for every participant.SO NO, I APPROVE of the demise of the unprofitable Malibu, and hope Nissan does the same to the Altima, Hyundai with the SOnata, Mazda with the Mazda 6, and as many others as it takes to make the REMAINING players, like the Excellent, sporty Accord and the Bulletproof Reliable, cheap to maintain CAMRY, more profitable and affordable.