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

Anthony Magagnoli
by Anthony Magagnoli
blackwing swoops in replacing v series as cadillacs top performance line

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]

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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.

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