By on August 20, 2020


That’s likely something you won’t hear from passers-by when the Blackwing versions of the Cadillac CT4-V and CT5-V sedans appear a year from now.

With the CT6 now dead, this serves as a reminder that the brand’s Blackwing 4.2-liter V8 remains dead and likely futureless, while the name it once bore has now reverted into a lofty trim for Caddy’s remaining sedans.

Yes, the Blackwings — to be clear, the CT4-V and CT5-V Blackwings — will receive their own special performance steering wheel, Cadillac announced Thursday. Teasing a steering wheel a year out from a model’s debut seems a little unusual, especially considering the CT4-V and CT5-V are on sale now.

And the brand’s really jazzed about its wheel. Describing it as “meticulously crafted with leather and cut-and-sewn stitching, a 12 o’clock red racing stripe, carbon fiber trim and a V-Series emblem,” Caddy said the hoop-like protuberance ensures “that each vehicle reflects Cadillac’s championship-winning heritage on the track.”

In the photo, you can see that heritage emerging from the wheel like a ghost. Spooky!

To the uninitiated, Cadillac earned itself a fair share of backlash when it revealed its new compact and midsize sedans, with the smaller of the two carrying a standard four-cylinder engine. In “V” form, the CT4 gains another four-cylinder, this one the 2.7-liter unit found in the Chevrolet Silverado.

The CT5-V makes do with a twin-turbo 3.0-liter V6, good for 360 horsepower and 405 lb-ft of torque. Neither V model is a slouch on paper or on the road, but car lovers with short memories recalled what came before in the ATS-V and CTS-V. That’s where Blackwing steps in.

Going V now means choosing from a variety of flavors. Stock Vs, which left some readers underwhelmed, are only the baseline. Blackwing brings on the power, just not Blackwing V8 power.

Under the hood of the loftiest CT4-V will be a twin-turbo 3.6-liter, while the CT5-V gains a supercharged 6.2-liter V8. Both will be available with a manual transmission. It’s like a repeat of the V-badged sedans’ predecessors, which should suit performance enthusiasts just fine. Looking over the entire range of these cars, maybe Cadillac had the right idea. Choice is good, and the early acrimony was the understandable result of people not knowing the fall breadth of the CT4 and CT5 stable.

Unfortunately, the coronavirus pandemic reportedly pushed back the introduction of the Blackwing models, so we’re left looking at this (pre-production) steering wheel, hoping for a real-world debut sometime soon. With it, drivers can access “V-Mode” and the car’s Performance Traction Management system without taking their hands off the wheel.

The 2022 Blackwings arrive in summer 2021.

[Image: General Motors]

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22 Comments on “Look at the Wheel on That...”

  • avatar

    Hey Cadillac, what’s new?

    Well, we’ve got this really cool steering wheel


  • avatar

    Cadillac. GM reliability and build quality with Lexus prices

    They have had a couple of decades to change. I don’t have a clue why the couldn’t have pulled a Audi or Hyundai revival. Management? Labor? Accounting? Assumption of a captive demographic?

    Or is the failure just customer perception and the product is fine and decently priced?

    Probably a 10/10 warranty would not help because who knows if they will be around that long.

    • 0 avatar

      Because: GM.

      Seriously though Cadillac in the past forty years has tried to reinvent itself several times and essentially failed every time. The reasons of which are multifaceted as you point out, but I think the goal has been to move a certain percentage of volume consistently throughout each revival period which they seem to be largely successful at doing.

      In more recent years volume has been between about 200K to 220K and in GM’s mind if 50% of that was SRX, 30% Escalade and only about 20% being everything else it was acceptable. They don’t seem to want to take into account something like negative per unit cost for ATS/CTS against the Alpha R&D expenditure, because somehow that was someone else’s budget and it doesn’t affect their volume and executive bonuses. Same with the ELR, although I imagine the R&D expenditure wasn’t high because it was essentially a Volt coupe, it sold 2,958 units and probably didn’t profit on most if not of them. But the attitude seems to be “Well, we hit our division numbers so whatever if we took a serious bath on this model”.

    • 0 avatar

      GM Caddy is probably the only brand left with a 3 year rinse and repeat. The Germans do it too, but as their product is worldwide, they have a higher target for quality (not much, just a bit). My 80 yo FIL and his experience with an XTS….no problem sir, we’ll fix that under warranty…so when the commodity parts crap at 60k, GM figures a 120k warranty if caught is way cheaper than different parts.

      • 0 avatar

        Excellent point, and not just GM I think. Deliberately shoddy “stuff” with a crap-shoot life installed to save a buck. It’s a gamble, but with a modicum of luck, most owners will have ditched the vehicle for a new one before the problem shows up. For those faithful who hang onto their steeds longer term, well, a bit of generosity in the old out-of-warranty-failures stakes makes the customer “ever so grateful”, and the good word gets spread for less than the cost of advertising. Cynical thoughts on my part, but likely true. “They schtood by me! I only had to pay $500! You can trust these guys!”

        When something as mundane as a steering wheel is lauded in a PR campaign, a certain sense of corporate desperation and worry for the future seems to be on display. What’s next? A Cadillac nomination for the Documentary Oscar for the gripping tale of the secret life of hidden electric seat adjusters? Those puff bladders and HVAC channels get in the way and make life so complicated!

        Trivialities seem so important these days, but the big societal problems? Everyone shrugs their shoulders and barks venom at the next guy. It’s all beyond fixable, so why not instead luxuriate in the pic of a Bacchanalian steering wheel, made to GM’a highest standards by the lowest bidder? Mmm mm, mmmm — that’s sweet!

  • avatar

    “which should suit performance enthusiasts just fine.”

    The rich ones I guess.

    I still don’t understand why the “entry” V-Series cars aren’t using one of the naturally-aspirated V8s. I can’t imagine they sell in enough volume to have a CAFE impact and it isn’t like they have any qualms about a Cadillac sharing an engine with a Camaro or Silverado.

  • avatar

    Wow…Cadillac is just…sad.

  • avatar
    Edsel Maserati

    I’ve driven a number of Cadillacs over the years that were pretty good, even desirable. The original CT6 Platinum edition had a twin-turbo V6 producing 404 horsepower and it was a lot of fun to drive (for a luxo cruiser). I took that CT6 for a long drive and it stayed in my mind as the ideal cross-country driver.

    I’d like to see that engine in CT5. I’m not sure why the current CT5-V maxes out with 360 horses.

    I’m glad they’re still doing sedans at Cadillac. They could just cave and do nothing but SUVs. Although GM has been thrashing around with a bad case of corporate nervousness for years, sometimes they do okay.

  • avatar

    Can’t post photos but let’s just say the C63 and high end AMG cars have something quite similar. Oh, GM moved the button to left of center, so there’s that, I guess.

    • 0 avatar

      also, the CTS 4V gets what was the CTS VSport engine…When I was in the market for a new car, I tried to find one, it appears they made five, and the one I found for sale was at a urban dealership I’d never go near…..also one in California. Like the true V cars, hen’s teeth and zero support-availability in the general population. Really, GM ripped off the AMG wheel ????

  • avatar

    I am sorely disappointed in Cadillac for taking a performance brand they’d spent 15 years building and dilute it the way they have with this product cycle.

  • avatar

    The electronics in the steering wheel are already smoking.

    In the unlikely event of a frontal crash, you’ll always remember your Cadillac by the crest-shaped scar on your chest from the air bag.

  • avatar

    “reflects Cadillac’s championship-winning heritage on the track.” Is that Briggs Cunningham running Cadillacs at Le Mans or stuffing that big V8 into Allards? Probably not. Maybe they mean the current prototypes that have a rebranded GM V8 from the Corvette. Yea that’s it, a parts raided race car that no one identifies as a Cadillac.

  • avatar

    They should just rebrand Cadillac as Cimarron and be done with it.

  • avatar
    el scotto

    What???? GM has some sort of evil ONSTAR/Death Eaters combination? Seriously, one of the best engines on the planet is made in Bowling Green, KY. Made by True Believers and those who drink GM Special Sauce by the gallon. So what does GM greenlight and let Cadillac do? Why Caddy will get their own, very, very to the 29th power special V-8!!!!! GM and Cadillac could’ve saved huge, I’m telling huge amounts of money by have trailer fulls of Corvette engines heading to the Cadillac plant. The Germans have figured out the “big engine, little car” formula. Give some of the Corvette powered Caddy’s to Lingenfelter and Callaway (sic). On a very (thankfully) dark night, the GM board of directors needs to strip naked and roll around on the grave of John Z Delorean. Build me something with four doors, a Corvette engine, RWD/AWD and enough to bling to make my pimp hand twitch once in awhile.

  • avatar

    We went for icecream the other day, and parked right next to a CT6. My wife commented that she “didn’t dislike” it, which is quite something. Then we saw the passenger mirror camera dangling on its wire underneath the mirror.

  • avatar

    My ‘18 CTS-V is at the dealer again for the second time in a month. I’m getting the trans flushed to hopefully cure the dreaded shudder that affects the 8L90 in all applications.

    This will cease to be an issue when I trade it for the CT5-V Blackwing with a manual. :)

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