As much as we like to chide domestic automakers for abandoning traditional cars for the juicier margins of crossover vehicles, they haven’t done away with them entirely. Cadillac even went so far as to introduce Blackwing variants of the CT4-V and the CT5-V in 2021, something many claimed was necessary after the V-Series lost some of its mightiness when the new models arrived. Apparently, General Motors wants its luxury division to keep it up with the Blackwing models while it continues to expand the V-Series lineup.
Cadillac has pulled the curtain back on its expanded CT4-V and CT5-V sedan lineup, confirming that the brawnier versions of those performance variants will carry a Blackwing designation.
Designed with track days in mind and available with manual transmissions, the CT4-V and CT5-V Blackwings will offer potent power, just not of the Blackwing variety.
With the reveal of the CT5 out of the way, Cadillac has been working on getting the CT4 ready for the limelight. Debuting the whole fleet today, General Motors’ replacement for the Caddy ATS doesn’t seem too bad on paper. Unlike many luxury models positioned at the entry level, CT4 comes with rear-wheel drive and a minimum of 237 horsepower. It’s also a sedan — proving that Cadillac has yet to give up on car sales. While we’ve no idea if that’s prudent in a crossover-crazed society, it’s worth applauding.
CT4s will be separated into Luxury, Premium Luxury, and Sport trims with the CT4-V serving as a mid-grade performance option. Meanwhile, Blackwing variants will replace the V-Series as Cadillac’s top performance line.
As we just covered yesterday, the V-Series application to the Cadillac CT4 and CT5 models will don intermediary performance models, similar to the former V-Sport line. The Blackwing nomenclature will designate top-performing models, redefining what the letter V really means to a Cadillac.
During the reveal of the 2020 CT4-V and CT5-V sedans, General Motors President Mark Reuss said, “Cadillac will make manuals in V-Series.” With four V-Series models across the two sedans, which are the likely candidates to receive three pedals?
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.
We, like everyone else, bemoaned Cadillac’s new V-Series models for seeming underpowered. And yet the company now suggests that putting a lid on power was part of the plan all along. Apparently, GM claims, shoppers were being scared off by the CTS-V’s big numbers.
“There was, frankly, some people who were intimidated by the cars,” GM President Mark Reuss elaborated last week, according to Automotive News. “When we did a [V-Series], they were hammers … There’s some intimidation there.”
While undoubtedly true of some customers, is Cadillac certain that’s the message they want to impart? No matter how you slice this cadaver, the fact remains that the brand is still delivering two V-Series entrants that fail to impress on paper the way their predecessors did. We’ll happily admit that horsepower isn’t everything, but you cannot lead with how the CT4-V’s improved efficiency and lighter curb weight will make it a better car than the ATS-V its replaces when all anyone can notice is a glaring horsepower disparity.
Cadillac seems to have realized that it screwed up with the new V-Series models it debuted late last week. When the CT4-V and CT5-V were revealed on Thursday, both came with specs that made us wonder why General Motors thought these should be the cars replacing the V-Series variants of the CTS and ATS sedan. Fans of the brand noticed and most automotive outlets were forced to write head-scratching articles about why the twin-turbo 3.0-liter V6 will be a suitable replacement for the CTS-V’s big, Corvette-sourced 6.2-liter motor — which makes oodles more power and torque.
Part of this cannot be helped. Environmentalism and an increasingly global marketplace are encouraging automakers to scale down displacement sizes and pair internal-combustion engines with more hybrid tech and forced induction. But it hasn’t changed Cadillac’s problem of delivering a pair of vehicles that appear much weaker on paper than the automobiles they’re essentially replacing. As a result, the company is attempting to reassure customers that these won’t be the only V-Series models on offer.
“2.7L Turbo” — that’s General Motors’ preferred description of the large-displacement four-cylinder found in Chevrolet’s 2019 Silverado 1500. When wearing a Cadillac crest, however, the motor generates additional grunt and serves as the main motivator for the new CT4-V, a sportier version of Caddy’s new compact.
The CT4-V (seen above) debuted alongside the hotter version of its midsize sibling, the CT5-V, in an event held in Detroit Thursday night. No, the regular CT4 was not there. After getting over the shock of a V-badged Cadillac with a four-banger mill, guests were confused to learn that there may be additional V-badged versions of these two sedans.
It’s a period of flux for Cadillac’s sedan lineup, one that mirrors the changes occurring across the segment as a whole. Old models are out, and in their place, a range of updated and restyled offerings aim to rekindle America’s love for traditional four-doors.
Fewer restyled offerings, one should note. As nameplates bleed out of the marketplace, Cadillac’s passenger car range will shrink from four models to three next year. We’ve already seen Caddy’s plan for its CTS successor — the Escala-inspired CT5 seen above — but the brand’s second sedan shoe has yet to drop.
You won’t have to wait long for the ATS’ replacement. The CT4 drops the curtain on May 30th, and, as many expected, both it and the CT5 will appear with V-badged performance editions.
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