Cadillac is lifting a page out of the German handbook with the launch of two super high-performance models, the CT4-V Blackwing and CT5-V Blackwing.
The Detroit marque already offers “V-Series” versions of those two sedans, but will take things up a significant level with the Blackwing offerings, both of which it claims will be “track capable.” Though Caddy isn’t ready to release specs, word has it the CT5-V will feature a supercharged 6.2-liter V-8. Ironically, neither sedan is expected to use the Blackwing V-8 that was all too briefly used in the now defunct Cadillac CT6-V.
“The Blackwing name has come to represent the very best of Cadillac performance engineering, craftsmanship and technology,” said Brandon Vivian, Cadillac executive chief engineer, in a statement announcing the new project. “The new CT4-V Blackwing and CT5-V Blackwing build on the brand’s respected legacy of ultimate-performance driving experiences and elevate them even further.”
Cadillac started putting a premium on performance with the debut of the first-generation CTS-V in 2004. A second-generation V-Series version was available in sedan, coupe and wagon trims by 2011 and a third-generation model in 2014.
The automaker pushed things even further with the CT6-V that introduced the newly developed Blackwing engine, a 4.2-liter V-8 punching out a solid 550 horsepower.
But both the CTS and CT6 models have been pulled from production, Cadillac now offering just two sedans in today’s SUV-centric market, the CT4 and CT5. And, with their addition to the line-up, it has changed its approach to performance variants, echoing the strategy of its German competitors.
Once upon a time, Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz offered just a handful of extreme machines. In recent years, however, they’ve added performance variants of pretty much everything in their portfolios. And they’re available in step-up fashion. Take the Audi A6. A buyer can bump things up a bit with the S6 model or go balls-to-the-wall with the RS6 package. BMW and Mercedes have gone the same route with their M and AMG lines.
Now, Cadillac is doing the same thing. The Cadillac CT4-V, for one, is powered by a high-output 2.7-liter turbocharged V-6 making 325 horsepower and 381 pound-feet of torque. The CT5-V, meanwhile, gets a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V-6 punching out 360 hp and 405 lb-ft.
What we’ll see with the new Blackwing models is yet to be revealed but word has it the CT4 version will get a twin-turbo 3.6-liter V-6, the CT5 a 6.2-liter V-8. It’s likely safe to expect the CT5-V Blackwing will at least match, and likely exceed the 640-hp number delivered by the old CTS-V model. , while the smaller CT4-V Blackwing would top the 464-hp output of the old ATS-V.
In a private conversation with TheDetroitBureau.com, a senior General Motors official said the strategy should broaden Cadillac’s appeal by providing an upgrade for those who want a bit more power than the brand’s everyday offerings deliver, while also making it possible to push the limits and even do some serious track time with the Blackwing option.
For now, we’ll just have to take the luxury brand at its word that these new offerings will be “the pinnacle of Cadillac performance, craftsmanship and technology.”
As to what might happen to the actual Blackwing engine? We’ll have to wait to find out, though there appears to be no clear application at hand. But sources told us that we can expect to see Caddy work some performance magic on its broadened line-up of SUVs, as well.
Longer-term, the marque is getting ready to introduce its first long-range battery-electric vehicle, the Lyriq. It was set to debut in Los Angeles earlier this month, the event postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Insiders have broadly hinted that Caddy will follow a similar strategy to what we’re seeing at Tesla and other brands moving into the BEV space. That would likely mean upgrades delivering both greater range and higher performance.
Could we eventually see a Cadillac Lyriq Blackwing? What we do know is that GM’s third-generation battery-car architecture is capable of delivering up to 1,000 horsepower and even more instantaneous torque. That would certainly qualify for a Blackwing badge.