When Cadillac revealed the V-Series versions of the new CT4 and CT5 sedans last year, it’s safe to say we weren’t all that thrilled with the news. The names of the CT4-V and CT5-V suggested they were replacements for the beloved ATS-V and CTS-V, yet both cars were down by hundreds of horsepower (and two cylinders) versus their predecessors. It seemed like Cadillac had abandoned its impressive performance legacy, and we weren’t happy at all about the company’s choice.
Well, we’re not too proud to admit when we were wrong, and we were wrong about you, Caddy. Because not only does Cadillac have true replacements for the ATS-V and CTS-V coming…but they’ll also both be available with a stick shift.
Rumors of these more potent Caddys have been flying around for months — there were even spy shots of a CT5-V with a stick shift that popped up online — but now Cadillac has made the news official via press release. The top-flight versions will be called CT4-V Blackwing and CT5-V Blackwing, but don’t let the name fool you; they will most certainly not be packing the twin-turbo 4.2-liter V8 that’s also called Blackwing and can be found in the short-lived CT6-V.
Caddy’s press release doesn’t specify what engines the two cars will use, but the carmaker’s mention that the CT4-V Blackwing and CT5-V Blackwing “set lap times seconds faster than the legendary ATS-V and CTS-V” at Virginia International Raceway suggests they’ll be packing similar power. Since the CT4 and CT5 are, in actuality, heavily modified versions of the ATS and CTS beneath the skin, odds seem good that their new Blackwing versions will use the same powertrains as their predecessors — a twin-turbocharged 3.6-liter V6 and a supercharged 6.2-liter V8. Expect power to at least match the ATS-V’s 464 hp and the CTS-V’s 640 hp.
Even more excitingly, Cadillac says both Blackwings will offer the choice of a manual gearbox — a relative rarity in the sport-sedan category these days. While the ATS-V offered a six-speed stick its whole life, the CTS-V was automatic-only in its third generation, having lost the stick it boasted in its first two versions. This means that the CT5-V Blackwing should be an incredibly rare beast in 2020 terms: a four-door, sharply-tuned sport sedan packing supercar levels of horsepower and a row-your-own gearbox. In other words, it’ll be one of a kind.
Cadillac’s press release is vague as to when we’ll finally see these badass sedans hit the road — and whenever it was supposed to be, that timeline has almost certainly been pushed back due to the coronavirus pandemic. Still, the finished condition of the test cars seen above, the apparent use of existing technologies and Cadillac’s own willingness to share more details with us makes us believe that we’ll see these cars before the year is out.
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