Cadillac is a brand with a reputation for luxury but not necessarily for great performance. And yet, if you look around your local Cadillac dealer, you can certainly find some high-powered cars backed by enviable stats. One sure-fire way to know you’re getting a true performance vehicle is to look for a V-Series model. The V-Series has been around since 2004, with the first generation’s “Under Five Seconds Club” establishing the sub-brand as a signifier of exemplary performance. By the time the fourth generation came along in 2019, Cadillac’s V-Series had established itself among enthusiasts and gained a large number of loyal fans.
But the V-Series isn’t the pinnacle of Cadillac’s performance vehicles. For that, you’ll want to look for the word “Blackwing.” The CT4-V Blackwing and CT5-V Blackwing are two stylish and powerful sedans that pack in plenty of power while still being refined luxury vehicles. Here are ten reasons to love the Blackwing models, with features that distinguish them from the pack inside and out:
1. High-Powered Engine
It doesn’t take more than a quick glance at the numbers to see that the name Blackwing brings some significant improvements under the hood with it. The 2024 CT4-V comes with a 2.7L Turbocharged engine that delivers 325 hp and 380 lb-ft of torque, while the CT4-V Blackwing has a 3.6L Twin-Turbo V6 that churns out 472 hp and 445 lb-ft of torque, letting it zip from zero to sixty in 4.6 seconds and reach speeds of better than 189 MPH on the track. Since the CT5-V already comes standard with a 360-hp 3.0L Twin Turbo V6 that produces 405 lb-ft of torque, the Blackwing takes things up a notch by supplying a 6.2L Supercharged V8 that produces up to 668 hp and 659 lb-ft of torque, letting the car go from zero to sixty in a mere 3.4 seconds and exceed 200 MPH on the racetrack.
2. Heightened Control
Performance car drivers don’t just want power; they’re also looking for an engaging driving experience. For many, a manual transmission is a crucial part of that experience since it gives them more control over the car. While the Blackwing models can be had with the 10-speed automatic transmission found on V-Series sedans, they come standard with a six-speed manual that lets you truly connect with your machine.
3. High-Performance Suspension
A V-Series model already comes standard with a performance suspension system that’s fine-tuned for vehicle responsiveness. However, a Blackwing model has a high-performance suspension that improves your control behind the wheel and feels more agile both on the road and on the track. It features lateral control and has a quicker steering response so you can react quickly to obstacles and sharp turns.
4. Improved Sound System
From joyrides to road trips, all kinds of drives can be improved with the right music. When you get a luxury vehicle like a Cadillac V-Series sedan, you can expect a top-tier sound system to come standard. Indeed, the CT4-V and CT5-V feature a 14 or 15-speaker surround sound audio system by Bose, with top-of-the-line automotive software and hardware components and speaker grille designs that complement the look of the interior. However, the Blackwing models are even more audiophile-friendly thanks to a 16-speaker AKG Premium audio system. In addition to having an extra speaker, the system is also made by a company that’s known for having better highs and lows than Bose. Another bonus is Navigation Rendering, which makes navigation directions come through the left or right speakers depending on which way you’re turning, with volume increasing the closer you are to making the turn.
5. High-Performance Interior
Whether you opt for the Blackwing or not, the CT4-V and CT5-V come standard with performance front bucket seats that provide a comfortable grip no matter how hard you take your turns and include 18-way adjustments for both the driver and front passenger. But only the Blackwing model allows you to upgrade to high-performance front bucket seats. These seats are designed to provide even better support for comfort throughout long driving sessions, with enhanced side and seat back bolster adjustments that focus on displacement and direction of force so you can hit those high speeds without feeling any negative consequences later on.
6. Unique Exterior Style
Looking at a V-Series and a Blackwing side-by-side, you’ll definitely be able to see the difference. Up front, the Blackwing features gloss black rocker moldings with extensions that improve performance and give its face a distinct look. Blackwing models can also be had with a Carbon Fiber package that adds several dark accents through the exterior.
7. Brembo Brakes All Around
Brembo is a company with a reputation all its own in the auto world; vehicles equipped with Brembo brakes include Porsche and Ferrari models, and teams with Brembo brakes on their cars have won races at NASCAR, Formula 1, FIA World Rally, and beyond. The CT4-V and CT5-V both come standard with Brembo brakes up front that feature four piston-fixed calipers for heat resistance and durability. On Blackwing models, you’ll find high-performance Brembo brakes in the front and rear with staggered six-piston front calipers and copper-free brake linings.
8. Custom Launch Control With Line Lock
Going from zero to sixty in a few seconds takes more than just a powerful engine: there are all kinds of vehicle settings that can be optimized to improve full-throttle acceleration from a standstill. The CT4-V and CT5-V both have standard launch control, which is automatically activated in all Performance Traction Management Track modes and lets you take off from a stop with optimal tire spin. If you’ve picked up on the pattern by now, you’ll probably already have guessed that the Blackwing has an improved version of this feature and you’re right; it’s called Custom Launch Control. This lets you play around with your launch control settings and get them right where you want them for optimal thrills and control. It also comes with Line Lock, a feature that locks the front brakes independently of the rear ones for up to 15 seconds when applied, letting you spin the rear tires while you’re standing still in order to warm them up before the start of a race.
9. Special Editions
The Blackwing is already a special version of a Cadillac model, but sometimes even more exclusive editions will crop up, exciting both collectors and fans of the brand. The 2023 CT5-V Blackwing featured an extremely limited-run 120th Anniversary Edition that marked the 120-year history of Cadillac with 120 vehicles, each assigned a commemorative year (1902-2022). The Cadillac Crest design, graphics, steering wheel plate, and shifter medallion all match the year of the individual vehicle. As for the CT4-V Blackwing, the 2024 model saw the Mondrian Editions celebrate Cadillac’s iconic flag with three distinct editions featuring eye-catching exterior graphics.
10. Bragging Rights
While bragging rights are less tangible than features that you can measure with numbers, it’s clear that you get more of them with a Blackwing model than you do with a V-Series (and more with a V-Series than you do with a standard CT4 or CT5). The Blackwing name sounds cool and is backed up with a slate of performance features that are sure to make any car lover drool just thinking about them. All of that is on top of a stylish exterior and a luxury interior, making the Blackwing a complete package from front grille to rear spoiler.