The 2022 Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing Compared to the BMW M5, Mercedes-AMG E63 and Audi RS7
Nobody has driven the most powerful Cadillac ever made yet, but we can compare some stats on paper.
Sports sedans are a shrinking market, but there are still several floating around in various automakers' lineups including a new one announced today: the 2022 Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing. "V" in the name doesn't designate the quickest Caddy anymore—you have to look for the word "Blackwing" after it if you want the real burnout machines. Silly new naming conventions aside, Cadillac looks like it has a real contender on its hands with the CT5-V Blackwing, so let's take a look at it and compare it to its competition.
The cars in question are the BMW M5, Audi RS7—as the RS6 is only sold as a wagon in the U.S.—and Mercedes-AMG E63. All German, all V8-powered, and all automatic, with eight-speeds fitted to the BMW and Audi, and a nine-speed in the Mercedes. That's the first place where Cadillac's new super sedan sets itself apart. No torque converters, no electrohydraulic actuators—just an extra pedal and a regular old six-speed stick shift. Feels good to write that. You can also get a 10-speed automatic if you're into that kind of thing, for the record.
The CT5-V Blackwing also differentiates itself under the hood. No, it's not powered by the CT6's 4.2-liter, DOHC, twin-turbo Blackwing V8. That would make too much sense. Instead, it's fired down the road by an old favorite of the luxury automaker: the supercharged, 6.2-liter LT4 V8 that was previously used in the CTS-V. In the CT5-V Blackwing, it makes 668 horsepower and 656 lb-ft of torque—the most horsepower ever produced from the LT4 in a production car.
Every other sedan in this segment has a turbocharged DOHC V8, which is the first place where Cadillac is breaking the mold. The CT5-V Blackwing also one-ups its competitors on power, thanks primarily to its 1.7-liter Eaton supercharger. The next-closest competitor to the CT5's grunt is the M5 Competiton's 617 hp, followed by the E63 AMG S's 603 hp, and the RS7's 591 hp. That means that even the most powerful of Germany's hardcore sedans will be stuck with over 50 horsepower less than the Caddy. That's a good start.
All of those cars will be able to get their power to the ground more effectively off the line, though. Although the Cadillac's rear tires are a massive 305 mm wide, they're on the Caddy's only two drive wheels. All of the other cars have all-wheel-drive systems, which results in faster 0-to-60 mph times. According to the manufacturers' numbers, the BMW leads the pack hitting 60 mph in just 3.2 seconds, followed by the Mercedes at 3.3 seconds, and the Audi at 3.5 seconds. The CT5-V Blackwing lags behind here at 3.7 seconds, and that's with the faster-shifting 10-speed automatic transmission.
That last statement really justifies why 0-60 times on cars like this are not really relevant: because you're supposed to be having fun. The Cadillac, with rear-wheel drive, a stick shift, and 50 more horsepower than the next closest competitor...well, you can see the end result of that recipe without even knowing how cook. The CT5-V Blackwing is built to be a no-nonsense, supercharged burnout machine.
Another less relevant stat here in the United States where we don't have speed-limit-free stretches of Autobahn is top speed, but Cadillac has decided to throw it in anyway. Cadillac claims that speeds over 200 mph can be expected, which would give it the highest top speed in its class. The next fastest car, the Audi, can hit 190 mph, followed by the BMW and Mercedes at 189 and 186 mph, respectively. Although most owners will never test that top speed, we'd like to be first in line to do so if Cadillac ever needs anyone to try it.
If this Cadillac sounds like your kind of fun, it's only $84,990. That's the lowest price for any car in this comparison by a lot. The next cheapest car is the M5, which starts at $103,500 before destination charges, followed by the Mercedes E63 AMG S at $107,500, and the Audi RS7 at a whopping $114,000. That makes the CT5-V Blackwing $18,510 cheaper than any other sedan in its class.
Speaking objectively, the new Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing has the biggest engine of any car here, the most power, it's the only one offered in RWD, the only one with a stick shift, and it's the cheapest by nearly 20 grand. A quick glance through the option lists reveals the Cadillac is lacking features like true massage seats and a perfume dispenser in the glovebox, so if you're concerned about that sort of thing, you'll have to consider one of the Caddy's German rivals more seriously. On paper, though, this new CT5-V Blackwing looks incredible, like a true enthusiasts machine. Let's hope it's as good as it sounds.
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