Cadillac Will Make Electric V Cars, but Blackwing Is Another Story
Cadillac isn’t giving up on high-performance vehicles—electric or otherwise.
Cadillac V cars have been on the road for nearly two decades now, turning ordinary luxury sedans into American track weapons with performance-oriented powertrains. But while most people associate a Cadillac V with a rowdy, high-output V8 and lots of noise spewing from the tailpipe, the brand is now tapering its efforts towards electrification. But there's a silver lining here, as Cadillac isn't abandoning ship on performance altogether. The V is here to stay.
In an interview with The Drive, GM and Cadillac spokespeople confirmed that the V nameplate remains a core part of the brand, and that some of the new and upcoming EVs will most certainly wear the coveted badge.
"V is obviously a part of Cadillac," said Tristan Murphy, Interior Design Manager at General Motors when asked if the all-new Lyriq would undergo the V treatment. "It’s a very important piece of Cadillac and we don’t see it going away even in an EV future. V will definitely be a part of what Cadillac becomes in the next generation of cars and the brand."
While that might seem like a nothing-burger answer for whether or not the Lyriq V will be manifested into existence, it does confirm that Cadillac plans to continue the V badging into the EV era. Lyriq marketing manager Kristin Lewis chimed in on this as well when asked if the Escalade SUV would get an EV variant.
"Nothing official to announce, but if you think about what [Cadillac Vice President Rory Harvey] said about ‘we’re going all-electric,’ we look to compete in all the same segments that we’re in today," said Lewis.
"All the same segments" would also include the V vehicles that the brand pumps out today, including the CT4, CT5, and Escalade. That means Cadillac likely has at least one electric performance sedan and SUV up its sleeve. But does that also mean the world will see an even beefier performance offering in the form of a Blackwing? Now that's a tougher question.
Brandon Vivian, Cadillac Executive Chief Engineer, previously told AutoWeek that there would be "varying levels of Cadillac performance" in the brand's EV era. New information revealed from Murphy suggests that Cadillac isn't so sure that it will produce a vehicle under its current Blackwing badging, though it has been discussed internally.
"I think Blackwing's a tougher question," said Murphy. "And again, we're having those internal [discussions], like what it means, because Blackwing is—again, it's such a higher level [of performance] beyond, like, what it means to be a Blackwing. So, I think we'd have to really get to a point that we feel confident."
It's important to remember that electrification is essentially Cadillac's final shot in a rapidly evolving space for luxury marques. GM President Mark Reuss previously said that electrification was the brand's last chance for success, and ensuring that it has a lineup that is growing right alongside the ever-changing industry is imperative. It also means leaving the past behind and developing a future that is uniquely Cadillac. Maybe that means reserving the Blackwing nameplate as a last hurrah for gas-powered performance cars.
Regardless, the fact that Cadillac is still envisioning a line of performance vehicles in the wake of electrification is good news for enthusiasts. So many car enthusiasts are worried that electrification will usher in the return of the beigemobile, whereas Cadillac has firmly set its footing on establishing a new look and feel. And with V DNA running through its veins—electric or not—these cars have the potential to be a hit.