Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing: Motor Authority Best Car To Buy 2022 nominee

The name might be new, but the Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing is anything but. It’s a significantly updated version of the ATS-V, with a new name to fit Cadillac’s every-changing nomenclature. That’s no bad thing. Even though its more refined and sharper both in design and dynamics, the Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing wasn’t a shoe-in as a finalist for the Motor Authority Best Car To Buy 2022 award.

After attending the media drive at Virginia International Raceway, Senior Editor Kirk Bell was adamant that the CT4-V Blackwing deserved a place on the final nominee roster. He won once we got another editor in the car to confirm his take. It’s that good.

2022 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing

2022 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing

The CT4-V Blackwing’s secret sauce starts with its Alpha II chassis. It’s the same platform used for the ATS-V, CTS-V, CT5, and Camaro, but here it’s enhanced with additional bracing from the firewall to the strut towers, and from the strut towers to the radiator support. There’s a lower front sheer plate, an additional front cradle attachment, a box section rear cradle support bracket, and upgraded rear longitudinal rails. It all adds up to increased rigidity, especially up front, which helps sharpen turn-in response.

Cadillac teamed the chassis with its fourth-generation magnetic dampers, which provide an excellent balance of ride comfort and sportiness on the street and track. Double-jointed MacPherson struts up front and a five-link independent rear suspension keep the tires on the pavement.

2022 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing

2022 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing

The powertrain changes little from the ATS-V. A twin-turbocharged 3.6-liter V-6 that pumps 472 hp and 445 lb-ft of torque to the rear wheels, it’s a gem that vaults the car from 0-60 mph in 3.9 seconds with the responsive 10-speed automatic or 4.1 seconds with the enthusiast’s choice, a 6-speed manual. PSA: It’s important to #GiveAShift. The top speed checks in at 189 mph, according to Cadillac.

2022 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing

2022 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing

2022 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing

2022 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing

2022 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing

2022 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing

2022 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing

2022 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing

Compared to the ATS-V, the exterior gets a makeover with more dramatic lighting, more effective aero treatments (including a pair of carbon-fiber packages), a wider stance with wider tires, and massive openings up front to feed the heat exchangers.

Inside, the materials have been upgraded, and the design simplified with real buttons, knobs, and switches. The digital gauge cluster imparts a lot of information.

Priced from $59,990 (a few thousand less than the ATS-V), the CT4-V Blackwing strikes us as a performance value, especially compared to the BMW M3 that costs $10,000 more.

But the interior materials aren’t in the same league as the BMW’s and the engine isn’t as smooth. In addition, the rear seat is tight, and the trunk is embarrassingly small at just under 11 cubic feet. It doesn’t have the BMW’s pedigree, and likely won’t stick around for more than a few years.

Can a value argument paired with a terrific chassis and benchmark suspension tuning win the day over the growing crop of electric contenders, its larger V-8-powered sibling, and cheap speed? Will the Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing be named Motor Authority Best Car To Buy 2022? Check back on Jan 3. when we reveal the winner, along with the champs from our sister sites, The Car Connection, and Green Car Reports.

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