Drive Time – 2024 Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing

Drive Time – 2024 Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing

So, here’s the dilemma. You still have a pair and crave the need for speed. Like space shuttle, sucked-back-in-your-seat G-force speed. A giddy, testosterone-infused dragster thrust. However, you’re still saddled with schlepping the kids around and require a trunk for the honey-do cargo. What’s a speed freak to do?

The 2024 Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing is what. Especially the 20th anniversary edition. It is the most powerful of the five available CT5 levels and simply perfect for the grown-up car/speed junkie. 

Built with an unabashed nod to the proud American muscle cars of yore, the CT5 V-Blackwing is a gleeful manly ride. In fact, it’s the only remaining manual shift production super sedan in the world. Thus, this good ‘ol USA V8 beast will hold its own on famous tracks versus the heralded imports. Meaning, it not only blisters straight-aways, but can corner smartly too in style. 

Nothing screams Vroom like good ‘ol American-powered ingenuity. It’s not exotic, quaint or subtle, but rather a sledgehammer of massive ponies to rock your world.  The CT5-V Blackwing delivers you from point A to B faster than surfing the Net, while masquerading as a luxury family car to boot. God love America. 


The CT5-V Blackwing’s’ styling is already distinctive with unique angular lines that prevent mistaking it for everything else in the parking lot. Aggressive bold styling signals extraordinary fun. The fit and finish are exemplary for a domestic or foreign ride. The Blackwing offers a more aggressive front-end, signature bladed headlights, expanded air intakes and a blacked-out grille. My tester with gloss black paint, polished 19” aluminum rims, quad tailpipes, aggressive spoiler and enlarged hood to hold the rumbling beast displayed an assertive warning to its fearsome capabilities compared to the base model.  


The 6.2-liter, 668 horses(!) and 659 lb.ft. torque supercharged/intercooled V8 engine delivers jaw-dropping power with a 0-60 in 3.6 seconds. A top speed of 200 mph. Rear wheel drive. The low growling rumble will satisfy the hot-rodder, yet can be tamed to not awake the neighborhood. V for Velocity. 

Cornering compares to many of the pricier foreign cars via the fast-acting Magnetic Ride Control suspension, using shocks that electronically react every millisecond to varying road conditions. I’d recommend using Traction Control to supervise the utter power. You may choose between four driving settings, but even the Sport mode dampens harsh surfaces well. Your spine will thank you. 

The four-step programmable exhaust note is to die for, being relatively quiet in the neighborhood before ramping up to a delicious roar on the open road. It was my soundtrack of choice barreling on the asphalt. Four driving modes provide a welcome comfy ride for passengers or spinetingling response when desiring maximum thrust and cornering. 

Most importantly, fast cars need to stop – like quickly. Massive painted Brembo brakes with slotted rotors and burly performance-staggered Michelin Pilot Sport 4S rubber keeps this bad boy in line. Good thing, too, as on a super-secret patch of asphalt, I quickly got the rocket Blackwing to 135mph and back to legal limits before the boys in blue could throw me in the pokey. I am in love. 

The standard 6-speed manual shifter is smooth and intuitive and is chosen roughly 50 percent of the time. Since less than 20 percent of drivers can drive a stick these days, there’s optional 10-speed automatic tranny that’s even quicker. Grown-up car aficionados lament about zero stick shifts left to enjoy, so Cadillac thankfully offers you the giddy choice. 

The favorite party trick is enabling the special V mode to maximum thrust. The instrumentation turns racing red, the exhaust note and rev-matching deliver a hearty euphoric bark when downshifting and the suspension firms. 

The only “downside” is the engine gulps fuel at 13mpg during heavy-footed need for speed. So be prepared to be on a first-name basis with the gas pumps. But performance-lovin’ fans realize the tradeoff is a wee sacrifice for the perpetual grin plastered on their face.



You might think this rocket would offer primitive comfort inside. Forget that – it’s still a Cadillac. The capsule’s materials best any of the American cars and rival the imports. Handsome contrast-colored stitching and leather seats bolster the hips and torso to better keep ya glued in when barreling into the corners. The 18-way power front seats are heated, cooled, lumbar adjusting and will massage your aches away.

Cool carbon fibre trim is abundant. The attractive V-shaped center console includes nicely displayed buttons that are easy to navigate. The 10” infotainment display is smaller than its competitors, though. The dash and upper doors have textured leather and contrasting stitching. The beefy steering wheel (check out the sweet optional suede wrap) includes buttons for shifting, menus, audio and hands-free phone calls. LED ambient lighting gives off a subtle glow. The back seats are roomy enough and do fold down for extra storage. 

A generous panoramic sunroof illuminates the cocoon. 

Tech check

 There’s no shortage of stupendous technology. The updated 12” CUE diagonal infotainment touch screen is clear, easy to read and manage. It mimics hand motions like an iPad, as you can move icons, shrink or enlarge the data and display bunch of preset radio/XM satellite stations and phone numbers. It includes 3-D Navigation maps, Doppler radar and Natural Voice-Activated prompts work instantaneously to any voice. You’ll appreciate the terrific Apple CarPlay/Android Auto synching up your smart phone to display your home screen apps. There’s a handy slot to wirelessly charge your phone. Even the vent power noise is lowered when receiving a call. 

The optional 16-speaker AKG Sounds system is outstanding, with four programmable distinct cabin sound settings. It’s crystal clear and delivers near-perfect audio acoustics. 

Finally (and thankfully) the CT5-V Blackwing received the highest 5-star ratings from the NHTS due to its abundant safety features, including Head-Up Display, Surround View for parking 

The CTS-V Blackwing’s starting price of $93,000 is a relative bargain compared to its import competition, while a fully loaded Blackwing will breach six-figures. If you’ve previously forsaken Made in the U.S.A., check it out when striving to quench your ravenous speed fix. 

Seriously, this is one Caddy that screams to be experienced. Thus, here’s your opportunity to pony up and feel loud and proud doing so. America the Beautiful, indeed.

A dilemma you say? I say not. 


Golf Bag Storage: Maybe two

Curbside Appeal: The V badge screams hot rod greatness

MPG: 13/21

0-60:  3.6. Yes, that’s correct

Must-Haves: Dry clear asphalt to enjoy it 

Warranty: 4-years/50,000 miles

Base Price: $93,495

Price as Tested: $98,440

Who Buys It? Those looking for an All-American exhilarating sports sedan

Finish Line: Exemplary patriotic package of style, stupendous performance, and luxury 

Test-drive the 2024 CT5-V Blackwing at Crest Cadillac in Frisco.