New Cadillac sedan defines upscale power – The Mercury News

New American luxury sedans are rare. Even more unique are the Land Cruisers with the manual transmission. The 2022 Cadillac CT5 V-Series Blackwing arrived this year. It deserves both the niche categories with a monster presence and an excellent ride.

It also represents a farewell. When the high-performance machine was unveiled in early 2022 as a 2022 model, Cadillac announced that it would join its junior, the CT4-V Blackwing, as the last gasoline-powered V cars made by the manufacturer. .

As for the final storm, congratulations to Cadillac. The CT5-V Blackwing is simultaneously outrageous and fun. The supercharged 6.2-liter V8 engine produces 668 horsepower and is mated to a six-speed manual transmission. (A 10-speed automatic transmission is optional.)

Also demonstrative, the giant Bembo carbon-ceramic brakes are optional, a first offer for Cadillac. The carmaker offers the sedan with a top speed of 0 to 60 mph in 3.4 seconds and a top speed of 209 mph. It is the most powerful production vehicle in the carmaker’s 120-year history.

Cadillacs haven’t resembled their ancient animal-like relatives over the years. The elaborate styling is gone, replaced with a modern look – a sharp-angled, condensed assembly with a spoiler, mesh grilles, etc. It’s more futuristic than flamboyant.

The luxury sedan still carries the Cadillac logo, which was once a symbol of grand beauty. It now represents, in particular the Blackwing Persona, a still iconic sedan now renowned for its power.

Driving a performance-oriented sedan with a six-speed manual transmission begins with simultaneously awkwardness and joy. A small, smooth-shifting, 4,123-pound cruiser with a celebratory exhaust? Who knew such a vehicle existed?

During long freeway treks, the manual transmission configuration can be forgotten. If any slowness occurs, be careful. A quick downshift is required in a highway cruiser. Why not have more fun?

Likewise, the Blackwing’s quiet, powerful engine can deliver trickery. Gliding in excess of the speed limit has the potential to be dangerous and sometimes dangerous. No need for more acceleration muster.

Even drivers without performance-oriented desires can be in for a surprise. Putting up with what would often be a maneuvering challenge is no longer a challenge. Willpower is a beautiful thing, even for drivers who don’t thrive on testosterone-based driving. Freeway ramp acceleration difficulties? No.

The top-of-the-line CT5-V includes standard features from three additional less powerful trims. Super cruise and hands-free semi-autonomous driving system. The top-level navigation system is better and the Bose premium audio package is a treat for music enthusiasts. Several additional packages add more driver assistance features such as adaptive cruise control, automatic high beam and lane-keep assist.

Heavy cars with better performance tend to be gas guzzlers. The CT5-V Blackwing is rated at 13 mph in city driving and 21 mpg on the freeway. EPA’s estimates appear generous. The super sedan is constantly thirsty and, as required, has a gas-guzzler tax of $2,100. Its literature states that the vehicle will have approximately $8,250 more in fuel costs than the average new vehicle during its first five years.

Driving quarters are comfortable and spacious, with the exception of the lower back-seat roofline. Material quality is above average, but not as plush as competitors. Trunk space is ample but Cadillac of yesteryear’s cavernous cargo container offerings are not.

Top-line luxury sedans are not cheap. But in purchase comparison, Cadillac’s starting point of $83,995 falls short of some well-heeled competitors. The vehicle reviewed had approximately $29,000 in options. With delivery, the 2022 CT5 V-Series Blackwing is priced at $113,445.

What is the first year of the 120-year-old American automobile company, already an icon and a kind of last year?

This is an easy option for Cadillac enthusiasts. But it’s a selection for prudent buyers not to be impressed by the speed, extras and unbridled fun.

James Rae, a syndicated columnist in Sacramento, publishes a free weekly automotive podcast and electronic newsletter. Sign-ups are available on his website He can be reached via email:

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