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An orange 2022 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing with optional Carbon Packages on a racetrack

2022 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing vs. 2022 BMW M3 Competition: Which Sports Sedan Is Sharper?

The 2022 BMW M3 Competition's engine beats the 2022 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing's V6 for refinement and explosive power, and its xDrive AWD further boosts its capable handling. But the Blackwing offers more feedback, stick-shift satisfaction, and arguably a better, more poised chassis. Which one is better depends on how you drive.

BMW M3 Competition vs. Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing comparison highlights:

  • The 2022 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing is an internal-combustion swan song aimed right at the BMW M3 Competition
  • It’s more expensive than the Blackwing and doesn’t offer a manual, but the M3 Competition has arguably the better engine, more performance, and praiseworthy handling, especially with xDrive
  • While it loses points for its V6, the 2022 CT4-V Blackwing is more than a match for the RWD M3 in terms of agile handling, steering feel, and overall balance

For over a decade, Cadillac has tried taking the sports sedan throne from BMW. And as internal-combustion performance seemingly enters its twilight years, Cadillac is going all out against the M3 with the 2022 CT4-V Blackwing. But the 2022 BMW M3 Competition doesn’t pull punches, especially with its new xDrive option. So, if you’re looking for a mid-size sports sedan, which is the sportier option?

2022 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing2022 BMW M3 Competition
Base Price Range$59,990-$63,165$73,795-$77,895
Engine3.6-liter twin-turbocharged V63.0-liter twin-turbocharged inline-six
Horsepower472 hp503 hp
Torque445 lb-ft479 lb-ft
TransmissionsSix-speed manual
10-speed automatic
Eight-speed automatic
Curb Weight3860 lbs (manual)
3900 lbs (automatic)
3890 lbs (RWD)
3990 lbs (AWD)
0-60 MPH Time4.1 seconds (manual)
3.9 seconds (automatic)
3.8 seconds (RWD)
3.4 seconds (AWD)
MPG Rating15 mpg city/23 mpg highway (manual)
16 mpg city/24 mpg highway (automatic)
16 mpg city/23 mpg highway (RWD)
16 mpg city/22 mpg highway (AWD)
IIHS Safety RatingNot yet ratedNot yet rated
NHTSA Safety RatingNot yet rated Not yet rated

2022 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing

An orange 2022 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing with optional Carbon Packages on a racetrack
2022 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing with optional Carbon Packages | Cadillac
  • Pros: Standard manual transmission, cheaper, lighter, more steering feel
  • Cons: Less powerful, slower, interior materials aren’t quite as nice

You might remember that Cadillac briefly offered a hand-built, 4.2-liter twin-turbo V8 called the Blackwing a few years ago. The 2022 CT4-V Blackwing doesn’t have anything to do with that engine. Instead, as with the new CT5-V trim, ‘Blackwing’ is Cadillac’s new terminology for its sportiest models. Think AMG Black Series, but for GM’s luxury brand.

The successor to the old ATS-V, the 2022 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing looks like that car’s carbon copy at first glance. It rides on the same Alpha platform, for one, and has the same engine. But dig a little deeper, and it becomes clear that the sportiest CT4-V is packing more than just a few extra horses.

Firstly, Cadillac strengthened the sedan’s chassis and fitted its latest-gen magnetorheological dampers and an electronically-controlled limited-slip differential. It also overhauled the V6, installed strut-tower braces, and revised the six-speed manual. No-lift shifting is one of those revisions. Furthermore, getting the manual nets you titanium connecting rods for faster revving. In addition, the 2022 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing comes standard with adjustable-feel Brembo brakes, a functional aero body kit, stiffer suspension components, and automatic rev-matching.

And while the teased magnesium wheels are still nowhere to be seen, the Blackwing does have model-specific Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires. Plus, Cadillac reorganized the sedan’s Performance Traction Management system, so you don’t have to menu-hunt for things, MotorTrend says. And compared to the ATS-V, the CT4-V Blackwing has a better interior from a tech and material perspective.

2022 BMW M3 Competition

A gray 2022 BMW M3 Competition xDrive driving down a road
2022 BMW M3 Competition xDrive | BMW
  • Pros: More powerful, faster, available AWD, exhaust note sounds slightly better
  • Cons: Heavier, more expensive, worse brakes, no manual option

If the regular 2022 BMW M3 just isn’t fast enough for you, the Competition trim adds 30 hp and 73 lb-ft of torque and shaves 0.3 seconds off the 0-60 mph time. And for 2022, the M3 Competition gets an option that makes it even faster: all-wheel drive. With BMW’s xDrive system, the 2022 M3 Competition sprints to 60 mph 0.4 seconds faster than the RWD version.

Unfortunately for stick-shift enthusiasts, the Competition models are automatic-only. But considering this trim’s raison d’être is speed, that’s to be expected. And while AWD boosts the sports sedan’s traction and handling prowess, it does offer a RWD mode for burnout aficionados.

Underneath the extra horsepower and torque, the 2022 BMW M3 Competition gets the same upgrades as the regular M3. Namely, bigger brakes, sportier adaptive suspension, an active differential, a stiffer chassis, and a plethora of adjustable performance settings. For example, as in the Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing, you can adjust the brake-pedal feel. Plus, the most extreme 3 Series rides on Michelin Pilot Sport 4S, just like the Blackwing.

2022 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing vs. 2022 BMW M3 Competition: Features

The 2022 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing and BMW M3 Competition have more feature similarities than those, though. For one, both sports sedans offer optional carbon-fiber aero packages as well as sportier bucket seats. And both come standard with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, navigation, heated seats, and heated steering wheels.

However, once you start delving deeper, some subtle differences appear. For instance, while both the CT4-V Blackwing and M3 Competition have digital gauge clusters, the BMW’s cluster is slightly bigger. It also has a bigger center touchscreen. In addition, Cadillac doesn’t offer carbon-ceramic brakes, but BMW does. And while the CT4-V Blackwing’s interior is leagues above the ATS-V’s cabin, the M3 has higher-quality materials, Road & Track notes. Though to be fair, considering it costs $10,000 more, that’s to be expected.

Yet the BMW M3 Competition doesn’t have it all its own way. If you want wireless charging in the M3, it costs extra, but it’s standard in the Blackwing. Plus, the CT4-V offers two carbon-fiber aero packages to the M3’s one. Furthermore, the Cadillac comes standard with adjustable stability and traction control courtesy of the PTM system. If you want that capability in the BMW M3 Competition, it costs extra.

2022 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing vs. 2022 BMW M3 Competition: Safety features

On the safety front, the Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing and BMW M3 Competition are once again fairly similar. Both come standard with several advanced driver-assistance system features, including lane-keeping assist, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, forward-collision warning, and automatic emergency braking.

If you want adaptive cruise control or reverse automatic emergency braking on the Cadillac, though, they’re part of the $900 Driver Assist Package. Meanwhile, the BMW comes standard with adaptive cruise control. And it offers an $800 Parking Assistance Package as well as a $1700 Driving Assistance Professional Package, which is essentially an SAE Level 2 system.

2022 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing vs. 2022 BMW M3 Competition: Driving

In recent years, BMW has seemingly shifted away from making sporty cars that happen to be luxurious to luxurious cars that happen to be sporty. The 2022 BMW M3 Competition goes a long way to reversing this shift, especially in xDrive form, MotorTrend reports.

That AWD system delivers not just epic levels of grip, but an easy ability to rotate and place the sedan in a corner. “The steering is among BMW’s best recent efforts,” R&T gushes, well-weighted and offering genuine feedback. And its accuracy enhances the ease with which the BMW M3 Competition builds and carries speed. Plus, while the Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing’s V6 makes plenty of torque across the rev range, it doesn’t rev as high or sound as good as the M3’s inline-six, MT says

However, once you remove xDrive from the equation, a funny thing happens—the 2022 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing starts showing up the M3. Its steering is far ahead of the BMW’s helm in terms of feedback, and its shifter is more satisfying to row. And even though MT ultimately ranked the M3 Competition xDrive ahead of the Blackwing, it admitted that the CT4-V had the lighter, better-balanced chassis.

Plus, its stock Brembos beat the M3’s optional carbon-ceramic brakes in terms of modularity. Also, MT noted that BMW makes the M3 Competition too adjustable, and navigating through its settings is more difficult. And while the M3’s adaptive shocks are solid, if a tad firm, the Cadillac’s MagneRide dampers are “nothing short of magical,” R&T claims. It’s these quantities—the intangible ones—that led Car and Driver to name the 2022 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing to its 10Best List.

Which is the sharper luxury sports sedan?

In terms of raw capability, the 2022 BMW M3 Competition xDrive edges out the Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing. But depending on what kind of driver you are, that unflappable competence arguably results in less engagement. And if you compare the non-AWD variants, the Blackwing delivers more fun than the M3.

Perhaps it’s unfair, then, to ask which sports sedan is sharper, just like you can’t directly compare a carving knife and a cleaver. Yes, they’re both knives, but they have different roles. So, if you want a car that genuinely does a bit of everything, the M3 one-ups the Blackwing. But if you value grins and sensations more than numbers, the Cadillac is the one to get.

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