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From now on, electric cars are the name of Cadillac’s game. But before it commits to EVs fully, Cadillac is singing its internal-combustion performance cars’ swan songs. And for those who want to go toe-to-toe with the M3, that song sounds like the 2022 CT4-V Blackwing. In many ways, the CT4-V Blackwing, rather than the regular CT4-V, is the ‘true’ successor to the dearly departed Cadillac ATS-V. But is the new car genuinely faster than the old one?

On paper, the 2022 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing seems similar to the Cadillac ATS-V

A red 2022 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing goes around a racetrack corner
2022 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing side 3/4 | Cadillac
Spec2022 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing2016 Cadillac ATS-V Sedan
Engine3.6-liter twin-turbocharged V63.6-liter twin-turbocharged V6
Power472 hp464 hp
Torque445 lb-ft445 lb-ft
TransmissionSix-speed manual
10-speed automatic
Six-speed manual
Eight-speed automatic
Curb weight3,860 lbs (manual)
3,900 lbs (automatic)
3,809 lbs (manual, Car and Driver)
3,800 lbs (automatic, Car and Driver)
0-60 mph time4.1 seconds (manual)
3.8 seconds (automatic)
4.2 seconds (manual, Car and Driver)
3.9 seconds (automatic, Car and Driver)

Despite being a new car, the 2022 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing carries some things over from the ATS-V. The two cars have the same engine, for example, and ride on the same Alpha platform, MotorTrend notes. And while the CT4-V Blackwing is marginally faster and more powerful, the sedans’ specs are essentially identical.

However, the truth is that the 2022 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing is more than a mildly updated ATS-V. For one, the Blackwing’s V6 has an upgraded oiling system, intake, exhaust, turbochargers, and ECU software, The Drive says. Manual cars’ engines get titanium connecting rods, too. Secondly, Cadillac revised the six-speed manual and added no-lifting shifting as well as an upgraded electronically-controlled limited-slip differential. And the sedan also has additional chassis strengthening.

A gray 2016 Cadillac ATS-V Sedan goes around a racetrack
2016 Cadillac ATS-V Sedan front 3/4 | Cadillac

In addition, the 2022 CT4-V Blackwing also gets car-specific Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires, strut-tower braces, and GM’s fourth-gen MagneRide magnetorheological dampers. No word yet on those magnesium wheels, though. However, the new car does get the C8 Corvette’s electronic brake booster, Road & Track reports, as well as slightly larger Brembo brakes. Plus, in 2021 the CT4-V got an interior tech and material upgrade.

The 2022 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing doesn’t just succeed the ATS-V, MotorTrend says—it transcends it

A continuing critique of the ‘regular’ Cadillac CT4-V is that it doesn’t quite live up to the Cadillac ATS-V’s legacy. While the ATS-V could hang with the BMW M3, the CT4-V is more like an M340i. That’s not the case with the 2022 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing. It isn’t just “a serious M3 rival,” R&T reports—it’s also “a big step up” from the ATS-V.

The CT4-V Blackwing takes everything that was good about the ATS-V and “finesses” it to “a transcendental level,” MotorTrend explains. That new exhaust turns the V6’s song from “blunt and hollow” to a “mostly refined rasp,” Hagerty reports. The new brakes, complete with emissions-friendly compounds, bite hard and stay firm even after a long track session. And the manual is less notchy than the Cadilac ATS-V’s stick while also more enjoyable to shift than the 2021 M3’s manual. Plus, the interior, while not quite on Mercedes’ or Genesis’s level, is significantly better than the one in the ATS-V, The Drive says.

Arguably the biggest difference between the Cadillac ATS-V and the CT4-V Blackwing, though, is the latter’s suspension. The Drive describes it as “magical,” saying it keeps the sedan in line “even when shooting over rumble-stripped chicanes 123 mph.” It offers compliance without sacrificing stability, sharpness, or accuracy, yet the sedan has little to no body roll. Combined with the steering, which is precise, well-weighted, and full of feedback, it makes the CT4-V Blackwing a car that “out-M3s the M3,” R&T gushes.

Is the new car worth the price?

In its final year, the Cadillac ATS-V Sedan started at $60,695. Meanwhile, the 2022 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing starts at $59,990 with the manual. With the automatic, the base price increases to $63,165. So, the new car is roughly the same price as the old one. And that trend continues even after you start adding options.

An extra $4350 gets you the Carbon Fiber 1 Package with a carbon-fiber front splitter, dive planes, rear spoiler, and front wheel-well deflectors. Another $2650 adds carbon-fiber rocker extensions and a carbon-fiber rear diffuser. And if you want the sport bucket seats or performance data/video recorder, those cost extra, too. Also, while the manual CT4-V Blackwing gets a few standard advanced driver-assistance features, the optional ones are limited to automatic-equipped models.

But is it worth it? Considering that even with the Carbon Fiber Packages and data recorder the Cadillac is cheaper than a 2021 M3, yes, MT says. The BMW might have a better interior, but the CT4-V Blackwing is more fun. Not to mention, faster and better around a track than the ATS-V.

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