The Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing Solves C7 Corvette Z06 Overheating

Racing tech won’t be the only thing the 2023 C8 Corvette Z06 brings. As the successor to several Corvette Z06 models, it carries forward all the performance lessons GM has learned over the years. But it won’t necessarily be the only GM performance car that benefits from them. The new 2022 Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing, for example, learns from the C7 Corvette Z06’s overheating problems.

Why is the C7 Corvette Z06 known to overheat?

A blue 2016 C7 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 speeds down a racetrack
2016 C7 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 | Chevrolet

While the first Z06 was naturally aspirated, the third model, the 2015-2019 C7 Corvette Z06 introduced forced induction to the equation. Specifically in the form of a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 rated at 650 hp and 650 lb-ft.

On top of that, the C7 Corvette Z06 was also the first Z06 to offer an automatic transmission. And while the seven-speed manual offered more involvement, the eight-speed torque-converter automatic was faster. In Car and Driver’s hands, an automatic C7 Z06 with the Z71 Package went 0-60 mph in 3.0 seconds. And 0-100 mph took just 6.8 seconds.

But the C7 Corvette Z06, especially the automatic models, had a heat problem. Much like pre-2020 Civic Type Rs, prolonged spirited driving caused the Z06’s engine oil temperature to spike. Once that happened, the sports car would go into limp mode. And this wasn’t some isolated incident. MotorTrend experienced this issue across several different test cars. And it happened to enough C7 Corvette Z06 owners that they filed a class-action lawsuit against GM. Or rather, four lawsuits, Jalopnik says.

To GM’s credit, the C7 Corvette Z06 received a few upgrades and tweaks to try and resolve the overheating problem. First, the company redesigned the hood and gave the supercharger a new cover. When that didn’t work, GM offered longer warranties, upgraded radiators, and new software for the automatic, Autoblog reports. Given that the 2019 models don’t seem to overheat as frequently, that might have done the trick.

However, while it took time to cool the C7 Corvette Z06 down, the 2022 Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing should stay frosty from day one.

What keeps the 2022 Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing cooler than the C7 Corvette Z06?

A blue 2022 Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing slides around a racetrack
2022 Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing | Cadillac

It might seem odd for a Corvette-related lesson to end up in a Cadillac sedan, but it’s not. The 2022 Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing, like the C7 Corvette Z06, has a supercharged 6.2-liter V8. It’s actually an updated version of the C7 Z06’s V8 with 668 hp and 659 lb-ft of torque. However, while there’s a 10-speed automatic available, the CT5-V Blackwing comes standard with a six-speed manual.

So, given that the Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing is even more powerful than the C7 Corvette Z06, how does it stay cool? The main reason is that because the Cadillac is a sedan, there’s enough room to put extra side radiators, The Drive explains. True, bigger radiators can make for more efficient cooling. But more radiators mean more heat-exchanging surface area, which has a similar effect.

The front grille of a white 2022 Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing in the desert
2022 Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing front | Cadillac

That’s not the only anti-overheating trick the Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing uses, though. For one, it has a larger grille than the standard CT5-V, so more air hits the radiators. The BMW M3 and M4 employ a similar strategy.

What’s more, the CT5-V Blackwing’s center grille’s sides are sealed so as much air flows into the radiators as possible. Ditto the side grilles, The Drive says. Also, the grille’s ‘slats’ and even the front bumper feature wing-like designs to further improve airflow. And besides brake-cooling ducts, the Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing has functional fender vents both to reduce wheel-well pressure and remove hot air.

As with turbocharged engines, supercharged engines need intercoolers both to maximize output and manage heat. The CT5-V Blackwing’s engine has a more efficient intercooler than what the C7 Corvette Z06 initially had. However, the supercharger also has a new aluminum lid to channel more air to the intercooler’s radiators, The Drive reports.

Do all these changes work?

It’s worth noting that the C7 Corvette Z06’s overheating issues only became apparent after the customer cars were delivered. As such, the true test of the Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing’s cooling claims will come when owners get their cars.

That being said, The Drive and several other outlets tested the sedans all day at Virginia International Raceway. Temperatures reached into the mid-90s and humidity was high, but the cars never missed a beat. So, it seems that C7 Z06 did help the CT5-V Blackwing stay cool under pressure.

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