2023 Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing: Car and Driver 10Best

2023 Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing: Car and Driver 10Best

Car and Driver / December 19, 2022 / David Beard (Photo Credit: Marc Urbano)

Winning a 10Best award is difficult. Successfully defending one is even tougher. To remain on the list, a car must provide a superior experience and unequivocally fulfill its mission.

Even before you set it in motion, Cadillac’s CT5-V Blackwing struts like a winner. The 668-hp supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 puffs its chest as if it’s in a Corvette, because in a different life it was. Considering that GM plans to make its light-duty fleet fully electric by 2035, it’s hard to believe the company builds a supersedan that guzzles 13 mpg city and 21 highway.

The version with the 10-speed automatic does get marginally better fuel economy, but the manual costs $3175 less, which will buy a lot of 93 octane. If your left leg isn’t strong enough to squeeze a clutch coddling 659 pound-feet, buy a gym membership with the savings. Manual buyers get a Tremec TR-6060 that moves through the gears with an impossible smoothness and lightness. Shift-it-yourselfers don’t give up much to the automatic in terms of straight-line performance. The six-speed’s no-lift-shift function means you can keep your right foot pinned to the floor. Nail the hole shot and the six-speed CT5-V Blackwing hurls itself to 60 mph in 3.6 seconds and erases the quarter-mile in 11.6 seconds, only 0.1 and 0.2 second behind the automatic, respectively.

The Blackwing’s greatness extends beyond the drag strip. Its steering is direct, and there’s honest feedback as the chassis moves in and out of corners. For those not accustomed to the art of heel-and-toe downshifting, the rev-matching programming works flawlessly, giving you the perceived toe-tapping skills of Arthur Murray. Consistent and satisfying primary controls engender a close bond with the driver, a level of intimacy typically reserved for sports cars.

When the Blackwing isn’t flinging itself off FIA curbing or tearing up NHRA events, it calms down for daily use. GM’s magnetorheological dampers carpet the road. The fuel bill is large, and the interior design is something we’ve come to refer to as Chevy Malibu–plus. We’re willing to look past these shortcomings not because love is blind, but because the Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing is the greatest sports sedan on sale today, if not of all time.