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2023 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing Review: A Very Rare Jewel

2023 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing | Photo: K.Soltani
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Khatir Soltani
Here’s a new - and final - chapter before closing the book

•    Auto123 reviews the 2023 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing.

As the winds of change continue to blow strongly through the automotive industry, particularly with the rise of electrically powered vehicles, Cadillac is offering purists one last dance with the CT4-V Blackwing with manual gearbox. It's not just a car, it's also a declaration of love to combustion engines and to the stick shift, part of a final burst of fireworks before the definitive ascendancy of EVs.

The 2023 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing - what's new?

We're obviously talking about an update of the existing model with a few new features and colour options.

These new exterior colour options include Radiant Red Tintcoat, Silver Metallic Silver and Midnight Steel Metallic.

Another addition is the “Blackwing” badge that appears on the trunk lid.

Pricing for 2023 starts at $68,698 for the model with manual gearbox, and $72,458 with the automatic.

Specifications sheet of the 2023 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing

The new 2023 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing
The new 2023 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing | Photo: K.Soltani

Externally, this car is no wallflower. Generally that’s just fine, though Cadillac could have held back a little on the carbon-fibre additions. We liked the carbon-fibre rocker moldings, but the front air splitters and extended spoiler ($5,000) didn't really convince us. Cadillac tried to create a visual signature for this Blackwing that works except when it spills over into too much.

2023 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing powertrain

The heart and soul of the CT4-V Blackwing is its twin-turbocharged 3.6L V6 that flings 472 hp and 445 lb-ft of torque at you. This engine seems perfectly calibrated for the CT4's agile handling. With a 0-100 km/h time of 3.8 seconds in manual mode and top speed of 304 km/h on the track, this bomber is anything but boring.

The real gem here is the Tremec 6-speed manual gearbox. It’s light and responsive, facilitating quick and precise gear changes. Unlike many modern manual gearboxes that sacrifice driving feel, the CT4-V Blackwing's offers an authentic experience while being easy to handle.

For those who prefer the ease of an auto transmission, a 10-speed unit is also available. Although it boasts quicker shift times, it can't match the visceral experience offered by the manual version.

We can’t not mention the sonic extravaganza from this powertrain when in V mode, which gives the CT4-V Blackwing an undeniable personality.

In terms of fuel consumption, here are the official figures, which, let's face it, are a little scary:

  • - With manual transmission - 15.7L/100 km city
  • - With manual transmission - 10.2L/100 km highway
  • - With auto transmission - 14.7L/100 km city
  • - With auto transmission - 9.8L/100 km highway
Interior of 2023 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing
Interior of 2023 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing | Photo: K.Soltani

Drive-assist technologies
Systems like the as Performance Traction Management enable smooth, safe driving, offering options that can be customized to suit your driving style. Prefer living on the edge a little more? No problem - you can deactivate most of the systems, at your own risk.

We also like GM's Pedestrian Detection Braking System, which will have the vehicle brake or slow down considerably if it sees a pedestrian in your path. It operates at speeds of up to 80 km/h and is useful during the day, but doubly so at night. This system should be available on all new vehicles.

Competitors of the 2023 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing

With a starting price of $68,698 for the manual version, the CT4-V Blackwing is positioned as an affordable alternative to competitors such as the:

  • - Audi RS3
  • - BMW M3
  • - Mercedes-AMG C63
Exterior design of 2023 Cadillac CT4 V Blackwing
Exterior design of 2023 Cadillac CT4 V Blackwing | Photo: K.Soltani

Driving the 2023 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing

We were dazzled by the versatility of this CT4. In urban environments, the CT4-V Blackwing is amazingly obedient and reassuring, operating with such smoothness and control you could almost start to wish from more brutality. Every manoeuvre is executed with surgical precision, eliminating any unwanted surprises. Unlike its bigger sibling, the more intimidating and less maneuverable CT5-V Blackwing, the CT4-V Blackwing proves more accessible and usable on a daily basis, especially on narrower, more winding roads.

But make no mistake, behind this placid Dr. Jekyll lurks a Mr. Hyde. All it takes is a press of the V button nestled in the heart of the steering wheel, and you unleash the beast. That's when you feel the full power of its 472 hp, twin-turbo V6 engine, ready to unleash a controlled yet relentless fury. The true spirit of the CT4-V Blackwing is revealed, affirming its status as the most powerful and fastest compact sports car ever conceived by Cadillac.

Logo of 2023 Cadillac CT4 V Blackwing
Logo of 2023 Cadillac CT4 V Blackwing | Photo: K.Soltani

The final word
The 2023 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing is one of the last hurrahs of a dying movement in a changing industry. At a time when Cadillac and other manufacturers are turning their resources towards the development of electric vehicles, this car seems like a final tribute to an era that’s just about already bygone. And what a fitting way to close this V Blackwing chapter.

Strong points
- Powerful engine with 472 hp and 445 lb-ft of torque
- Optional 6-speed manual transmission
- High-performance Brembo braking system
- Modern connectivity options, including wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
- Track-oriented chassis and suspension, with Magnetic Ride Control 4.0

Weak points
- High price
- Sub-optimal fuel consumption
- Vehicle weight (3,860 lb in manual version)
- Limited availability of certain options and special editions
- Sporty orientation may not suit all drivers for everyday use

2023 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing, rear
2023 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing, rear | Photo: K.Soltani
Khatir Soltani
Khatir Soltani
Automotive expert
  • Over 6 years experience as a car reviewer
  • Over 50 test drives in the last year
  • Involved in discussions with virtually every auto manufacturer in Canada