General Motors gave race fans a sneak peek of the high-performance Cadillac CT5-V model variant at last year’s Belle Isle Grand Prix, when company president Mark Reuss completed a few short demo laps in a camouflaged prototype version of the upcoming sports sedan.
We knew very little about the next-level CT5-V when it made its unexpected Belle Isle GP appearance last summer, but with the high-horsepower four-door set to debut later this year, more details on the next installment in the V-Series lineage have come into focus.
Let’s start with the name. We previously reported the hardcore CT5-V variant would receive the Blackwing name, but that may no longer be the case, with our sources now saying the branding direction has changed internally. It’s not yet clear what GM may use in its place, so for now, we’re going to call this the next-level CT5-V.
Nestled under the hood of the performance sedan will be GM’s familiar supercharged 6.2L LT4 V8 engine, which is also currently used in the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, where it makes 650 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque. Power will be routed to the rear wheels via the standard six-speed manual transmission, although the GM 10-speed automatic will be available as an option. Our sister publication, Cadillac Society, previously confirmed that the Cadillac CT5-V would be available with both two pedals and three.
Some styling enhancements will also be in store. Expect a more aggressive front fascia with a larger grille, vents on the backs of the front fenders, a large hood air extractor, a model-specific lip spoiler and dark grey quad exhaust tips. There will also be taller, wider wheels wrapped in sticky performance rubber.
The interior will get a performance-focused overhaul with bolstered sport seats, a carbon-trimmed sports steering wheel with a red 12 o’clock marking and, for manual models, the same shifter from the sixth-generation Chevrolet Camaro. A large round ‘V-Mode’ button will also be located on the steering wheel, giving the driver easy access to the car’s most performance-oriented drive mode.
Cadillac moved to a new two-tier strategy for its V-Series performance models with the CT5-V and the related CT4-V. The CT5-V and CT4-V do not have as much power as previous V-Series models, such as the third-generation CTS-V, nor are they as stiffly sprung or as pricey. This makes them more approachable for many buyers and allows Cadillac to bring more customers into the V-Series fold. The next-level CT5-V and CT4-V will follow the usual V-Series ethos and will fill the needs of the traditional V-Series buyer.
We expect the next-level Cadillac CT5-V to debut sometime this year. It’s not clear if it will make its debut at the 2020 Detroit Auto Show or the 2020 New York International Auto Show – which has just been rescheduled to August due to the ongoing coronavirus epidemic that has already led to the cancellation of the Geneva Motor Show and other major public events.