The Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing is a watershed moment for the luxury marque, arriving as the most track-capable model to ever wear the Cadillac crest. With a supercharged V8, rear-wheel drive, and manual transmission, the top-performer CT5-V Blackwing stands at odds with the broader industry momentum towards electrification and automation, but how does it compare to contemporary hot-to-trot luxury performance machines like the BMW M5 and Tesla Model S Plaid?
The following review video from Hagerty explores that question in-depth. Hosted by automotive journalist Jason Cammisa and SCCA Hall of Fame racing driver Randy Pobst, the video includes both track driving and real-world driving to figure out why the Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing is an iconic vehicle.
It all starts with performance. The Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing is motivated by the supercharged 6.2L V8 LT4 gasoline engine, the same engine previously equipped by the third-generation Cadillac CTS-V, the C7 Chevy Corvette Z06, and the sixth-gen Chevy Camaro ZL1. Stuffed into the CT5-V Blackwing, the supercharged ‘eight produces 668 horsepower and 659 pound-feet of torque, an impressive sum, no doubt about it. Output is routed rearwards through a standard six-speed manual transmission, while a 10-speed automatic is optional.
Properly unleashed, the Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing can cross the quarter mile finish line in 11.6 seconds at 125 mph. That’s quick, but unfortunately, the two rivals in this comparison are quicker, with the BMW M5 completing the test in 10.6 seconds at 130 mph, and the Tesla Model S Plaid completing the test in 9.3 seconds at 152 mph. Chalk it up to the tech advantage, with the Bimmer sporting twin turbos and all-wheel drive, and the Tesla sporting the hottest all-electric powertrain the California brand can muster, plus advanced all-wheel drive grip of its own.
Indeed, it looks like the rivals have the advantage here. But there’s more to the story than just the raw performance numbers. At the end of the day, what’s it like to actually drive these machines? Does personality count?
Hit play to see for yourself: