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Keen readers will likely know that automotive nomenclature can get complicated in a hurry. Cadillac, for example, accidentally misbadged roughly 1,000 examples of its CT4 recently. But let’s not get bogged down with that nonsense, because the American automaker recently filled in the blanks on why its hotter CT4-V and CT5-V models are called Blackwing.

Cadillac enthusiasts were likely caught scratching their heads after the latest CT4-V and CT5-V Blackwing models were launched without the namesake engine under the hood. In favor of a grassroots rethink, the hotter CT4-V packs a 472-horsepower (352-kilowatt) twin-turbocharged 3.6-liter V6 while the even hotter CT5-V boasts a 668-hp (498-kW) supercharged 6.2-liter V8.

2022 Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing
2022 Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing
2022 Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing

According to Cadillac Executive Chief Engineer, Brandon Vivian, the Blackwing name signifies the pinnacle of the American automaker’s performance and excellence. And he has a point, because the supercharged V8 in the CT5-V Blackwing makes it the most powerful Cadillac ever built.

“It was about simplification and elevation and focusing on one performance sub-brand, which is V Series,” said Vivian in a recent presentation. “We had V-Sports in the past, but it was a little confusing of what V-Sport was versus V Series.” However, unlike previous performance versions, the top-of-the-line models will now only be offered with rear-wheel-drive – Vivian touted the fact that AWD would not make these cars any faster around a race track.

With an ethos of simplifying the V Series and building from there, the American automaker has gained tremendous confidence when it comes to industry rivals. As such, Cadillac sees its flagship CT5-V Blackwing as a direct rival with the BMW M3 – a bold claim, but we’d be remiss that the Caddy has more power than even the current M5.

Semantics aside, F1 star Kevin Magnussen recently had high praise for the CT5-V Blackwing after a recent chance to jump behind the wheel during the build-up for the Rolex 24 weekend at Daytona. And we think that says it all. 

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