For those who thought upgrading to a performance badge within a luxury brand should cost an armrest and legroom or simply tons of extra dirhams, the Blackwing is a saviour avatar. Embrace the change, and keep the change – Cadillac seems to be saying.
Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing stands out in a deeply sporty blue – the closest colour I’ve seen was on the Volvo S60 Polestar and the Audi S4. The combination with black accents all around with a large dose of carbon fibre make for an elegantly powerful presence. Those downturned LED headlights appeared to me as a silver stream of mercury trickling down the sides. The 18” wheels have more than a hint of dark intrigue while the duck-beak at the rear end is something I would have rather called a lip spoiler but for the degree of turn it maintains upwards.
At the heart of this immensely powerful model is a 3.6 L twin turbo V6 engine that spits out 472 hp and 603 Nm of torque. It is mated to a 10-speed transmission. 0 – 100 kmph comes up in 3.9 seconds – which is almost supercar territory! This engine is a Cadillac exclusive. Instead, the V-series runs with a 2.7 L twin volute inline 4 engine spinning up 325 hp and 515 Nm torque.
The control and distribution of traction and power are what really make it track-worthy. The Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing really plays at you with its immense power. You can feel the car quickly settling down into the most comfortable gear but nudge the accelerator with your foot and the mild power struggle beneath the tyres make the resolute power felt as the car hunts for the stabilizing bit of traction… it suggests the enormity of power that is at hand today, should you wish to beckon it forth.
Standard driving modes of tour, eco, sport and track modes are selected using a switch on the console but it also has two buttons on either side of the steering spokes. The left one is V mode. Press it and drivetrain parameters instantly pop up on the console screen in red. Driving characteristics like steering, suspensions, engine, even the sound can be tweaked to feel compellingly sporty. The button on the right has to do with ‘performance traction’, which allows the right amount of traction for wet and dry situations but also has an (traction) inactive button that turns off the Electronic Stability Control.
The fuel economy can’t be considered too bad when you compare the torque output of these Blackwing models. But both manage to draw up decent figures like 8.4 kmpl for the CT5 V8 and 9.5 kmpl for the twin turbo V6 of the CT4 on highway spills, perhaps aided by the cylinder deactivation technology. The gauge of my test car even showed a history of 12.0 kmpl as the best achieved. Mixed economy on my test too matched that of the average for the past 6000 km – 7.7 km per litre. But seriously, given the high this car gave me, I consider the fuel efficiency to be high enough!
Cabin and Controls
The screen and everything else are rather subtle and underplayed in the cabin. The most striking materials are the carbon fibre and the suede, the latter wrapping the touch points mostly. It makes the steering wheel sporty and comfortable to hold. There is a turn dial on the tunnel console which is used in selecting the touch screen controls while volume control has a dedicated button. The voice command option on the steering works for most functions. Around the elbow of the console, there is a wireless charger.
The 8” trapezoidal touch screen on the central console is useful, dependable and unobtrusive but it certainly isn’t as flashy or fashionable as many of today’s cabin screens – even a Ferrari has three of them. The sunroof is rather small too – but then we don’t talk sunroof size about a Fezza or a Lambo, do we?
The dual tone leather seats are an absolute treat, especially because they come with heated and cooled air-conditioning. Legroom isn’t the rear cabin’s forte and there is 303 L of boot space – not too much. In fact, apart from the armrest storage, there is hardly any tuckaway space in the front cabin except the cup holders on the console and the small bottle space on the door side. There is no pouch in the front seatbacks or the rear doors. So, the rear passengers are going to hold on to their stuff – well, I guess it is because you can’t have things flying about in a car that is powerful enough for a track outing. Well, this car isn’t going to be loved for the amount of stuff it lets you keep in – that’s for sure.
The Safety Tech
The driver assistance bundle is quite comprehensive – right from blind spot monitor and lane change assist to front and rear collision alerts and assistance. These seats vibrate to alert you to imminent dangers around – like when you are backing up or a car approaches from the side, or when you are too close to an object and show no signs of slowing or stopping. The camera isn’t 360º but it works fine.
Before knowing the Cadillac CT4 V-series Blackwing price, one must check the M badge, Polestar and AMG models of the same size and sort. Nicely equipped with a powerful engine, driver assistance features and an impressive helping of luxury, the smaller Blackwing costs AED 290,000. The V-series costs almost 100K less. For those wishing for a daily driver cum weekend track car, the 5 year warranty along with maintenance and service is a compelling deal-clincher. But take heed of the fine print on the website: ‘very limited availability’.