Continuing to impress, the CT4-V Blackwing has won over drivers with its smooth-shifting manual transmission and agile handling during its recent month-long journey to California.
As our long-term Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing surpasses 30,000 miles, this vibrant blue sports sedan continues to captivate everyone who gets behind the wheel. Earlier this summer, the Cadillac embarked on a cross-country drive, making its way to California to spend time with technical editor Dan Edmunds.
During this period, Edmunds quickly discovered the thrill of engaging the CT4-V Blackwing’s Tremec transmission through its six gears. Even a valet at a restaurant in Palos Verdes was impressed, praising the clutch’s “smoothest engagement of any manual” he had experienced and expressing awe at the gearbox’s precision and feel.
Edmunds argues that the CT4-V’s manual transmission feels even better than the same one in its bigger sibling, the CT5-V Blackwing. He explains that the CT5-V’s gearing is taller, designed to achieve a better zero-to-60 time, but it sacrifices some of the manual experience. The CT4-V, on the other hand, benefits from more favorable gearing, enhancing the overall manual driving experience.
Beyond the delight of shifting, Edmunds believes that the CT4-V Blackwing holds the upper hand in other aspects. He praises its nimble handling, partly due to its more manageable dimensions compared to the CT5-V Blackwing. Although both cars have excellent ride and handling, Edmunds finds the CT4-V to be more agile. Additionally, he notes that the cabin, while nearly identical to the CT5-V, feels more appropriate for the CT4-V in terms of materials and workmanship.
However, the CT4-V isn’t without its flaws. While its twin-turbo 3.6-liter V-6 delivers an impressive snarl in sportier modes, it falls short of matching the “intoxicating burble” of the CT5-V’s supercharged 6.2-liter V-8. Edmunds also points out tire noise, especially on concrete roads, and suggests using the CT5-V’s foam-lined front tires to reduce the drone. Some minor electrical issues have been reported as well, but they seem to resolve themselves each time.
During the CT4-V Blackwing’s return trip to headquarters, road warrior Christi VanSyckle found it to be an unexpectedly willing and capable road-trip companion. She praises the clutch-pedal feel, enjoys the growl of the 472-hp V-6 engine, and finds the high-performance bucket seats to strike a balance between supportive bolstering and comfort.
Throughout its journey, the CT4-V attracted attention as it crossed the United States, with one bystander even conducting a parking-lot photoshoot with the car outside a Holiday Inn. However, the 30,000 miles have begun to take a toll on the Sky Cool Gray leather seat inserts, as they are turning blue from denim dye. VanSyckle observes a noticeable color difference between the front and rear seats, speculating that the driver’s seat may never look clean again.
Since the last update, the CT4-V Blackwing underwent two scheduled services at the dealer. The first service, costing $176, included an oil and filter change, along with a replacement cabin air filter. The second service, costing $100, involved another oil and filter change, along with a top-off of the wiper fluid. Fuel economy has improved slightly over the 30,000 miles, reaching 21 mpg, though the car’s performance hasn’t been compromised as the summer-tire season arrives.