The Cadillac CT5-V Sounds as Mean as It Looks

Two Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing prototypes showed off their superchargers.

Cadillac has had a bit of an identity crisis recently.

Although GM’s luxury brand survived the cuts that spelled the demise of Pontiac, Oldsmobile, Saturn, and Hummer, it has failed to maintain the cachet it once had as a premier upscale brand. The luxury car field has become quite crowded, from the venerable German companies to upstarts like Genesis, and Cadillac has been hard-pressed to hold its ground.

To its credit, Cadillac’s designers certainly haven’t played it safe. The brand’s design language of recent years is some of the most daring and distinctive that you’ll see on the roads today.

And although Cadillac has waffled with its performance cars, first pushing the limits and then scaling back more recently with its V line, the CT5-V has been settling into a groove as a refined muscle car with styling to match. The regular CT5-V comes with a 360-horsepower twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 engine.

Cadillac has been hinting at its envelope-pushing Blackwing variant of the CT5-V for a while now. Finally, it has rolled out some prototypes to get the hype train rolling.

The pair of Blackwings appeared at High Octane Cafe & Bakery in Michigan, bedecked in black-and-white dazzle camo.

Showing off your prototype at a car show seems to defeat the point of the test mule camouflage, but clearly Cadillac wanted to showcase the sound of the new CT5-V more than the shape.

We’ll admit, this is the kind of grunt we like to hear from a souped-up Caddy. It’s definitely encouraging to know that Cadillac still has its eye on the enthusiast market, despite previous statements suggesting that the CTS-V performance cars were too intimidating to regular car buyers.

The CTS-V had a supercharged V8, and that’s what we’re expecting from the Blackwing. It remains to be seen what will set the new performance car apart from its predecessor, but at least it sounds the part.

Even with the camo, we have a pretty good idea how the CT5-V Blackwing will look, which falls somewhere between the Dodge Charger and the Alfa Romeo Giulia. That’s appropriate, since Cadillac seems to be stuck in an awkward place between the American manufacturers and the luxury European brands. Nonetheless, the CT5-V looks pretty darn good. And since Jalopnik is reporting that the Blackwing is expected to have a manual transmission option, we’re on board. The car world is a better place when Cadillac is on its game.