Maybe Bigfoot is real. Something almost as unusual has just been sighted: A Cadillac sedan with a manual transmission.
Plus 472 horsepower. Through the rear wheels only.
If that can exist, then Bigfoot just might.
What It Is
The CT4 is Cadillac’s compact-sized, entry-level sport sedan. It normally comes with a turbocharged four-cylinder engine and an automatic transmission.
The CT4-V Blackwing comes with a V6 and two turbochargers. And the automatic is optional.
This one stickers for $58,995 — vs. $33,395 for the regular CT4 with the four- and without the six-speed manual transmission. If you’d prefer an automatic, it’s available for $2,000 more.
The Blackwing trim — and the manual and twin-turbo V6 that define it — are new for 2022.
The standard manual sets this apart from automatic-equipped rivals such as the BMW M3 (a manual is available, at extra cost) and automatic-only rivals like the Mercedes-Benz CLA AMG45.
Reasonably priced — given the price of the competition.
Something different is hard to put a price on.
What’s Not So Good
If you want to shift for yourself, it’s still going to cost you almost $60k.
Absurdly small (10.7 cubic foot) trunk.
Tight back seat (33.4 inches of legroom).
Under the Hood
GM uses the 3.6-liter V6 that is the beating heart of the CT4-V Blackhawk in many GM models, ranging from the Chevy Camaro to the Buick Enclave. But it beats a lot faster in this Cadillac, courtesy of a pair of turbos and various other upgrades that boost the power to 472 horses and 445 foot-pounds of torque.
No surprise, the Blackwing is extremely quick. It can get to 60 in 3.8 seconds.
The surprise is that getting there that quickly is more up to you.
Unless you opt for the available 10-speed automatic, you will have to release the clutch while bringing up the revs and then engage and release the clutch yourself. The six-speed manual requires you to do the shifting.
Unlike its rivals, the Blackwing is rear-drive only.
On the Road
This Caddy does zig. Remember the commercial?
That was back in the late ’90s, when Cadillac was rebooting itself as an American alternative to BMW, with sporty sedans like the Catera that were available with — you guessed it — a manual transmission.
But the Catera never zigged like this Caddy can.
The 427 horses through two wheels (the rear wheels) is just the ticket for sideways running, whenever you like.
The V6 is not a V8, but you’d be hard-pressed to tell it from what happens when you punch it. Or even just press it, lightly. V8s were once regarded as the crown jewel of a true high-performance car not so much because of their high power but because of their tremendous, effortless low-end torque.
Which it used to take displacement — liters and cubic inches — to make. Now a fairly small V6 like the one can make it, via boost. The turbos breath heavy, summoning 445 foot-pounds of torque out of just 3.6 liters, an achievement right up there with catching a Bigfoot and bringing him in to town for everyone to see.
Only this is for real.
At the Curb
This is also a small car — just 187.6 inches long overall. That means there is only so much room to work with inside the car. Since it’s important for the driver (and front seat passenger) to have plenty of room, it becomes unavoidable that the backseat passengers have less room.
So there’s 42.4 inches of legroom up front but just 33.4 inches behind. And behind that — in the trunk — there is almost no room at all. Just 10.7 cubic feet of trunk.
These stats explain why sedans are becoming almost as rare as Bigfoot. Crossovers, which by dint of their layout can easily provide three times as much space inside while having about the same footprint as a sedan. The reason for that being the passenger compartment and cargo compartment aren’t separated. The hatchback opens up to the rear-seat area and the seats can be folded down to make one area — making for a lot of usable space.
But this sedan has one thing almost no crossovers still have — a third pedal — and that makes up for a lot.
A fun feature that comes with the deal is a built-in camera system that records your performance, so you can view it later. Not merely your numbers — how fast to 60 and such — but actually video records you going through the curves, almost like ESPN. This way, you can share your memories of your day at the track, visually.
Also part of the deal is an enlarged (over the standard CT4’s) digital dash display and a phenomenal 14-speaker ultra-premium audio system.
The Bottom Line
Bigfoot may be real. This Caddy is for real.
SET IMAGE) epe060121adAP.jpg (END IMAGE) (SET CAPTION) View the Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing this week. (END CAPTION)
Eric’s latest book, “Don’t Get Taken for a Ride!” is available now. To find out more about Eric and read his past columns, please visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.
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Last Updated: Friday, May 28, 2021 09:48:18 -0700