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  • William Maley
    William Maley

    Review: 2017 Cadillac CT6 Platinum 3.0TT

      A Cinderella story for Cadillac's flagship sedan

    There has been a common theme for most of the Cadillac vehicles I have reviewed over the past few years. They are always so close to being up there with the best, but there is one thing or trait that knocks them down. Such examples include interior appointments that don’t match up with the price being asked, confusing infotainment systems, and engines that don’t quite match up with the image being portrayed. This was floating around in the back of my head when a 2017 Cadillac CT6 Platinum rolled up onto my driveway. This is an important model for Cadillac as it is taking on the likes of the BMW 7-Series and Mercedes-Benz S-Class. The little things can make or break a sedan in the class.

    Seeing the Cadillac CT6 for the first time at Detroit Auto Show a few years ago, I wasn’t too impressed. The toned-down Art & Science design made me feel that the CT6 blended in with other luxury sedans. But after spending a bit of time with this CT6, I grew to like the design. Yes, the design language has lost some edge found on other Cadillacs, but there is still some sharpness with hard angles and bold lines. The Platinum adds some touches that really bring out the CT6’s shape. A chrome grille helps give the model a more imposing front end and a set of optional 20-inch wheels finished in ‘Midnight Silver’ do an excellent job of filling in the wheel wells. 

    If there has been a consistent weak point to Cadillac’s recent models, it has to be interior. On first glance, it seems they have it nailed down with a modern design and quality materials. But when you sit inside and begin to take a closer look, that illusion begins to go away. A fair amount of the materials used doesn't quite match up the luxury aura being presented such as the sheet piano black trim used for touch-sensitive controls on a number of Cadillac models. But the brand is improving as we noted in our XT5 review, and the CT6 is much the same. There is a noticeable step-up in terms of materials such as fine leather, carbon fiber accents, and wood trim. This comes wrapped in a handsomely-designed dashboard. There are some areas Cadillac still needs to do some work on such as the plasticity controls for the climate control system. 

    The front seats are a treat to sit in thanks to the right amount of cushioning and support. The Platinum trim gets 20-way power seats for both the driver and passenger to help dial in the right position. Those sitting in the back will be pleased to find generous head and legroom. As added bonus, you can order heated and ventilated seats, power adjustments, and a rear entertainment system to make the back more luxurious. The only downside to sitting in the back is that the CT6 isn’t long enough to take full advantage of the power adjustments. I felt somewhat cramped when I had the back seat fully reclined and my legs touching the back of the front seat. A few more inches in the wheelbase would fix this issue.

    Cadillac’s CUE system has undergone some changes for the CT6. Most of the touch-sensitive buttons have either been dropped or replaced with actual, physical buttons. Being able to press a button or flick a switch to change a setting is a welcome change and less frustrating than the touch-sensitive controls. It would have been nice if Cadillac swapped the touch-sensitive volume strip for an actual knob, but at least you can adjust it via the steering wheel controls. Cadillac also added a touchpad controller (think Lexus’ Remote Touch system) for CUE. It is a nice idea on paper, but the execution shows Cadillac needs to do a bit more work. The touchpad is hypersensitive and tends to overshoot from where you want the cursor. You’re better off using the touchscreen. As for CUE itself, the system comes with a faster processor, some tweaks to the interface, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. These changes make CUE less frustrating to use on a daily basis.

    There are three engines on offer for the CT6. The base is a turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder, followed by a 3.6L V6. Our Platinum tester featured the big dog; a twin-turbo 3.0L V6 offering 404 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque (@ 2,500 - 5,100 rpm)  Power goes to all four wheels via an eight-speed automatic. Performance for the twin-turbo six may not have same exuberance as V8s found in competitors, but it isn’t a slouch. This engine rockets the CT6 at a surprising rate of speed. Those who have timed the vehicle say it will hit 60 mph in around five seconds and we would believe it. Torque is abundant throughout rev range, meaning you should have no issue trying to merge on the freeway or make a pass. The eight-speed automatic has the right characteristics you want in a flagship sedan, smooth and unobtrusive shifts.

    EPA fuel economy figures for the CT6 3.0TT stand at 18 City/26 Highway/21 Combined. Our average for the week landed around 22 mpg in mostly city driving.

    Describing a sedan that measures 204 inches in overall length as ‘agile’ seems very disingenuous. But the CT6 is that. Drive it around a turn and the CT6 feels like a smaller sedan with nimble manners and well-controlled body motions. Some credit has to go Active Chassis package that comes standard on the Platinum and comes with the excellent Magnetic Ride Control system and rear-wheel steering. 

    But most buyers who tend to buy a sedan of this caliber don’t really care about handling. Ride quality is king here and that’s where the CT6 begins to falter. When equipped with the Magnetic Ride Control system, the ride is just a touch too firm. You will feel more bumps in this than some of the CT6’s competition. It would be nice if Cadillac could offer an air suspension for those who want comfort. On the upside, road and wind noise are kept to near silent levels.

    It seems somewhat surprising to call the CT6 Platinum a great value, but it actually is. The Platinum 3.0TT begins at $87,495 and our test car with a few options (20-inch wheels, white paint, and spoiler) comes in at $91,580. Considering you have to spend a fair amount more on competitors to match the level of equipment on offer, the CT6 Platinum is quite the steal.

    Most of Cadillac’s vehicles have fallen into the cliche of ‘being so close, yet so far’ due to some odd or boneheaded decision. But the CT6 is the first Cadillac that has avoided this. It feels like Cadillac is starting to feel comfortable in this new identity that it has been putting out there since the mid-2000s, a legitimate competitor to the Germans. The CT6 stands out for a number of reasons; excellent driving dynamics, impressive interior, punchy V6, and being quite the value. There are some niggling issues such as a firm ride and questionable materials, but these can and should be addressed down the road. Whether the CT6 can draw people away from the usual suspects remains to be seen. 

    If Cadillac can take what they have learned from the CT6 and implement them into future models, then we can say something that hasn’t been used in a long time, ‘Standard of the World’.

    Disclaimer: Cadillac Provided the CT6, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas

    Year: 2017
    Make: Cadillac
    Model: CT6
    Trim: Platinum
    Engine: Twin-Turbo 3.0L DI DOHC with VVT V6
    Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
    Horsepower @ RPM: 404 @ 5,700
    Torque @ RPM: 400 @ 2,500 - 5,100
    Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 18/26/21
    Curb Weight: 4,085 lbs
    Location of Manufacture: Detroit, MI
    Base Price: $87,495
    As Tested Price: $91,580 (Includes $995.00 Destination Charge)

    Options:
    20" Midnight Silver Wheels - $2,095.00
    Crystal White Tricoat - $500.00
    Spoiler Kit - $495.00

    Edited by William Maley

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    2 hours ago, dfelt said:

    Awesome write up, very enjoyable to read. I suspect the usual suspects will nit pick this apart as it still is not a german sedan.

    And we care not about them, as they will always nitpick anything that doesn't come from das fuhrer lol! The CT6 is a solid triple, just short of a home run, with the 3.0L. The CUE system keeps it at third base but it is ready to steal home with the right update.

    I will say this though. These comparisons to the S Class need to stop. It was never meant to compete with the S Class, yet people keep insisting on bringing it up in every CT6 article. It's clearly not in the same price bracket and is not equipped the same (not to mention the size). That spot is reserved for the upcoming CT8, which I do think will be a true S Class fighter and rightfully so.

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    Solid review. I want to see the CT6 taken further with the long rumored new V8 in development and teased in concepts.

    I disagree on one count, because every Cadillac review seems to repeat the same "finally no more excuses" theme. Besides the questionable CUE system, both the CTS and Escalade are already no-excuses excellent products. Their interiors are very well executed with leather,  suede, and wood trim. I'm particularly smitten with Cadillac's brown leather options.

    Cadillac has been building great cars for a while, and the CT6's greatest weakness IMO is the way Cadillac's rapid evolution and stunning concept cars set expectations so high that the warmed over Art & Science sheetmetal and simplified interior were underwhelming.

    2015-Cadillac-CTS-cockpit.jpg

    2015-Cadillac-Escalade-Platinum-cockpit.

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    9 minutes ago, cp-the-nerd said:

    Solid review. I want to see the CT6 taken further with the long rumored new V8 in development and teased in concepts.

    I disagree on one count, because every Cadillac review seems to repeat the same "finally no more excuses" theme. Besides the questionable CUE system, both the CTS and Escalade are already no-excuses excellent products. Their interiors are very well executed with leather,  suede, and wood trim. I'm particularly smitten with Cadillac's brown leather options.

    Cadillac has been building great cars for a while, and the CT6's greatest weakness IMO is the way Cadillac's rapid evolution and stunning concept cars set expectations so high that the warmed over Art & Science sheetmetal and simplified interior were underwhelming.

    2015-Cadillac-CTS-cockpit.jpg

    2015-Cadillac-Escalade-Platinum-cockpit.

    Totally agree, that I love their warm brown interiors.

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    Given the average age demographic of the 7-series and S-class buyer, the handling aspect of the CT6 may be a benefit in an often overlooked category.  The ability to park these larger cars is a common concern of that age group and 4-wheel steering makes parking the CT6 a breeze. You can maneuver the CT6 around the Piggly Wiggly parking lot as if it were a CTS while still having your fullsize comfort.  

    Turning radii:

    CT6 - 18.5 Feet (only with 4-wheel steering) 20 feet without.

    7-series - 21 feet

    S-Class - 20 feet

    A8 - 20.85 feet

     

     

     

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    5 hours ago, surreal1272 said:

    And we care not about them, as they will always nitpick anything that doesn't come from das fuhrer lol! The CT6 is a solid triple, just short of a home run, with the 3.0L. The CUE system keeps it at third base but it is ready to steal home with the right update.

    I will say this though. These comparisons to the S Class need to stop. It was never meant to compete with the S Class, yet people keep insisting on bringing it up in every CT6 article. It's clearly not in the same price bracket and is not equipped the same (not to mention the size). That spot is reserved for the upcoming CT8, which I do think will be a true S Class fighter and rightfully so.

    I agree it is not an S-class competitor, they aren't even close on the inside or in power or in price.  The Genesis cars and Continental and Kia K900 aren't S-class competitors either, even if they are full size cars. 

    I think the CT6 is more of an E-class competitor based on price, and I think the CT6 interior lags behind the E-class, maybe it is on par with the 5-series and A6, but the A6 is old.  I think Cadillac should have done more with the interior of the CT6 since they didn't bring a lot of horsepower to the table.  They aren't selling M5 performance for their $91k, so that interior better be world class.    

    Really if they took the CT6 and cut 10 inches of length out of it, they would have a CTS that would be competitive with the mid-size segment.  If they do a CT8, and that is a big IF, they better aim way high.

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    4 hours ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    Given the average age demographic of the 7-series and S-class buyer, the handling aspect of the CT6 may be a benefit in an often overlooked category.  The ability to park these larger cars is a common concern of that age group and 4-wheel steering makes parking the CT6 a breeze. You can maneuver the CT6 around the Piggly Wiggly parking lot as if it were a CTS while still having your fullsize comfort.  

    Turning radii:

    CT6 - 18.5 Feet (only with 4-wheel steering) 20 feet without.

    7-series - 21 feet

    S-Class - 20 feet

    A8 - 20.85 feet

     

     

     

    The S-class and 7-series park themselves though, the 7-series does perpendicular parking too, not sure if the S-class does now, I assume it will on the 2018 update it it doesn't already because the E-class can.  I think the 5-series has the same self-park as the 7.

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    1 hour ago, smk4565 said:

    The S-class and 7-series park themselves though, the 7-series does perpendicular parking too, not sure if the S-class does now, I assume it will on the 2018 update it it doesn't already because the E-class can.  I think the 5-series has the same self-park as the 7.

    Optional - Minimum price, $100k. 

    The CT6 does have self-park and can do it perpendicularly. 

    The 2010 MKS had self-park, so ease off that high horse there mister. 

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    7 hours ago, surreal1272 said:

    I will say this though. These comparisons to the S Class need to stop. It was never meant to compete with the S Class, yet people keep insisting on bringing it up in every CT6 article. It's clearly not in the same price bracket and is not equipped the same (not to mention the size). That spot is reserved for the upcoming CT8, which I do think will be a true S Class fighter and rightfully so.

    3

     

    1 hour ago, smk4565 said:

    I agree it is not an S-class competitor, they aren't even close on the inside or in power or in price.  The Genesis cars and Continental and Kia K900 aren't S-class competitors either, even if they are full size cars. 

    I think the CT6 is more of an E-class competitor based on price, and I think the CT6 interior lags behind the E-class, maybe it is on par with the 5-series and A6, but the A6 is old.  I think Cadillac should have done more with the interior of the CT6 since they didn't bring a lot of horsepower to the table.  They aren't selling M5 performance for their $91k, so that interior better be world class.    

    Really if they took the CT6 and cut 10 inches of length out of it, they would have a CTS that would be competitive with the mid-size segment.  If they do a CT8, and that is a big IF, they better aim way high.

    1

    I would ask then is what you would compare this specific model with? If we were talking about 2.0T or 3.6, then I would compare it to the likes of 5-Series, E-Class, S90, etc. But this is 3.0TT Platinum with a starting price of $87,495. I think if we're talking price, then the S-Class, 7-Series, A8 comparisons are fair.

    But, the size of CT6 is where I think the comparison becomes tougher. The CT6 is smaller than a full-size flagship, but bigger than a midsize (i.e. CTS). We go back to the issue of the last-generation CTS - what class does it compete in? Compact or midsize?

    I think that's where a lot of us, myself included, find ourselves scratching our heads as to where to put it.

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    55 minutes ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    Optional - Minimum price, $100k. 

    The CT6 does have self-park and can do it perpendicularly. 

    The 2010 MKS had self-park, so ease off that high horse there mister. 

    It isn't a high horse, you stated that ease of parking was an advantage of buying the CT6 over the other big sedans, but they all self park.  So it is a non issue really.  No V8 in the CT6, and a base 4 cylinder, so they aren't going for performance.  I think they should have done more with the interior so they had something that stands out against the competition.

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    1 hour ago, William Maley said:

     

    I would ask then is what you would compare this specific model with? If we were talking about 2.0T or 3.6, then I would compare it to the likes of 5-Series, E-Class, S90, etc. But this is 3.0TT Platinum with a starting price of $87,495. I think if we're talking price, then the S-Class, 7-Series, A8 comparisons are fair.

    But, the size of CT6 is where I think the comparison becomes tougher. The CT6 is smaller than a full-size flagship, but bigger than a midsize (i.e. CTS). We go back to the issue of the last-generation CTS - what class does it compete in? Compact or midsize?

    I think that's where a lot of us, myself included, find ourselves scratching our heads as to where to put it.

    Might leave buyers scratching their heads too.   I still think it more of a 5-series, E-class competitor, because the CT6 is the same size as a 90s STS and Cadillac wanted that to be a 5-series/E-class competitor, with full size at mid-size price.

    If you take an E43 it starts at $72k, but with premium 3 package, metallic paint and heated/cooled seats as the only options added, the price hits $81,795 and you could get it to $87k with the rest of the options.  If you take an S550 4Matic with premium package as the only option it is $105,025.  However, if you check all the option boxes except for the refrigerator and dealer accessories I was able to option an S550 up to $156,765.   And that is with the base engine in the S-class, we aren't even to the V12 or the AMG yet.  This is why I think CT6 is more E-class competition

    Edited by smk4565
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    17 minutes ago, smk4565 said:

    It isn't a high horse, you stated that ease of parking was an advantage of buying the CT6 over the other big sedans, but they all self park.  So it is a non issue really.  No V8 in the CT6, and a base 4 cylinder, so they aren't going for performance.  I think they should have done more with the interior so they had something that stands out against the competition.

    SMK complain all you want, fact is the CT6 interior is every bit a competent interior and very competitive to the E-class interior.

    2017 E-Class

    2017-EclassInterior.jpg

    2017 CT6

    2017-CT6Interior.jpg 

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    I think the E is better after sitting in both, but CT6 is competitive in the segment for sure.  But the CTS is also supposed to be competing in the midsize segment.  What Cadillac should do is put the CT6 interior in the CTS, the CTS interior in the ATS and upgrade CT6 to something above Escalade Platinum interior.   This will make all 3 of their sedans more competitive.

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    1 hour ago, smk4565 said:

    It isn't a high horse, you stated that ease of parking was an advantage of buying the CT6 over the other big sedans, but they all self park.  So it is a non issue really.  No V8 in the CT6, and a base 4 cylinder, so they aren't going for performance.  I think they should have done more with the interior so they had something that stands out against the competition.

    No, they don't all self park. It's an option on cars already $10k higher in price than the Cadillac. On the S class, it's part of a $4,500 option package. What you're trying to do is discount the fact that the CT6 Platinum is more manageable to drive.

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    5 hours ago, smk4565 said:

    the E-class, maybe it is on par with the 5-series and A6, but the A6 is old.  I think Cadillac should have done more with the interior of the CT6 since they didn't bring a lot of horsepower to the table.

    In order to match the CT6 with the A6, you have to bump up to the S6, where 2 more cylinders & a full litre more displacement gets you 16 more HP than the 3.0TT CT6.

    In order to match the CT6 with the e-class, you have to bump up to the V8TT, where 2 more cylinders & 1.6 litres more displacement gets you 2 less HP than the 3.0TT CT6.

    Cylinder to cylinders & litres to litres, its the Germans that didn't bring a lot of HP to the table (unless you pay and pay and pay).

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    Are we actually proud for self-parking cars?

    We are discussing which cars have park assist and which of these park themselves better?

    Ill be impressed when self-parking cars park like this!  (And a feature that I will use ONLY if they actually park like that!)

    10e3eaffc3f3e23451a8565680103e8b91e1695c

     

    I bet you these kids will NEVER use park assist in their lives!!!

    image?id=816005867774&t=44&plc=WEB&tkn=*

    kid-shows-how-to-parallel-park-o.gif

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Edited by oldshurst442
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    14 hours ago, William Maley said:

     

    I would ask then is what you would compare this specific model with? If we were talking about 2.0T or 3.6, then I would compare it to the likes of 5-Series, E-Class, S90, etc. But this is 3.0TT Platinum with a starting price of $87,495. I think if we're talking price, then the S-Class, 7-Series, A8 comparisons are fair.

    But, the size of CT6 is where I think the comparison becomes tougher. The CT6 is smaller than a full-size flagship, but bigger than a midsize (i.e. CTS). We go back to the issue of the last-generation CTS - what class does it compete in? Compact or midsize?

    I think that's where a lot of us, myself included, find ourselves scratching our heads as to where to put it.

    The A8 and 7 Series are more apt here. The S Class, when you start to option it out (never mind the higher base price), shoots into another stratosphere price wise that makes comparing a much cheaper Cadillac kind of pointless. That's just my opinion, mind you, but I feel it is a valid opinion. I do get that the CT6 is a "tweener" size but just further makes my point in regards to any comparison to a bigger and much more expensive S Class. That all changes when the CT8 comes out.

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    14 hours ago, smk4565 said:

    It isn't a high horse, you stated that ease of parking was an advantage of buying the CT6 over the other big sedans, but they all self park.  So it is a non issue really.  No V8 in the CT6, and a base 4 cylinder, so they aren't going for performance.  I think they should have done more with the interior so they had something that stands out against the competition.

    Its not just about parking.. the CT6 has a better turning radius.. thus allowing it to maneuver better. U are just hell bent on trying to praise Benz.. which is curious.. because if the CT6 had the V8 options that the S-Class has... the all important to U 0-60 times would most likely see Caddy a victor again. Did I mention FUCK BENZ??? 

    1 hour ago, surreal1272 said:

    The A8 and 7 Series are more apt here. The S Class, when you start to option it out (never mind the higher base price), shoots into another stratosphere price wise that makes comparing a much cheaper Cadillac kind of pointless. That's just my opinion, mind you, but I feel it is a valid opinion. I do get that the CT6 is a "tweener" size but just further makes my point in regards to any comparison to a bigger and much more expensive S Class. That all changes when the CT8 comes out.

    Not just that.. the CT6 is quite frankly on par directly with the two "alternative Germans" and currently beats the LS460 and XJ... and IT'S NOT EVEN CALLED FLAGSHIP. The CT8 is simply gonna roast these bitches if it follows the same trend set forth by the CTS and now CT6

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    25 minutes ago, Cmicasa the Great said:

    Its not just about parking.. the CT6 has a better turning radius.. thus allowing it to maneuver better. U are just hell bent on trying to praise Benz.. which is curious.. because if the CT6 had the V8 options that the S-Class has... the all important to U 0-60 times would most likely see Caddy a victor again. Did I mention FUCK BENZ??? 

    Not just that.. the CT6 is quite frankly on par directly with the two "alternative Germans" and currently beats the LS460 and XJ... and IT'S NOT EVEN CALLED FLAGSHIP. The CT8 is simply gonna roast these bitches if it follows the same trend set forth by the CTS and now CT6

    Check out this V roasting on the Autobahn. At 11min is where you see him hit the no limit zone and run up to 292kph. Pretty sweet and stable run.

     

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      Power Selection
      Hyundai offers two engines for the regular Sonata; a naturally aspirated 2.5L four-cylinder or a turbocharged 1.6L four. A more potent turbocharged 2.5L four-cylinder is available on the upcoming Sonata N Line. My tester featured the turbo 1.6 which produces 180 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque. That puts it in line with some of the base engines found in the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry.
      I wouldn't call this engine quick, but it handles most driving situations with aplomb. This comes down to most of the torque being situated at the lower end of the rpm band. The only area where you might be wishing for more power is merging onto a freeway or keeping up traffic. The eight-speed automatic does an excellent job of maximizing the engine's output.
      Under the Sonata Hybrid's hood is a system comprised of a 2.0L four-cylinder and electric motor to provide a total output of 192 horsepower and 151 pound-feet of torque. The Sonata Hybrid feels just as fast as the standard Sonata around town and on country roads. It does struggle slightly on the highway due to the smaller torque figure. The six-speed automatic doesn't stumble when the change over from electric-only to hybrid mode like I have experienced on other Hyundai/Kia hybrid models.

      Opting for Limited on the Sonata Hybrid brings a solar panel for the roof which acts as a trickle charger for both the 12-volt car battery and 1.6-kWh lithium-ion pack for the hybrid system. Hyundai says that the panel can add an extra two miles of range with adequate sunlight. I can't attest to this claim, but will say the solar panel did add an extra bit of charge to the battery, even on an overcast day.
      Fuel economy for both models are as followed,
      Sonata 1.6T: 27 City/36 Highway/31 Combined Sonata Hybrid: 45 City/51 Highway/47 Combined My week saw an average of 29 mpg in the Sonata and 39 mpg for the Sonata Hybrid.
      Calm and Collected
      Hyundai has done some work on the Sonata's chassis and suspension to make it more rewarding to drive. It shows on a winding road as both versions show little body roll and feel more agile than the outgoing model. Steering feels direct and has a decent amount of weight. I will say the Mazda6 is still the one to beat if driving pleasure is your key goal.
      But the Sonata has an ace up its sleeve. It is also one of the most comfortable cars in the class. Driving over some of the roughest roads in Metro Detroit, the Sonata's suspension soaks up most bumps and imperfections to provide a serene ride. The minimal amount of road and wind noise that comes inside also helps.
      Rising To The Top

      The previous generations of the Sonata were always so close to being at the top of the class. But there always something that held it back whether it was the design, handling, or powertrains. But this new model shows how much Hyundai has put in. There is a nice balance between ride and handling; powertrains are very competent, and the interior is best in the class. Plus, the Sonata still retains Hyundai's trademark of offering a lot for not much money.
      Where most people will stumble on the Sonata is the exterior. It is very much a love or hate it affair. Plus, some of the tech features feel more like a party trick to show to friends than something you'll use. 
      Nevertheless, I think Sonata moves up to the top of the midsize sedan pecking order. 
      But there is one more question to answer. Between the regular and hybrid versions, which one I would drive away with. The answer which surprised me is the hybrid. I found it to be a little bit more well-rounded and deliver some excellent fuel economy figures during my time.
      Alternative:
      Kia K5: Like the idea of the Hyundai Sonata, but not to sure on the design? Then the Kia K5 may be the answer. Based on the same bones as the Sonata, the K5 takes a more evolutionary approach to the design. The basic shape may remind you of the previous-generation Optima, but its the little details such as a new grille and revised rear deck lid that help it stand out. From reviews, the K5 proves to be a bit sportier. We hope to get our hands on this challenger in the near future. Disclaimer: Hyundai Provided the Sonatas, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2020
      Make: Hyundai
      Model: Sonata
      Trim: Limited 1.6T
      Engine: Turbocharged 1.6L GDI DOHC 16-Valve Inline-Four
      Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, Front-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 180 @ 5,500
      Torque @ RPM: 195 @ 1,500-4,500
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 27/36/31
      Curb Weight: 3,336 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Montgomery, AL
      Base Price: $33,300
      As Tested Price: $34,365 (Includes $930.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Carpeted Floor Mats - $135.00
      Year: 2020
      Make: Hyundai
      Model: Sonata Hybrid
      Trim: Limited
      Engine: 2.0L GDI DOHC 16-Valve Inline-Four, Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motor
      Driveline: Six-Speed Automatic, Front-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 150 @ 6,000 (gas); 51 @ 1,800 - 2,300 (electric motor); 192 (total output)
      Torque @ RPM: 139 @ 5,000 (gas); 151 @ 0 - 1,800 (electric motor)
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 45/51/47
      Curb Weight: 3,530 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Asan, South Korea
      Base Price: $35,300
      As Tested Price: $36,430 (Includes $975.00 Destination Charge)
      Options: 
      Carpeted Floor Mats - $135.00

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      I rarely get the opportunity to drive two different flavors of the same vehicle within a short timeframe. But that's what happened in the fall when I had the chance to drive the new Hyundai Sonata in its standard and hybrid forms. The Sonata has always been a favorite of mine as it offered a lot for a midsize sedan, with a surprising price tag. It has also come very close to being at the top of the class, but falling somewhat short due to one thing or another. This new version has the chance of changing that.
      Very Polarizing Design

      The consensus from several readers on Cheers & Gears and various social media sites on the Sonata's design was of dislike. Many found the design to be a bit much and overdone. I found myself in the minority as I was impressed by the lengths Hyundai went. The flowing lines and raked roofline reminded me of the 2012 Sonata which gave notice to other automakers to step up their game. Little details such as the bars the run along the outer edge of the hood to the headlights to a distinct rear-end treatment make the Sonata stand out.
      If there is an issue I have with the Sonata's design, it is the grille. I find it to be slightly cartoonish due to the large size and shape.
      Simple, Yet Elegant Interior
      If you're worried that the polarizing ideas from the exterior make their way inside, don't. The interior is surprisingly sedate with clean lines and a simple design. Hyundai should be commended for using a lot of soft-touch plastics and leather on various surfaces. It makes the Sonata look and feel more premium than its price tag may suggest.

      Despite the coupe-inspired roofline, the Sonata's interior space is quite spacious. Most no one will have any complaints sitting in the back as there is ample head and legroom. Taller passengers should be aware that the optional panoramic sunroof for the Sonata will take away some headroom. The Sonata Hybrid doesn't worry about that as it doesn't offer the sunroof.
      Tech Galore!
      Both of the Sonatas on test came in the Limited trim which means a bountiful selection of technology. It begins with a 10.2-inch TFT display for the instrument cluster which provides all of the key information needed at a glance. A clever trick is when you engage the turn signal, the respective 'dial' brings up a camera mounted underneath the side view mirrors to provide a blind-spot view. I found this system to be helpful as it gave me an extra set of eyes whenever I needed to change lanes.

      Next up is another 10.25-inch screen housing Hyundai's latest infotainment system. I like the three-window layout on the home screen that you can customize to your needs. Navigating around the system is a breeze with a response touchscreen and capacitive touch buttons sitting on either side. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard.
      The next two tech features are exclusive to the standard Sonata. First is what Hyundai calls a digital key. Using the BlueLink application on a compatible smartphone, you can use this instead of the key to start the car and drive away. At the time of this writing, this is only available on Android phones. Hyundai did provide a loner Samsung Note smartphone for the week to try this out. I did not have the best experience with this feature at first because I found you need to be pretty close to the vehicle to make a connection. Trying to connect from my room upstairs, just above where the vehicle was parked, the application would throw up a connection error. I found that if I moved to the living room or just outside the front door, the phone was able to make the connection. This sours some of the appeal of this feature. 
      At least using the phone as the vehicle's key does work a bit better. It only takes a few seconds for the phone to make the connection to the vehicle and you can start it up. Although, I found myself wondering wouldn't it be easier and faster to have the key. The only feature that makes any sense to me is the ability to share the key with other people, but lock down certain aspects.
      Second is Smart Park (or smart parkh as made famous by the Super Bowl commercial from last year). Using the key, you can have the Sonata move forward or back out of the parking spot to allow for easier access to get into the vehicle. It's simple to operate, just hold down one of two buttons for a few seconds; the Sonata starts up and goes into the correct gear to move in the desired direction. I can see the appeal in urban areas where space is limited. But in the current pandemic times all of us find ourselves in, this seems to be more of a gimmick.
      Power Selection
      Hyundai offers two engines for the regular Sonata; a naturally aspirated 2.5L four-cylinder or a turbocharged 1.6L four. A more potent turbocharged 2.5L four-cylinder is available on the upcoming Sonata N Line. My tester featured the turbo 1.6 which produces 180 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque. That puts it in line with some of the base engines found in the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry.
      I wouldn't call this engine quick, but it handles most driving situations with aplomb. This comes down to most of the torque being situated at the lower end of the rpm band. The only area where you might be wishing for more power is merging onto a freeway or keeping up traffic. The eight-speed automatic does an excellent job of maximizing the engine's output.
      Under the Sonata Hybrid's hood is a system comprised of a 2.0L four-cylinder and electric motor to provide a total output of 192 horsepower and 151 pound-feet of torque. The Sonata Hybrid feels just as fast as the standard Sonata around town and on country roads. It does struggle slightly on the highway due to the smaller torque figure. The six-speed automatic doesn't stumble when the change over from electric-only to hybrid mode like I have experienced on other Hyundai/Kia hybrid models.

      Opting for Limited on the Sonata Hybrid brings a solar panel for the roof which acts as a trickle charger for both the 12-volt car battery and 1.6-kWh lithium-ion pack for the hybrid system. Hyundai says that the panel can add an extra two miles of range with adequate sunlight. I can't attest to this claim, but will say the solar panel did add an extra bit of charge to the battery, even on an overcast day.
      Fuel economy for both models are as followed,
      Sonata 1.6T: 27 City/36 Highway/31 Combined Sonata Hybrid: 45 City/51 Highway/47 Combined My week saw an average of 29 mpg in the Sonata and 39 mpg for the Sonata Hybrid.
      Calm and Collected
      Hyundai has done some work on the Sonata's chassis and suspension to make it more rewarding to drive. It shows on a winding road as both versions show little body roll and feel more agile than the outgoing model. Steering feels direct and has a decent amount of weight. I will say the Mazda6 is still the one to beat if driving pleasure is your key goal.
      But the Sonata has an ace up its sleeve. It is also one of the most comfortable cars in the class. Driving over some of the roughest roads in Metro Detroit, the Sonata's suspension soaks up most bumps and imperfections to provide a serene ride. The minimal amount of road and wind noise that comes inside also helps.
      Rising To The Top

      The previous generations of the Sonata were always so close to being at the top of the class. But there always something that held it back whether it was the design, handling, or powertrains. But this new model shows how much Hyundai has put in. There is a nice balance between ride and handling; powertrains are very competent, and the interior is best in the class. Plus, the Sonata still retains Hyundai's trademark of offering a lot for not much money.
      Where most people will stumble on the Sonata is the exterior. It is very much a love or hate it affair. Plus, some of the tech features feel more like a party trick to show to friends than something you'll use. 
      Nevertheless, I think Sonata moves up to the top of the midsize sedan pecking order. 
      But there is one more question to answer. Between the regular and hybrid versions, which one I would drive away with. The answer which surprised me is the hybrid. I found it to be a little bit more well-rounded and deliver some excellent fuel economy figures during my time.
      Alternative:
      Kia K5: Like the idea of the Hyundai Sonata, but not to sure on the design? Then the Kia K5 may be the answer. Based on the same bones as the Sonata, the K5 takes a more evolutionary approach to the design. The basic shape may remind you of the previous-generation Optima, but its the little details such as a new grille and revised rear deck lid that help it stand out. From reviews, the K5 proves to be a bit sportier. We hope to get our hands on this challenger in the near future. Disclaimer: Hyundai Provided the Sonatas, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2020
      Make: Hyundai
      Model: Sonata
      Trim: Limited 1.6T
      Engine: Turbocharged 1.6L GDI DOHC 16-Valve Inline-Four
      Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, Front-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 180 @ 5,500
      Torque @ RPM: 195 @ 1,500-4,500
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 27/36/31
      Curb Weight: 3,336 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Montgomery, AL
      Base Price: $33,300
      As Tested Price: $34,365 (Includes $930.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Carpeted Floor Mats - $135.00
      Year: 2020
      Make: Hyundai
      Model: Sonata Hybrid
      Trim: Limited
      Engine: 2.0L GDI DOHC 16-Valve Inline-Four, Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motor
      Driveline: Six-Speed Automatic, Front-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 150 @ 6,000 (gas); 51 @ 1,800 - 2,300 (electric motor); 192 (total output)
      Torque @ RPM: 139 @ 5,000 (gas); 151 @ 0 - 1,800 (electric motor)
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 45/51/47
      Curb Weight: 3,530 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Asan, South Korea
      Base Price: $35,300
      As Tested Price: $36,430 (Includes $975.00 Destination Charge)
      Options: 
      Carpeted Floor Mats - $135.00
    • By William Maley
      Despite being one of the best sellers in the luxury crossover class, the Lexus RX lacked something many competitors offered; a third-row option. Lexus rectified this a couple of years ago by stretching the RX's body and adding a third-row to create the RX L. I spent some time in the RX 350L Luxury back in the fall to find out if Lexus has another winner or if this a half-baked attempt.
      You can tell the difference between the standard RX to the longer L by looking for a floating roofline treatment. This is due to Lexus blacking part of the c-pillar to help disguise the added bulk. It doesn't fully work as looks somewhat half-baked. At least Lexus was more successful upfront where non F-Sport models get a new mesh insert to replace the horizontal slats, along with a revised bumper. When equipped with the Luxury Package, the RX is a plush and pleasant place to spend time. The leather upholstery feels nice to the touch and the use of contrasting colors (cream and brown in my tester) help make it feel special. Lexus has finally added a touchscreen for the RX's infotainment and it makes a huge difference. Gone are the litany of issues I have noted in previous models such as, Being precise with your finger movements when selecting an item Becoming very distracting to use when on the move Not the most intuitive controller Now using Lexus Enform or Apple CarPlay/Android Auto is not an exercise in frustration, but one of ease. My only complaint is that I wished Lexus moved the screen slightly more forwards. It is quite a reach to use the touchscreen. Those sitting in the second row will not have much to complain about as head and legroom are plentiful for most passengers. The same cannot be said for the third-row. Getting back here is difficult as there is not enough a gap when the second-row seat is moved forward. Once back here, space is non-existent with your head touching the headliner and legroom from nothing to something bearable depending on where the second-row is set. The one upside to the longer RX is cargo space. With the third-row seat folded, you get about seven extra cubic feet of space compared to standard RX. Power comes from a 3.5L V6 used in several Lexus and Toyota vehicles.  For the RX 350L, it produces 290 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque. My tester came with all-wheel drive, but front-wheel drive is standard. Performance is adequate as you'll be able to keep up with traffic or make a pass with no issue. Those wanting a bit more performance should look at something like the upcoming Acura MDX or Volvo XC90. Comfort is still a key hallmark to the RX. Bumps and potholes become mere ripples when driven over. There is also a noticeable lack of road and wind coming inside. The RX 350L feels like a stop-gap solution until Lexus finishes up their upcoming three-row crossover due out within the next couple of years. The third-row isn't all useful for carrying passengers and is best to fold down to expand cargo space. If you need a third-row, there are much better options such as the Volvo XC90. But if you really want an RX, stick with the standard two-row version and pocket the cash you saved for something nice. Disclaimer: Lexus Provided the RX 350L, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2020
      Make: Lexus
      Model: RX
      Trim: 350L Luxury
      Engine: 3.5L DOHC 24-valve with VVT-iW V6
      Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 290 @ 6,300
      Torque @ RPM: 263 @ 4,700
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 18/25/21
      Curb Weight: 4,597 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Miyawaka, Fukuoka, Japan
      Base Price: $54,700
      As Tested Price: $63,540 (Includes $1,025.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      12.3" Navigation System/Mark Levinson 15-Speaker Premium Audio System - $3,365.00
      Blind Spot Monitor with Intuitive Parking Assist, Panoramic View Monitor, and Rear Cross Traffic Alert Braking - $1,865.00
      Running Boards - $640.00
      Color Head-Up Display - $600.00
      Second-Row Captain's Chairs - $405.00
      All-Weather Floor Liners with Cargo Mat - $330.00
      Cold Weather Package - $315.00
      Mudguards - $155.00
      Door Edge Guards - $140.00
    • By William Maley
      Despite being one of the best sellers in the luxury crossover class, the Lexus RX lacked something many competitors offered; a third-row option. Lexus rectified this a couple of years ago by stretching the RX's body and adding a third-row to create the RX L. I spent some time in the RX 350L Luxury back in the fall to find out if Lexus has another winner or if this a half-baked attempt.
      You can tell the difference between the standard RX to the longer L by looking for a floating roofline treatment. This is due to Lexus blacking part of the c-pillar to help disguise the added bulk. It doesn't fully work as looks somewhat half-baked. At least Lexus was more successful upfront where non F-Sport models get a new mesh insert to replace the horizontal slats, along with a revised bumper. When equipped with the Luxury Package, the RX is a plush and pleasant place to spend time. The leather upholstery feels nice to the touch and the use of contrasting colors (cream and brown in my tester) help make it feel special. Lexus has finally added a touchscreen for the RX's infotainment and it makes a huge difference. Gone are the litany of issues I have noted in previous models such as, Being precise with your finger movements when selecting an item Becoming very distracting to use when on the move Not the most intuitive controller Now using Lexus Enform or Apple CarPlay/Android Auto is not an exercise in frustration, but one of ease. My only complaint is that I wished Lexus moved the screen slightly more forwards. It is quite a reach to use the touchscreen. Those sitting in the second row will not have much to complain about as head and legroom are plentiful for most passengers. The same cannot be said for the third-row. Getting back here is difficult as there is not enough a gap when the second-row seat is moved forward. Once back here, space is non-existent with your head touching the headliner and legroom from nothing to something bearable depending on where the second-row is set. The one upside to the longer RX is cargo space. With the third-row seat folded, you get about seven extra cubic feet of space compared to standard RX. Power comes from a 3.5L V6 used in several Lexus and Toyota vehicles.  For the RX 350L, it produces 290 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque. My tester came with all-wheel drive, but front-wheel drive is standard. Performance is adequate as you'll be able to keep up with traffic or make a pass with no issue. Those wanting a bit more performance should look at something like the upcoming Acura MDX or Volvo XC90. Comfort is still a key hallmark to the RX. Bumps and potholes become mere ripples when driven over. There is also a noticeable lack of road and wind coming inside. The RX 350L feels like a stop-gap solution until Lexus finishes up their upcoming three-row crossover due out within the next couple of years. The third-row isn't all useful for carrying passengers and is best to fold down to expand cargo space. If you need a third-row, there are much better options such as the Volvo XC90. But if you really want an RX, stick with the standard two-row version and pocket the cash you saved for something nice. Disclaimer: Lexus Provided the RX 350L, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2020
      Make: Lexus
      Model: RX
      Trim: 350L Luxury
      Engine: 3.5L DOHC 24-valve with VVT-iW V6
      Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 290 @ 6,300
      Torque @ RPM: 263 @ 4,700
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 18/25/21
      Curb Weight: 4,597 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Miyawaka, Fukuoka, Japan
      Base Price: $54,700
      As Tested Price: $63,540 (Includes $1,025.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      12.3" Navigation System/Mark Levinson 15-Speaker Premium Audio System - $3,365.00
      Blind Spot Monitor with Intuitive Parking Assist, Panoramic View Monitor, and Rear Cross Traffic Alert Braking - $1,865.00
      Running Boards - $640.00
      Color Head-Up Display - $600.00
      Second-Row Captain's Chairs - $405.00
      All-Weather Floor Liners with Cargo Mat - $330.00
      Cold Weather Package - $315.00
      Mudguards - $155.00
      Door Edge Guards - $140.00

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      After months of rumors and spy photos, Cadillac finally spilled the beans on their new high-performance CT4 and CT5 Blackwing. These new models are planned to give German rivals a bruising when they start arriving at dealers later this summer. Here is what we know.
      CT4 Blackwing
      The smaller of the two Blackwing models starts with a twin-turbo 3.6L V6 engine with 472 horsepower and 445 pound-feet of torque. To achieve this power, Cadillac upgraded the various internals with titanium connecting rods and a revised crankshaft. Power is routed to the rear-wheels by either a six-speed manual or ten-speed automatic. Performance figures are impressive with a 0-60 mph time of 3.8 seconds (automatic transmission) and a top speed of 189 mph.
      In terms of handling, the CT4 Blackwing features an electronic limited-slip rear differential and latest version of Magnetic Ride Control 4.0 - Cadillac claims the latter is the quickest-reacting suspension in the world. A set of Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires keep the vehicle glued to the road, while optional optional carbon ceramic brakes bring it to a quick stop.
      Visually, the CT4 Blackwing uses a new grille with larger openings to gobble up more air; functional fender vents, front splitter, and a rear spoiler. A carbon fiber package that claims to reduce aerodynamic lift by 214 percent is an option.
      CT5 Blackwing
      For those who want something a bit more mad can direct their attention to the CT5 Blackwing. Under its hood lies a massaged 6.2L supercharged V8 engine with 668 horsepower and 659 pound-feet of torque. Again, power is routed to the rear-wheels via a six-speed manual or ten-speed automatic. 0-60 mph takes 3.7 seconds (automatic transmission) and can cruise towards 200-plus mph. 
      What does this massaged V8 engine have? For starters. there's a larger supercharger (1.7-liters), aluminum cylinder heads, titanium intake valves, and improved airflow. 
      Like the CT4, the CT5 Blackwing gets Magnetic Ride Control 4.0 and electronic limited-slip rear differential. A set of forged 19-inch wheels exclusive to the Blackwing come wrapped in a set of Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires. 
      Outside, a new grille with larger openings to allow for more air, front splitter, and rear spoiler are the key changes to note. A carbon fiber package is optional.
      How Much?
      The CT4 Blackwing will set you back $59,990, and the larger CT5 Blackwing will cost $84,990. Both prices include a $995 destination charge. You can head down to your nearest Cadillac dealer to place a pre-order for either model right now.
      Source: Cadillac
      V-Series Blackwing: Ultimate Track Capability, Zero Compromise
      The 2022 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing and CT5-V Blackwing, two of the most powerful Cadillacs ever, raise the bar on performance The 2022 Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing and CT4-V Blackwing represent the pinnacle of Cadillac performance and craftsmanship, leveraging championship-winning racing heritage to create the most track-capable Cadillacs ever, while continuing to set new standards for luxury and comfort.
      Leveraging a Cadillac racing history that began in 1949 and has seen sustained success over the last two decades, the V-Series Blackwing models were developed with driver engagement and performance at the top of mind.
      “V-Series Blackwing stands for the very highest level of execution from Cadillac and offers a distinctly American vision of performance: incredible power and luxurious craftsmanship, with absolutely zero compromise,” said Brandon Vivian, executive chief engineer, Cadillac. “We looked to our championship-winning racing heritage and brought an uncompromising eye for detail to create two cars that elevate the V-Series experience.”
      V-Series Blackwing vehicles build on the already excellent performance dynamics of the CT5-V and CT4-V to create the top tier of the Cadillac sedan lineup.
      Highlights include:
      Evolutions of the track-ready Cadillac 6.2L Supercharged V8 in the CT5-V Blackwing and 3.6L Twin-Turbo V6 in the CT4-V Blackwing Upgraded TREMEC six-speed manual transmission standard Available 10-speed automatic transmission Electronic Limited Slip Rear Differential enhanced to reduce mass and improve on-track reliability Advanced suspension refinements providing greater body control and a more agile feel Magnetic Ride Control 4.0, the world’s fastest reacting suspension technology, sharpening the balance between daily-driving comfort and high-performance track capability Unique structural enhancements improving steering response and handling on the track Cadillac’s largest ever factory-installed brakes, available on the CT5-V Blackwing Extensive validation including 12-hour and 24-hour track testing Customizable integrated digital gauge cluster with Custom Launch Control and Performance Traction Management settings Liberating performance
      The CT5-V Blackwing uses an upgraded 6.2L supercharged V8 that, thanks to a higher flow air-intake and revised exhaust system, is rated at 668 horsepower (498 kW) and 659 lb-ft of torque (893 Nm), making it the most powerful production Cadillac ever. Each engine is hand-built at GM’s Bowling Green Assembly facility in Kentucky and features a signed engine builder’s plate.
      The CT4-V Blackwing sports an evolution of the Cadillac 3.6L Twin-Turbo V6 that features revised control system software and an improved air intake system to create 472 horsepower (352 kW) and 445 lb-ft of torque (603 Nm). The turbos’ low-inertia (titanium-aluminide) turbine wheels enable more precise and responsive application of torque throughout the rev range.
      Highlighted features and output:
      CT5-V Blackwing: 6.2L Supercharged V8 - 668 hp, 659 lb-ft of torque GM-estimated top track speed: over 200 mph GM-estimated 0-60 mph: 3.7 seconds (automatic transmission) Most powerful Cadillac ever Air intake airflow is improved by 46 percent vs. the CTS-V Compact, high-output 1.7L four-lobe Eaton supercharger with small-diameter rotors that enable boost to be generated earlier in the rpm band for instantaneous response Rotocast A356T6 aluminum cylinder heads are stronger and handle heat better than conventional aluminum-alloy heads Lightweight titanium intake valves Track-capable wet-sump oiling and vent system with external oil separator and drainback CT4-V Blackwing: 3.6L Twin-Turbo V6 - 472 hp, 445 lb-ft of torque GM-estimated top speed: 189 mph GM-estimated 0-60 mph: 3.8 seconds (automatic transmission) Most powerful and fastest Cadillac in the subcompact class Air intake restriction is improved by 39 percent vs. the ATS-V Turbocharger compressors matched for peak efficiency at peak power for optimal track performance Titanium connecting rods (manual transmission only) and revised crankshaft counterweights reduce main/rod bearing reciprocating loads Re-targeted piston oil squirters, which direct engine oil at the bottoms of the pistons, for improved temperature control The manifold-integrated water-to-air charge cooling system contributes to more immediate torque response Airflow routing volume is reduced by 60 percent when compared to a conventional design that features a remotely mounted heat exchanger Track-capable braking systems
      Both V-Series Blackwing models feature advanced high-performance braking systems that have been extensively track and road-tested. The exclusive V-Series Blackwing wheel designs enable an even larger rotor over the previous CTS-V, making the CT5-V Blackwing braking system the largest factory-installed brakes in Cadillac history. Additionally, an available carbon-ceramic brake package for the CT5-V Blackwing, featuring cross-drilled rotors, deliver several benefits including weight savings, durability and heat management.
      Highlighted features:
      CT4-V Blackwing: 14.96 x 1.34-inch (380 X 34 mm) front rotors and 13.4 x 1.1-inch (340.5 x 28 mm) rear rotors CT5-V Blackwing: 15.67 x 1.42-inch (398 X 36 mm) front rotors and 14.7 x 1.1-inch (373.5 x 28 mm) rear rotors Staggered Brembo® six-piston front calipers and four-piston rear calipers Available on the CT5-V Blackwing, the lightweight carbon-ceramic brake package significantly improves heat management, as well as greater resistance to wear under extreme conditions on the racetrack, while also reducing unsprung mass and rotating mass: 53-pound (24 kg) reduction in unsprung weight 62-pound (28 kg) reduction in rotating mass High-performance copper-free brake linings comply with California law and deliver superior fade resistance with an excellent pedal feel on and off the track Brake systems are integrated to each vehicles’ selectable drive modes, including brake pedal feel. Brake pedal feel can also be assigned within My-Mode and V-Mode Manual transmission is standard
      Rare for sport sedans today, a six-speed TREMEC manual transmission is standard on both vehicles. It has been optimized for each V-Series Blackwing vehicle to provide an engaging experience on the track or on the road. Details include:
      LuK twin-disc clutch for high torque capacity and great pedal feel Active Rev Matching accessible via a console mounted toggle switch to automatically adjust engine speed to match anticipated downshifts No-Lift Shift allowing the driver to shift gears without letting off the gas pedal. In the case of the CT4-V Blackwing, it allows the turbos to remain spooled, resulting in faster lap times Transmission and rear differential cooling – the manual and automatic transmissions use the same track-performance cooling system for greater track performance Clutch and brake pedals positioned for optimal driver ergonomics A physical barrier stop for the clutch pedal rather than a hydraulic master cylinder stop provides greater driver feedback during clutch operation A shorter shifter ratio than previous generations for more precise shifts Ten-speed automatic transmission
      The CT5-V Blackwing and CT4-V Blackwing are available with a 10-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission. It is tuned to complement the dual-personality experience of each respective model.
      Highlighted features:
      Tap Shift/Manual Mode allowing the driver to use integrated magnesium paddle shifters to select a gear and hold it until selecting the next gear, up or down Sport Mode providing real-time interpretation of driving conditions, adjusting the transmission to reduce shift busyness and improve performance, while retaining aggressive driving dynamics Twenty-four-hour track testing resulted in several improvements in response to the demands of a high-g track environment, including a unique oil pan design and priority valve changes Unique control systems with performance calibrations tailored for each model Ten forward gears offer the most available transmission speeds in each sedans’ respective segments, helping keep the engines within their optimal rpm bands, while also anticipating the next shifts Dynamic Performance Mode is calibrated specifically for V-Series Blackwing to deliver track focused shift patterns and automatically activates when high-g forces are experienced in Sport or Track mode An auxiliary pump primes the automatic transmission system from the time the vehicle door is opened for improved cold-shift performance. Both V-Series Blackwing models also feature an enhanced Electronic Limited Slip Rear Differential. It weighs less and has been optimized for each driving mode and each Performance Traction Management setting.
      Highlighted features:
      More control of the rear differential compared to traditional open and mechanical limited-slip differentials Enhances road grip by automatically allocating torque to the rear wheel with the most traction during hard cornering — with the capability of sending up to 1,475 lb-ft (2,000 Nm) of locking torque across the axle High-performance differential cooler An aluminum housing replacing the previous generation cast iron housing, reducing mass by more than 22 pounds (10 kg) Exclusive integrated heat exchanger for enhanced cooling Advanced suspension systems and strengthened chassis
      V-Series Blackwing combines the fourth generation of Magnetic Ride Control (MR 4.0), with improvements to the front and rear suspension systems. Stiffer spring rates, unique hollow stabilizer bars, higher-rate bushings and more enable a driving experience that isolates the driver from road imperfections, while also providing a precise, engaging connection with the road.
      MR 4.0 highlights:
      Immense performance envelope that gave Cadillac engineers the freedom to optimize everyday driving and aggressive track performance New accelerometers and an inertial measurement unit that transmit and process changes in road conditions four times faster than the previous generation system Secondary temperature maps that enable engineers to compensate for changes in damper fluid temperature for more consistent performance, even during performance driving Inertial measurement unit that provides more precise measurements of body motion relative to the wheel for more accurate readings under heavy braking, hard cornering and other driving conditions Improved magnetic flux control that creates a more consistent and accurate transition between rebound and compression Improvements to transient body control that allow the vehicle to remain more level while transitioning between corners MacPherson strut front suspension:
      Ride link includes an all-new 100-percent elastomer bushing on the CT4-V Blackwing and a retuned hydro bushing on the CT5-V Blackwing, for improved ride response Handling link has cross-axis ball joints for improved lateral control and quicker steering response Five-link independent rear suspension:
      Lateral link features stiffer bushings for faster response and increased cornering agility Toe link has cross-axis ball joints for increased stability and driver confidence Rear knuckles have increased stiffness for improved braking and better control during cornering Rear cradle mounts have been stiffened for optimum balance between road comfort and track performance V-Series Blackwing models are built on Cadillac’s award-winning rear-wheel drive architecture and feature unique structural enhancements including shock tower braces, an underside shear plate and thicker rear cross members to improve chassis rigidity. Along with the unique suspension elements, the stiffer structure enhances steering response, handling and the everyday driving experience.
      All-day performance, on and off the track
      The CT5-V Blackwing and CT4-V Blackwing build on Cadillac’s racing heritage and were developed to be track-capable straight from the factory. That includes an intensive validation program to ensure consistent performance during the most challenging track conditions.
      Validation for both models included:
      Twenty-four-hour continuous track testing with the available automatic transmission, available carbon fiber aero package, aluminum wheels and available carbon ceramic brake package Twelve-hour continuous track testing with the standard manual transmission, available carbon fiber aero package, aluminum wheels and available carbon ceramic brake package Functional aerodynamics, including an available carbon fiber aero package, contribute to the V-Series Blackwing models’ track prowess to support a variety of cooling needs for the cars’ respective engines, transmissions, axles and other supporting systems.
      Additionally, MICHELIN® Pilot Sport 4S tires developed exclusively for the V-Series Blackwing models contribute to their balance of track capability and road comfort. Highlights include:
      Unique, multiple-compound tread composition: Contact patch composed of three unique tread rubber compounds Racing “R compound” used for the majority of the tread Compounds optimized for wet traction, enhanced street and track durability, as well as rolling resistance The mold shape of the tire has been specifically engineered for Blackwing models to optimize contact with the road Tire sizes: CT5-V Blackwing tire size: 275/35ZR19 (front) and 305/30ZR19 (rear) CT4-V Blackwing tire size: 255/35ZR18 (front) and 275/35ZR18 (rear) Both V-Series Blackwing vehicles feature standard forged aluminum alloy wheels with staggered widths, front to rear. These forged wheels are stronger and lighter than conventional cast aluminum.
      Wheel sizes:
      CT5-V Blackwing: Front – 19 x 10 inches / Rear – 19 x 11 inches CT4-V Blackwing: Front – 18 x 9 inches / Rear – 18 x 9.5 inches Coming this summer
      Reservations for both vehicles open on Feb. 1, 2021 at 7:30 p.m. ET on Cadillac.com, with deliveries later this summer. Pricing begins at $59,9901 for the CT4-V Blackwing and $84,9901 for the CT5-V Blackwing.
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