As far as we know, Vegas oddsmakers don't take wagers on the winners of our 10Best list. But if they did, the Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing likely would have been an odds-on favorite. Its stats are certainly impressive. All right, they're staggering: a supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 making 668 horsepower and 659 pound-feet of torque and burdened with just over two tons of curb weight, a standard six-speed manual transmission, and the purity of rear-wheel drive.
Regular readers might have laid money on a 10Best appearance for Cadillac's new supersedan after our first instrumented test, wherein we called the CT5-V Blackwing "one of the best sports sedans not only in recent memory but ever made."
The odds probably would have increased further after the CT5-V Blackwing vanquished the BMW M5 Competition and the Audi RS7 in a comparison test, racking up perfect scores in the categories of performance, steering feel, brake feel, handling, and ride.
Still, making C/D's 10Best list is never a given. A car has to prove its mettle at our two-week testing event (which saw 67 contenders this year) and effectively also must knock out one of the previous year's champs. The big-daddy Caddy, though, was the most talked-about car there, and the superlatives poured in: "Unbelievably quick and composed." "Takes your breath away." "Simply epic."
Perhaps another leading indicator was that the CT5-V Blackwing didn't come out of nowhere. The car is built on General Motors' Alpha architecture, which has given us keen driving machines such as the track-monster Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE and the 10Best-winning Cadillac CTS V-Sport. Even the regular CT5-V is a compelling sports sedan in its own right. More broadly, the CT5-V Blackwing is the culmination of a two-decades-long effort to create for Cadillac a world-beating sports sedan.
Well, it's here. The car has an insane powertrain and a chassis to match. GM's magnetorheological dampers do their usual brilliant work. Tactile, perfectly weighted steering makes an M3's steering feel synthetic by comparison. Underfoot, there's a fabulously firm brake pedal that doesn't need multiple modes, but it has them.
Of course, we love that the Blackwing comes standard with a six-speed manual transmission, which signals this car's uncompromising driver focus. But if its muscle-building clutch is too much for your traffic-clogged commute, there's always the 10-speed automatic. With the latter, the Blackwing hits 60 mph in 3.5 seconds and punches through the quarter-mile in 11.4 at 128 mph; the manual is 0.1 second and 3 mph behind.
As monumental as the performance is, there's more to the Blackwing. The cohesiveness of the controls sizzles your synapses even when you're exploiting just a fraction of the car's abilities. Granted, it's expensive, with an $87,090 base price, which easily limbos under our $90,000 cap (unlike its comparison-test challengers).
The electric supersedans that are arriving now, and the many more still to come, might surpass this car's test numbers, but it'll likely be more than just a few generations until they are as rewarding to drive as this Cadillac. The CT5-V Blackwing is one for the ages. So, yeah, it's a 10Best winner. Always bet on Superman.