Deep dive: 2022 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing gets serious about downforce

The 2022 Cadillac CT4-V is about to land in showrooms, and it’s bringing with it the highest downforce of any V-series model thus far.

When it goes on sale this summer as the replacement for the Cadillac ATS-V, the CT4-V Blackwing will be available with two aero packages, both of which were developed using a new five-belt rolling-road wind tunnel at the General Motors Technical Center in Warren, Michigan. This setup allowed for more time to fine-tune components, and better simulates under-body airflow than previous wind tunnels, according to Cadillac.

Engineers also used computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis, and even used virtual-reality headsets to spot areas where aerodynamic efficiency could be improved.

The basic aero setup includes a front underwing with air strakes, which Cadillac said was inspired by its DPi-V.R IMSA Daytona Prototype International race car. It not only creates downforce, but also directs cooling air to components that need it.

Other elements include a rear spoiler (with a three-millimeter Gurney flap), 3D-printed brake-cooling ducts, a front splitter, flat underbody, and rear control-arm covers, to prevent air from building up in the rear wheel wells. Even the grille mesh was designed for optimized airflow, according to Cadillac.

In addition to those items, an optional Carbon Fiber Package adds front dive planes, underwing strakes, front wheel deflectors, and a more aggressive front splitter and rear spoiler. A second Carbon Fiber Package adds rocker extensions (which help reduce lift and provide high-speed balance, per Cadillac) and a rear-valance diffuser.

Pushing the CT4-V Blackwing through the wind is the 3.6-liter twin-turbocharged V-6 from the ATS-V. Horsepower increases from 464 to 472 hp, while torque remains unchanged at 445 lb-ft. Cadillac quotes a 0-60 mph time of 3.8 seconds and a top speed of 189 mph.

Cadillac opened reservations for the CT4-V Blackwing (and larger CT5-V Blackwing) in February, and the initial allotment quickly sold out. However, a limited number of vehicles are still available to order, Cadillac said, with deliveries scheduled to begin this summer. Pricing starts at $59,990, including destination.

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