Illustration for article titled Cadillac Doesn't Need the Blackwing

photo:: David Tracy

Cadillac showed his new gear stick CT4- and CT5-V Blackwings, with a twin-turbo V6 and a supercharged V8. I think they are supposed to be Cadillac’s internal combustion swan song today. I couldn’t be happier.

My colleague David Tracy needs to get closer to the Blackwings and has lots of fun technical details about these sports sedans, including a nice view of the double disc clutch and an Easter egg hiding on the lock diff.

It’s a pleasure to see what it feels like to have almost old-fashioned performance auto technology coming out brand new, as David wrote:

The auto industry is enter the electric era quicklySo it’s a bit strange for Cadillac to launch two completely conventional flagship sedans. But this is the cutting edge of performance gasoline Cadillacs, and my god is GM’s premium brand that vibrates.

The thing is, I’m glad this seems like the end of gasoline performance for Cadillac. It’s the last thing the company needs.

Cadillac has been running this game for decades. Make a standout chassis, make it look sharp and drive sharper, with modern design in a retro layout. We have had this rear-wheel drive / V8 format since the first CTS-V in God in 2004. Did Cadillac “take over” the Germans in any meaningful way? Of course not. Cadillac makes its bones selling SUVs and crossovers. Nobody buys an XT5 or XT6 because they think it works better than a BMW, and I don’t think they buy it because the V-cars are on the other side of the showroom.

If you’re curious about Cadillac’s model-by-model breakdown, They are compiled here by the Cadillac Society. Cadillac sold more than twice as many XT5s (its bestseller) as CT5, seven times as many XT6s as CT6.

Obviously, sedans don’t do this for the brand, and the high-performance variants don’t help in the least. What Cadillac needs is effective, efficient, and luxurious transportation. Something stylish, something technical, something calm.

You could advocate what electric cars mean. Cadillac would be better than the company that brings us the first full-size, all-electric SUV with significant range. something desirable. Something GM could show off. Something that isn’t even available at the BMW dealership across town. I’m not sure if this image is achievable with Cadillac still selling supercharged V8s.

Take, for example, the one car in the Cadillac range that still feels like a Cadillac. The only one who reads as a Cadillac on the go: large, opulent, imposing. It’s the escaladeand if it were electric no one would notice or care.

And even if you think Cadillac’s foray into the all-electric world is a mistake, you can’t really claim that V-cars are helping the brand in one way or another. The money Cadillac put in a twin-turbo V8 should be orphaned immediately could have advertised something that people actually wanted. Something like SuperCruise! Something like interiors where you don’t rush into cheap plastics! Something that feels Good.

The Blackwings are fan service at best, a distraction at worst. It’s time to leave those cars behind.

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