Cadillac has garnered quite a bit of attention lately, though not exactly for the reasons that enthusiasts can get behind. It was announced last week that one in six Cadillac dealerships would rather close than make the move to selling electric vehicles, which the company plans to exclusively offer by 2025. This mid-decade deadline has left many wondering about the future of the upcoming Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing and CT4-V Blackwing models. Perhaps hoping to quell some of this customer anxiety, the automaker has just confirmed the two sports sedans will arrive with a six-speed manual transmission. And as it turns out, we can thank 3D printing for this development.
According to Cadillac, the gearbox is an all-new unit which was designed using new additive manufacturing processes. That is a fancy way to say 3D printing was involved with the development process, which ultimately helped to shave costs and reduce waste. Cadillac also promises that the new gearbox will be quieter and more robust than its predecessor. Considering Cadillac utilized the stalwart and revered Tremec TR-6060 six-speed in the second-gen CTS-V and one-and-done ATS-V, that’s saying a lot.
The CT5-V Blackwing and CT4-V Blackwing models will also be the first GM products to feature functional 3D printed parts. This includes the aforementioned gearbox components, as well as other parts like two HVAC ducts and an electrical harness bracket. In order to pay homage to the additive manufacturing processes used to design the new stick shift box, Cadillac will also be placing a 3D-printed medallion atop the gear lever.
The six-speed is slated to be the standard transmission, with GM’s 10-speed automatic transmission available as an alternative. The automaker believes that the old-school standard will be a popular choice with buyers however, especially considering the CT4-V Blackwing will be the only sedan in its class to offer a stick.
As we await the official summertime debut of the Cadillac Blackwing models, there is still much we don’t know about the sporty pair. It is assumed that the smaller CT4-based model will receive the 3.6L turbo LF4 V6 engine from the outgoing ATS-V, whereas the bigger sedan will feature the 6.2L LT4 V8 from the Camaro ZL1. We also know that GM has plans to use lightweight magnesium wheels for the cars, and that the CT5-V Blackwing will get some fancy carbon bucket seats. What we don’t know is how long GM plans to sell the sedans, considering they are powered by nasty dino juice. Perhaps these are the last manual Cadillac models we’ll ever get for some time.
Look for these exciting new vehicles to debut in the first half of 2021.