15 years ago, the Cadillac CTS-V showed the world a new side of Cadillac aiming to buck the old person stigma, and bring the fight to BMW M and Mercedes AMG like no one thought possible. Until it eventually became commonplace for these Cadillacs to win in several high-level comparison tests. One of its standout features that’s made it to every other Cadillac V-series product are a set of Brembo performance brakes. In doing so, each performance Cadillac has seen steady braking improvements in each generation, but the first-ever 2022 Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing got the biggest upgrade yet: optional carbon ceramic Brembo brakes. Here’s everything you need to know about these high powered stoppers, and if they’re perhaps an early look at what to expect on the upcoming C8 Corvette Z06.
Most people know that carbon ceramic brakes provide increased braking performance with less fade than normal steel rotors. But they also come with a significant weight savings, and it’s unsprung mass, which makes an even bigger difference than weight in the body of the vehicle. Less weight at all four corners means the suspension doesn’t have to work as hard, and the wheels can spin, turn and stop with less energy, resulting in a more responsive vehicle. Brembo says their carbon ceramic brakes save 63.5 lbs in total compared to the standard Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing Brembo brakes.
These brakes feature six piston front and four piston rear monoblock calipers with copper free pads, which took certain Camaro models off sale in California for the 2021 model year. The pads also communicate with the Blackwing’s ECU to monitor pad wear, a great feature for frequent track-drivers. The calipers will come in Tech Bronze, a new color, plus Harbor Grey, Edge Red and Royal Blue.
Brembo has long been the brakes of choice for General Motors sports and muscle cars, and this isn’t the first time a GM performance product has used carbon ceramic. The C7 Corvette Z06 offered them as an option, much like the Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing, and the ZR1 had them as standard. The upcoming C8 Corvette Z06 is expected to be the most motorsport-derived Corvette ever, and will almost certainly come with carbon ceramics as standard. Could these Blackwing brakes hint at what’s to come? We’ll have to wait until the C8 Z06 is revealed this summer, and if the copper free pads will also make it Z06. After all, California mountain roads have been a main testing ground for prototypes.