Worry mongers have insisted that the manual transmission will eventually go extinct. And that might be true, but not yet. And marques preserving this traditional method of shifting are coming from unlikely places. In this case, the Cadillac V-Series.
That said, the Cadillac V-Series sedans that were revealed that day were not meant to directly replace the 464 horsepower ATS-V, or the 200 mph CTS-V, based on performance metrics alone. What Cadillac is doing instead is commodifying the V-Series family to what can almost be described as a trim level. Previously, Cadillac V-Series vehicles were known to be some of the fastest and highest-performing passenger cars on the market, even surpassing the likes of vehicles from the BMW M division and the Mercedes AMG division. The V-Series sub-brand turned 15 this year.
Reuss noted that one of the reasons behind the repositioning of the sub-brand was because “people were intimidated” by V-Series cars.
Knowing that the V-Series fanbase thus far would be understandably upset by this news, Cadillac teased a pair of high-performing sedans that will slot above the CT4-V and CT5-V the next day at the 2019 Belle Isle Grand Prix in Detroit. We have it on good authority that these outright replacements for the ATS-V and CTS-V will don the “Blackwing” name, which is currently the branding given to the 550 hp, 627 lb-ft twin-turbo DOHC V8 powering the Cadillac CT6-V.
It’s not expected that the base-level CT4-V and CT5-V will offer manual transmissions. However, the CT4-V Blackwing and CT5-V Blackwing are likely candidates receiving a DIY gearbox. Especially the CT4-V, since it’s the smaller and more youthful of the two, like the ATS-V before it.
These new Cadillac sedans will be built in the Lansing Grand River Assembly plant in central Michigan, and will introduce the A2XX vehicle architecture. We’re told by GM insiders that this new platform is very similar to the previous Alpha platform, but introduces more refinement and comfort into the architecture. These are Cadillacs, after all. Meanwhile, the Chevrolet Camaro, currently on the Alpha platform, is not expected to transition to A2XX, and the sixth-generation model is expected to run its course by 2023.