Cadillac to Retain Manual Transmissions for V-Series

As we just covered yesterday, the V-Series application to the Cadillac CT4 and CT5 models will don intermediary performance models, similar to the former V-Sport line. The Blackwing nomenclature will designate top-performing models, redefining what the letter V really means to a Cadillac.

During the reveal of the 2020 CT4-V and CT5-V sedans, General Motors President Mark Reuss said, “Cadillac will make manuals in V-Series.” With four V-Series models across the two sedans, which are the likely candidates to receive three pedals?

The CT4-V and CT5-V specifications have already been provided by Cadillac and neither included a manual transmission. The CT4-V, with 320 horsepower and 369 ft-lbs coming from its 2.7-liter four-cylinder turbo engine, will only offer the 10-speed 10L60 Hydra-Matic transmission. Likewise, the CT5-V will use the 10-speed to route the 355 hp and 400 ft-lbs from its 3.0L twin-turbo V6. Whenever I say or write “10-speed” my mind automatically associates it with a bicycle. But, I digress…

As reported by Muscle Cars and Trucks, it will only be the Blackwing models that receive the row-your-own option. While we can all applaud the availability, we cannot assume that both CT4-V and CT5-V Blackwings will receive the manual transmissions. Mark Reuss only said that there would be manuals “in V-Series.” The two applications could require two different transmissions, depending on the engine selections for the Blackwings.

The last-generation CTS-V, with its 640 hp supercharged V8, was only available with an automatic transmission. Meanwhile, the smaller ATS-V, making 464 hp from its twin-turbo V6, was the sole model that received the 6-speed manual. The CTS-V would have required a higher torque-capacity transmission to be developed, which would have required significant development funds. In all likelihood, there is some correlation between selling price and take-rate of manual transmissions which exceeded the cost/benefit justification to provide one for the CTS-V.

In my prediction, I anticipate that the CT4-V Blackwing will be the only Cadillac offered with a manual transmission. But I dearly hope that it is backing it up a twin-turbo V6, rather than a 4-cylinder.

If the CT5-V Blackwing retains a twin-turbo V6, then maybe there is hope that it will be paired with a manual, but this would be offset by lamenting the loss of the two cylinders. If it receives the V8 we expect (maybe the actual Blackwing engine?), I fear there is a minuscule chance that Cadillac will bring it to market with a manual.

a version of this report first appeared on TTAC

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