2020 Cadillac CT6 4.2TT AWD: We Test the CT6's Blackwing
Handicapping the CT6’s comparison-test chances against an Audi A8/RS 7, BMW 750i/M5, or a Mercedes S560/E63 S.
Sep 18, 2020
By: Frank Markus
At least as important as adding power is reducing weight, and the CT6's Omega-platform chassis, derived from the Alpha platform that has been so well received in other Cadillacs and the Camaro, weighs in at just 4,407 pounds in its fully loaded Platinum trim (the sportier CT6-V likely weighs less). That's 185 to 698 pounds less than any recent A8L, BMW 750i, or Mercedes-AMG S 63 we've measured. Comparing against the slightly smaller V-8 competitors it more closely matches in price, our CT6 Blackwing weighs 174 pounds less than our last E 63 S 4Matic and is about 140 pounds heavier than the BMW M5s we've weighed. Fitted with magnetic ride-control shocks and a sophisticated multi link front and rear suspension, the CT6 seems well equipped to battle these worthy competitors.
The 60-mph mark flashes by in 4.1 seconds en route to a 12.4-second 113.0-mph quarter mile. That handily quashes the BMW 750i (4.3 and 12.7 seconds) and entry non-V-8 Audi and Mercedes flagships, but the Audi RS 7 and the Mercedes-AMG S 63 handily smoke the Cadillac (3.3/11.5 and 3.4/11.6 seconds, respectively), as do the smaller E 63, M5/M6, and even the BMW M550i xDrive. The CT6-V would doubtless shave a few tenths off that performance, but it probably won't vanquish the industry stalwarts.
The story's pretty much the same on cornering, where the CT6 posted a reasonable 0.91g average lateral grip—better than 750i/A8L (0.90/0.89 g) while falling short of the grip displayed by the zootier full- and midsize sport sedans. That's not bad performance, given the Cadillac's more ride-oriented Goodyear Eagle Touring tires, which only managed a 119-foot stop from 60 mph—that's 3 to 22 feet longer than any of the considered competitors. Available Eagle F1 Asymmetric 3 summer tires on the CT6-V would no doubt improve notably on both of these results. (Our figure-eight course was not available due to the global pandemic.)
Cadillac strikes a nice balance in this CT6 between providing reasonable driving dynamics when your adrenaline is running, and relaxed touring behavior when it's not. Body motion control is composed, steering feel is good for the class, and the brake pedal feels better than its lackluster stopping distances suggest. The 10-speed Hydra-Matic transmission is superbly paired with this engine and programmed so well as to obviate the need for shift paddles. Could this 4.2TT or possibly a well-driven CT6-V outrun an S 63, Alpina B7, or S8 on a French corniche in a Ronin-style bad-guys chase? Possibly not, but presuming you don't die in the chase, you'll revel in the soothing Bose Panaray tunes and find it much easier to wind down while driving the CT6 4.2L Platinum home afterwards with the Super Cruise set (presuming someone maps the French Autoroutes).
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