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How HSV could save the manuals with hot Cadillacs

By Andy Enright, 15 Apr 2020 News

How HSV could save the manuals with hot Cadillacs

Blackwing Caddies with V8 engines and a manual gearbox set to rival M and AMG could land in Australia

If the prospect of a powerhouse rear-drive, V8 sedan with a stick and three pedals has your interested piqued, then HSV could well deliver exactly that. Just not in the short term.

Cadillac's CT5-V Blackwing has some engineering that'll certainly have a familiar ring with traditional Holden customers.

A 6.2-litre supercharged V8 lump and a six-speed manual transmission is a mouth-watering combo. When that's marshalling some 484kW, it's time to get stoked. You may know this engine from the Camaro ZL1.

“They look exciting,” admitted HSV's Chris Polites of the Blackwing models, clearly having to bite his tongue. “That's all I can really say about them at this point in time.”

“They're not in our immediate term plans,” he explained. “We just launched the [Chevrolet Silverado] 1500 today so that'll keep us busy for the short term.”

Read next: Possible Commodore replacement lands in Australia

The Blackwing version of the CT5-V is set to rival the Mercedes-AMG C63 and the BMW M3 and will be offered in the US with a choice of six-speed manual or 10-speed automatic transmissions.

Rather confusingly, there was a 410kW 4.2-litre twin-turbo V8 Blackwing engine developed by Cadillac for this car, but that's purportedly not going into the flagship performance model.

The non-Blackwing version of the CT5-V sports a 268kW 3.6-litre V6, so it's more of an S4/C43 kind of deal. Offering both flavours would broaden the range without a huge additional investment in right-hand drive conversion development.

There are also the more affordable CT4-V models to consider. In the US, this is offered as a rear- or all-wheel drive platform, powered by a 2.7-litre turbo four, producing 242kW. An Audi S3 or BMW M240i rival, the longitudinally-mounted engine is, coincidentally, related to the four-pot found in Silverado pick-ups and drives through the ubiquitous 10-speed auto.

Read next: Could big Yank SUVs come to Australia?

The forthcoming Blackwing version of this car targets RS3 and M2 levels of performance and is also mooted to get a six-speed manual 'box. It's rumoured that this car will carry over the old ATS-V's twin-turbo 3.6-litre V6, and a minimum of 300kW is to be expected. Power is also said to go exclusively to the rear treads.

Post VFII Commodore, these two cars would appear to make a good fit for HSV. The company has earned its spurs with the mothership back in Detroit due to the quality of its re-engineering work with right-hand drive Camaro.

As HSV morphs into GM Specialty Vehicles, it's hard to think of two cars that better exemplify that title.

We might well have to wait, but delayed gratification only makes what's to come that much sweeter.