Luxury sport compact sedans have been out of the limelight lately as buyers fall in love with sportier crossovers instead. But let’s assume you’re not impressed by a high-performance SUV and would rather spend your time in a more street-centric sports sedan, well, there’s still hope for you. The 2022 BMW M3 and Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing keep the sports sedan segment alive.
How do they measure up on paper? The Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing is powered by a 3.6-liter, twin-turbocharged V6 that produces 472 horsepower and 445 pound-feet of torque. You can get a CT4-V Blackwing with either a six-speed manual or a 10-speed automatic gearbox. The BMW M3 is powered by a supercharged 3.0-liter inline-six engine that produces 473 horsepower and 406 pound-feet. The M3 is only available with a six-speed manual, but if you want an automatic you can step up to the more powerful M3 Competition.
While the CT4-V Blackwing and the standard M3 have comparable performance figures, BMW also offers the more powerful M3 Competition, boosting power to 503 hp and 479 lb-ft. The M3 Competition are also available with all-wheel drive, while the CT4-V Blackwing is only available with rear-wheel drive.
The M3 accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.1 seconds, while the CT4-V Blackwing is slightly faster at 3.9 seconds. Both sedans have a nice sounding exhaust, but the CT4-V Blackwing’s exhaust has more bite.
The Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing is the more affordable of the two, starting at $60,390 (including destination). Prices for the BMW M3 start at $71,095.
Going beyond specifications, both the M3 and CT4-V Blackwing are a joy to drive. Based on GM’s rear-wheel-drive Alpha platform, the CT4-V features MagneRide dampers and Performance Traction Management modes. The CT4-V Blackwing is agile and its chassis always demands more. The steering is almost perfect. It also has great brakes, easily beating the M3’s brakes.
The Cadillac’s V6 performs well on paper, but a low rev of 6,500 rpm takes away some of the fun. While the engine has a broad torque curve and is ready to get the CT4-V Blackwing up to speed quickly, it lacks the personality that the M3’s engine brings to the table. The good news is that when you’re ready to just cruise down the street, the CT4-V Blackwing’s suspension is surprisingly smooth and definitely not as harsh as its predecessor, the ATS-V.
At the other end, the M3’s engine revs up to a more comfortable 7,200 rpm. As you’d expect, the inline six is super smooth and the six-speed manual transmission is perfect. The M3’s power arrives with ease and its steering is quick and responsive. For back-to-back sprints through the canyons, the CT4-V feels better planted on the road.
Aside from how great both sedans are on the road, there are some differences in their interiors. Both interiors are luxurious, but the M3’s interior feels a bit more modern with its larger touchscreen. The M3 also has higher-quality materials than the CT4-V Blackwing, with some of the parts in the Cadillac looking like they came straight out of GM’s lower-priced models. But we expect the M3 to have better quality materials considering its higher price.
At the end of the day, it’s hard to pick a winner between the BMW M3 and the Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing. The CT4-V Blackwing features excellent handling and braking. But we can’t ignore the M3’s strong attributes, like its fabulous six-cylinder engine and perfect steering. So there you have it, both sedans are great, just don’t wait too long to decide as gas-powered luxury sports cars will become rarer by the end of the decade.
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