Cadillac Blackwing

The News for February 5th, 2021

Welcome to the Hooniverse News! As always, this is a weekly recap of the biggest stories in the automotive industry without the fluff or bull. This week: Cadillac gives us proper V Series cars, Nissan finally introduces new Frontier, hell freezes over, Nissan Pathfinder also gets redone, Ford partners with Google for new in car tech and connected mobility solutions, plus some other news from the week.

Cadillac V-Series Blackwing

Cadillac Blackwing

It’s been hinted at for years, spied constantly, and even delayed a few times, but it’s finally here. The real V-Series Cadillacs. The true successors to the CTS-V and ATS-V that once dominated the spotlight at Cadillac were unveiled this week and expectations were exceeded. Say hello to the Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing (red) and CT5-V Blackwing (white), two love letters to V-Series enthusiasts that could be a last hurrah. Not to be confused with the limited run of Cadillacs that featured an advanced, German-like engine that was called the Blackwing, these Blackwings are among the fastest and most powerful Cadillacs ever produced. I don’t know why Cadillac decided to use the same name for two very different things either.

Cadillac Blackwing

The now defunct Blackwing motor may have been slated to find a home in one or both of these cars, which could have been cool. But the engines we’re getting instead are a bit more familiar and just as cool as before. Both offer excellent performance in just slightly different ways. The CT4-V, successor to the ATS-V, utilizes a 3.6-liter twin-turbocharged V6 with an impressive 472 horsepower and 445 lb.-ft. of torque. Meanwhile, the CT5-V, the CST-V’s successor, gets the mighty 6.2-liter supercharged V8 with 668 horsepower and 659 lb.-ft. of torque. This makes the CT5-V the most powerful Cadillac ever produced.

While one car may be quite a bit faster than the other, both will be plenty capable on fun roads and race tracks. Cadillac isn’t one to just throw a load of power at something and leave the rest alone… at least not anymore. Both cars receive staggered Brembo six-piston front and four-piston rear calipers and large discs all around. CT5-V gets 15.67 inches front and 14.7 inches rear while the CT4-V gets 14.96 inches front and 13.4 inches rear. The CT5-V however gets a unique option for lightweight carbon-ceramic brakes which reduces unsprung weight by 53 pounds, reduces rotation mass by 62 pounds, and improved heat management. Fourth-generation Magnetic Ride Control and a host of other chassis upgrades keep the cars hunkered down and on their toes at the driver’s will. The cars feature stiffer spring rates, unique hollow stabilizer bars, higher-rate bushings, and those improved magnetic dampers to both isolate the driver from road imperfections while also providing a precise connection to the road. That’s of course what everyone says about their ride quality so we’ll have to wait and see for ourselves.

Cadillac Blackwing

Left: CT5-V | Right: CT4-V

When I said this was a love letter to enthusiasts, here’s why. Manual transmissions are not only available on both cars, they’re standard and were a major focus in the marketing for these cars. Few sports sedans still offer these things and Cadillac put proper effort in theirs. A six-speed Tremec gearbox was chosen for the job and beefed up with extra cooling for track work. It’s paired with a Luk twin-disc clutch for high torque capacity and great pedal feel, active rev matching (can be turned off), no-lift shift, a physical barrier stop for the clutch pedal, a short shifter, and proper pedal positioning for optimal ergonomics. For those who don’t need a manual to have fun, a very quick ten-speed automatic with magnesium paddle shifters is also available. Cadillac says they put the automatic transmission cars through a 24-hour continuous track test to prove its durability. The manual car was put through a 12-hour test for the same purpose.

Cadillac Blackwing

Regardless of how power is transferred to the rear wheels, an electronic limited slip differential offers more flexibility and grip in various situations. Cadillac worked with Michelin to develop their own version of the fabulous Pilot Sport 4S tire to be used on both models. This results in a unique, multiple-compound tread composition and a mold shape specifically engineered to optimize contact with the road to go with the Blackwing’s geometry. They’re beefy tires too with 255/35ZR18 (front) and 275/35ZR18 (rear) on the CT4-V and 275/35ZR19 (front) and 305/30ZR19 (rear) on the CT5-V.

With the world going the way it is, we certainly won’t be seeing cars like this for very much longer. This was a big passion project for the people involved and I suspect their passion will be evident when people start driving them. Reservations are open now and deliveries will commence later this summer. The CT4-V Blackwing will start at $59,990 and the CT5-V will command $84,990.

[Source: Cadillac]

2022 Nissan Frontier

2022 Frontier

Nissan has been known for letting their models age rather extensively. The 370Z and GT-R are ones that often catch the most flak for being well over a decade old now, but it’s easy to forget that the Frontier exists. Despite it being nearly seventeen years old in its current form, they still managed to sell over 72,000 of them last year, possibly due to its new V6 upgrade. Likely to fleets, but still, not terrible numbers considering that it’s nearly two decades old. Imagine if the Ford Mustang was still built on the S197 chassis that came out in 2005. Now imagine that but in the single most competitive vehicle segment on earth and also a year older. That’s the Nissan Frontier. Until now.

Finally, the midsize pickup gets a revamp. A new generation Frontier is on the way with a modernized V6, fresh looks inside and out, and new tech and safety features. The 2022 Nissan Frontier will aim to be a “right-sized” pickup for those who want a truck for everything, such as a daily driver that could also be used for weekend adventures. It should offer a good range of capabilities without being a pain to park. You know, like a mid-size truck.

2022 Frontier

The design was one thing that showed its age the most on the old truck. Inside and out, the 2022 Frontier is all new and rugged-looking. Its exterior design “combines aggressive, modern style with elements inspired by the iconic Nissan Hardbody”. A big ole grille and its beefy-looking, off-road-inspired nose are prominent features, as are its new interlocking headlights. With its high eye-point and shoulder bodysides, the truck has an elevated and widened stance that should make it a prime candidate for brodozing on a budget. In the rear, more muscular fenders and lamps that appear to clamp to the body sides further beef up its look.

The old Frontier didn’t look bad at all… until you got inside. That’s been addressed with an all new “utility-centric” interior. The biggest difference is the addition of a central display that no longer looks like an old Garmin unit you found in the project car you bought off an elderly couple. This one is a 9″ touch screen which they say is the largest in its class. I’m too lazy and completely uninterested to independently verify that. It supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and is standard on all models. Even the gauge cluster is digital now as standard. Other interior highlights include tons of storage space (4.0 liters of center console storage), added insulation, and standard Zero Gravity seats which reduce long-range driving fatigue.

2022 Frontier

Power is provided by a standard 3.8-liter direct injection V6 engine. It was introduced last year in what was likely the single biggest update the last-gen Frontier ever got. Back then power was rated at 310 horsepower and 281 lb.-ft. of torque. It will be paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission which is designed for maximum efficiency and strong acceleration. It also has nearly twice the amount of gears as the outgoing transmission. RWD and 4WD is available on all models as is the option for a Crew or King cab. A 5-foot bed is standard on the Crew Cab models while the King Cab gets a 6-foot bed as standard. The longer bed is also available on certain Crew Cab models.

Frontier buyers will also have no shortage of Nissan and Nismo accessories to choose from. More than 85 will be available around the Frontier’s launch date. They range from off-road step rails, suspension lift kits, auxiliary lighting, ladder racks, tents, and tons more. The Frontier will be available starting this summer. Nissan has had a very long time to get this right and it seems that they just may have pulled it off. The new Nissan Frontier makes others in the midsize pickup segment look dated by comparison. Oh how the turn tables.

[Source: Nissan]

Nissan Pathfinder


The Frontier isn’t the only ancient Nissan to get a new lease on life. The Pathfinder is a handsome new SUV with plenty of all terrain capabilities when optioned correctly. Because I’m terrible at managing time and spent way too long on the Cadillac and Frontier news, I’ll forward you to Jalopnik for the details on this one.

Ford partners with Google for connected vehicle tech

Ford-Google partnership

Ford made a big announcement this week along with Google. The two giants will be partnering to create unique services and capabilities for Ford and Lincoln customers. There’s a few key points that I’ll highlight but there’s a lot of potential implications for the future of Ford.

Ford named Google Cloud its preferred cloud provider, which means Ford will leverage Google’s omnipotence (their data), AI, and machine learning to accelerate their transformation as an electrified company with enhanced connected driving tech. This will have impacts on Ford’s development and manufacturing but also the end user experience. Drivers will have expanded convenience and service as well as a totally new in-car infotainment system.

Beginning in 2023, Ford will run on Android with every feature in the book. Google Assistant will be used for voice commands, Googel Maps will be the vehicle’s primary built-in navigation, Google Play will give drivers access to apps for music, podcasts, audiobooks, etc, and third party developers will have some access as well. An important note to answer a question I’m sure many of you have – this is only impacting the base user experience of the car (replaces Sync) and Android Auto and Apple CarPlay will still be supported.

This is a big step for Ford. Sync has made some major improvements but it’s still not what I’d call the best on the market. Sync 3 in my Mustang is just a bit too slow to respond and could use a few more features. So who else is better to overhaul a user interface than a company that dominates mobile market share.

[Source: Ford]

Other coverage from the week

2021 Ford F-150 Raptor jumping




What’s your automotive news?

hooniverse news whats your naws

That’s all I’ve got for you this week, so now it’s your turn. If you saw anything, fixed something, broke everything, or otherwise did anything even remotely car related that you want to share with your fellow hoon, sound off in the comments.

Have a good weekend.

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25 responses to “The News for February 5th, 2021”

  1. GTXcellent Avatar

    So the MiSSus finally got her other snowmobile last weekend. 850 Switchback Pro-S. Aaaand……with under a hundred miles on it I managed to stuff it in a snowdrift. The good news is that the sled didn’t suffer a scratch, and, even better, I can finally walk now without limping. Although my leg is still extremely swollen and extremely bruised.

    It’s funny. I’ve been riding snowmobiles for basically my entire life. I can remember being 6 or 7 or so and just begging my dad to get his Polaris 295 Charger started so I could putter around the yard. I have driven thousands, if not tens of thousands of miles, and in all that time I’ve only had 2 incidents, and both almost identical. Both times it was misty/foggy and difficult to see. Both times I drove/fell into a deep, hard, drifted hole, and both times happened in almost the same spot in the world. The first time was about 30 years ago and resulted in a broken nose. Thankfully this time I only had the deep thigh bruise, and probably a mild concussion. So what did I learn? Not a damn thing. I’ll climb back on that horse this weekend, although it is supposed to be -50.

  2. smaglik Avatar

    I accomplished quite a bit on the red wagon last weekend, doing a comprehensive maintenance on it and replacing some of the commonly failing N52 parts at this stage in its lifetime (and, those that can put an end to a fun trip rather quickly). So, new drivetrain fluids, coolant, air filters, belt/tensioner/idler pulley, plugs, coils, vanos solenoids, and camshaft sensors. I also got the vehicle tinted last week, and this weekend we’re going to make a run to phx in it. Presuming all shakes out well, I’ll start the intake swap next week. I’ve ordered the proper cable from BimmerGeeks and downloaded the software as well, so I think I’m in good shape!

    Also, gray wagon is getting an oil change when I finish this message.

    Also, x3 got a completely cleaned boot because some dumbass didn’t tie down the coolant on the way to the dump. It’s rather puckering to look at your vehicle’s battery sitting in a puddle of coolant when you’re twenty minutes from home. But, it seems like I averted any real problems, and it was just an ugly mess to clean out (nothing odd electrically happened, and I was able to dry it all out). Sigh.

  3. Sjalabais Avatar

    Reading what others get done, I wonder why everything I do seems to take months…coils, plugs and more for the big black beast arrived this week and I’ll have to find a way to get the work done. The weather has been nice here and I’ll be sleeping next to a bonfire at -20 degrees again tomorrow, just spending some quality time with the kids first. But car work…will get done. Fixed the lost brake caliper bolt on the Leaf, which at Nissan original cost about 15$. Yikes.

    Also, a meta-word: How is the proposed new comment system coming along? This one is temporary, right?

    1. Sjalabais Avatar

      I am so, so tired of car troubles. Coming down from the mountains last night, my wife called and told me they were stranded. The Leaf would neither charge properly (popping her friend’s home charging point’s fuse after 30′) nor would it start. It did technically start when I arrived there in the evening, but driving…not on the menue – now I fear issues with the main battery. The light show my wife encountered:

      1. Fuhrman16 Avatar

        Oof mate. I’m sorry to hear you’ve been having so much trouble automotive related lately.

        1. Sjalabais Avatar

          Thanks! It actually helps a fair bit blowing off some steam here, and reading about heros like smaglik who seems to rebuild his fleet every other week or so. ? Right now I am sitting at a quick charger to heat the battery and charge the thing – got it running. No clue as to what was wrong, but I got two new ELM’s in the loaner from the other shop to read error codes after.

  4. Fuhrman16 Avatar

    “Nissan finally introduces new Frontier, hell freezes over”
    Oh, is that why there’s gonna be high temps of -5f (-20c) with lows around -22f (-30c) the rest of the week?

  5. MarkG Avatar

    So I bought a new to me A5 cabriolet to do some touring starting this summer. Saw some uneven wear on one of the tires. Took it in to tire shop. Toe is off on all 4 corners, Camber is way off on 3 of 4. Wheels were scuffed and repaired before I got it. Seems it was bounced off some curbs or something, not just standard age and some potholes out of alignment…sigh… The tech was wondering if some suspension parts got bent, so he didn’t even align it. So I gotta stew on this all weekend. In today’s ‘as is no warranty’ way of selling cars, I’m wondering if I have any recourse 30 days later.

    1. Sjalabais Avatar

      Private sale? Here in Norway, something that must have been known to the owner, but remained undisclosed (i.e. a wheels-vs-curbstones hobby) is a reasonable ground for renegotiation or even backing off of the sale within two years (!). That’s between private parties, for professional sellers, it’s way stricter and we’re talking five years.

      Anyway, bummer! Good luck thinking this through.

  6. Salguod Avatar

    Cadillac showing BMW how high performance sedans are done. Good, maybe not great, looks, serious performance and 3 pedals.

    The old Pathfinder was a good looking CUV. Perhaps it was a bit soft. This one is edgier but bland and gives off 10 year old GMC Acadia vibes.

    So Thursday, the flaw in my plan of having 2 old vehicles at
    my disposal was revealed. The old part. I got in the Tundra and I noticed that the dash brake light stayed on. Parking brake was disengaged and I had good pedal. I checked the fluid level and it looked good.

    Taking a chance with the brakes didn’t seem like a good idea, so I decided to take the BMW. I try to keep it out of the salt, but I didn’t have a choice. I get in, turn the key and get nothing. Dead battery. It was dead last weekend too and I charged it, got it started, let it idle for 20 minutes and took it for a short drive before parking it. To have it dead again a few days later means either a bad battery or a parasitic drain. Given the sub 20 degree temps, it’s probably the battery.

    So, in the coldest week of the winter thus far, I get to try to get at least one of those issues resolved this weekend.

    1. Rover 1 Avatar
      Rover 1

      Also showing what an extremely wealthy company GM is, they can develop an extremely expensive, entirely new super sophisticated Direct Injection, Hot Vee, quad cam turbo alloy V8 to compete with the best of MB/AMG and BMW, for just one of their divisions and then, hardly use it, before retiring it completely.

      Wait, didn’t GM bankrupt not long ago? I wonder if those things are connected?

      1. Lokki Avatar

        Here’s the thing for me: I am totally in love with CT5-V as shown here…AND I am pissed at the new look for BMW. Now, my lease on the 5 isn’t up for about a year, so it’s like waaaay early but, hey! I like car shopping.

        When these hit the dealers, I may get one of my friends and we’ll do a masked test drive. Should be fun!

        However here come the buts before buying:

        The CT5-V is way out of my league. With favorable lease terms I could just swing the CT4-V but assuming ATS dimensions it’s going to be pretty cozy inside, and Mrs. Banker may not approve of trading space for power…

        And then there is the GM first-year-of-a-new-model legend. To wit:

        Only a fool goes into the mountains of Siberia, naked and carrying a pound of bacon, at night, or buys the first year of a GM car with new engineering.

        It’s odd but I just had an epiphany of sorts. Lexus doesn’t really appeal to me, as I have the vague notion that Lexus is an old man’s car – like Cadillac used to be, and Cadillac is the upstart trying to prove itself.

        1. Idaneck Avatar

          I’m certainly interested in the Lexus IS F with a 5.0l V8.

          1. Lokki Avatar

            That may indeed be a very, very good answer!

      2. Tiller188 Avatar

        The Blackwing (the engine, not the “series”…GM, I’m all for resurrecting/repurposing old nameplates when it’s appropriate, but within the space of a year or two, once you’ve made a name mean something, stick with it, please) is definitely a head-scratcher. I think I heard something about it simply being too expensive to produce and maintain, or something? I mean, I get that sunk-cost fallacy is a thing and if the engine were going to end up costing you a bunch of money, it’s a sound decision to retire it…but the development cycle for a brand-new clean-sheet engine isn’t exactly short. From the perspective of pure technical interest I’m glad it got made, I’m just struggling to figure out why it was greenlit and made it all the way to production apparently before anyone realized that it wasn’t feasible.

        Ah well, GM can spend their money however they like. OUR money, however, is a different story, so if you find yourself in dire straits (again) after a series of questionable business decisions, GM, don’t go running to the government. Own up to your mistakes, be honest about it, and start a GoFundMe or something, like the little guys who fall on hard times — there are plenty of Corvette/Camaro/Silverado/etc. fans out there that don’t want to see you go under and would be happy to throw some dollars in the hat. For that matter, I don’t want to see you go away either, despite having never bought one of your products, and I’d probably contribute as well…but make no mistake, Joe Taxpayer (especially Joe Taxpayer who drives non-GM cars, i.e. has deliberately chosen to spend their money elsewhere) owes you nothing.

        1. Sjalabais Avatar

          Excellent perspective, just chiming in that “Government Motors” was funny enough, but “GfM” for GoFundMe-Motors would take that one up a notch.

  7. Manic_King Avatar

    How do I log in? How to post photos? Haven’t been here for a couple of weeks and commenting is different….

    1. Manic_King Avatar

      OK, so user icon has automagically appeared.

    2. Manic_King Avatar

      It’s (relatively cold) wintertime now and all the funky home brew creations for ice fishing people come out, some are for sale, too.

  8. Batshhtbox Avatar

    I was born in the 1960s and I only just watched Maximum Overdrive this weekend. I feel like I’ve passed some Hoon’s Milestone; like I’ve been inducted into a higher order. The scales have fallen from my eyes and I can see clearly now that “Trucks” was just a cheesy made-for-TV excrescence (thanks, IMDB!) Now I know why that ACDC record was so bad; it is redeemed.

    Maybe next year I’ll watch Vanishing Point.

    1. outback_ute Avatar

      Having just read about MO, I’m in no rush…

      1. -Bats Avatar

        It’s streaming for free, as is Trucks! (U-Turn, U-Die!) on I think Amazon, or whatever my housemate has. We double-featured them last night. Maximum Overdrive is gleefully, deliberately bad, while also being actually badly edited. It’s in the vein of Rocky Horror Picture Show, where you can’t deliberately make a campy bad film but you can make a tribute to bad films.

        1. Sjals Avatar

          I had to go and watch the trailer and those two minutes of my life were barely tolerably wasted.

  9. outback_ute Avatar

    Battery in the ute has been flat for a while during Covid, and after a few hours on the old charger still had the red ‘flat’ indicator on. I’ll try the other one, but it might take a ‘big one or it might be dead which would be a shame as I think it’s only 2.5 years old or so.