Cadillac’s upcoming 2022 CT4-V and CT5-V Blackwing will be the first GM production cars to utilize 3D-printed technology. In fact, the technology will be featured front and center on one of the cars’ most hotly anticipated features — in a decorative medallion atop the shift knob of the manual transmission.
Cadillac says that “additive manufacturing” (named as such because 3D printing accumulates tiny deposits of material to create the object) made the manual transmissions possible by reducing costs and waste. Aside from the medallion, the cars will employ two 3D-printed two HVAC ducts and an electrical harness bracket.
“[The manual transmission is] something we know V-Series buyers want and it’s something we knew we had to have, so we used innovative processes to make it happen,” said Cadillac performance variant manager Mirza Grebovic.
Speaking of which, Cadillac commissioned a Harris Poll survey about manual transmissions and received some interesting results. For example, 66 percent of American adults surveyed know how to drive manual, and 55 percent said they’ve owned a standard shift car. Of those who don’t, roughly 40 percent are either somewhat or very interested in learning. Interest is highest among two key demographics, 64 percent of those earning $75,000 or more in annual household income, and 62 percent of those ages 18-34.
The findings seem to contradict what many automakers have said about lack of interest in manuals, with some declaring a sub-1 percent take rate when manuals are offered. Perhaps with a performance-oriented car such as the V-series, buyer preferences change.
The mix of old school gearboxes and new school manufacturing techniques will result in what looks like a very potent car on paper. The CT5-V Blackwing is rumored to be powered by an updated 6.2-litter V8, while the CTS-4 Blackwing is said to be motivated by a turbo six. Neither will use the twin-turbo 4.2-liter V8 of their namesake, but they should prove to be worthy successors to the CTS-V and ATS-V.