As a luxury brand, Cadillac doesn’t have the same racing pedigree as other manufacturers that spent a considerable amount of their time at the track during the latter half of the 20th century. But the American brand hasn’t ignored motorsports in the subsequent millennia and deserves some real credit for fielding — and winning with — models like the CTS-V.R Coupe (Pirelli World Challenge GT series), ATS-V.R (GT3), and DPi-V.R (Rolex 24 at Daytona, WeatherTech Championship, Michelin Endurance Cup).
Cadillac would like to remind everyone of that fact and has introduced the GTP Hypercar as the keystone of its next attempt to embarrass rival manufacturers on the world racing stage — which will reportedly include the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The 2023 CT4-V Blackwing Track Edition, intended for regular customers, is the other part of that equation. To be offered in three flavors, each honoring a different course on the International Motor Sports Associations (IMSA) schedule, the models will exist as a kind of purchasable victory lap.
However, none of the “Track Edition” Caddies seem to offer any upgrades that might make them more useful on one. These are appearance packages designed to make the CT4-V Blackwing more collectible. The twin-turbocharged, 3.6-liter V6 will continue offering 472 horsepower and 445 lb-ft of torque without the aid of any slick new oil coolers, engine remapping, suspension tweaks, or anything else you might expect from a vehicle with the words “Track Edition” added to its name.
The Watkins Glen IMSA Edition comes exclusively in Electric Blue with Royal Blue brake calipers and the ability to choose between Signet or Sky Cool Gray for the interior. Cadillac said the hues were chosen to remind drivers of the blue guardrails used at the track. As a potential bonus, there’s a very small chance scratches might not show as badly if you were ever forced to scrape this particular model against them.
The Sebring IMSA Edition celebrates Florida’s 12 Hours of Sebring, where Cadillac enjoyed victory in both 2020 and 2021. It comes in the Maverick Noir Frost (dark gray) paint that already replaced Dark Emerald on the options list and comes with bronzed brake calipers. Interior colors are likewise offered in Signet or Sky Cool Gray. This time around the colors (or lack thereof) came into play because part of the race takes place at nighttime, which is something that could be said of most endurance-focused events. Cadillac might have well made it orange and purple, claiming it was because the sun sets during Sebring.
Lastly, there’s the Road Atlanta IMSA Edition — coming in Rift Metallic also known by color code GRW and touch-up code WA-249F. But you probably remember it best as Cadillac’s fancy alternative to Summit White. The company said the color had something to do with Atlanta being a “sophisticated” city and the “elevated environment” of the track itself. I suppose that makes some sense. Road Atlanta is known for changes in elevation (mainly the fast downhill at turn 10) and it definitely sits a little closer to the stratosphere than the other tracks. But I’m pretty sure Watkins Glen actually has more up and down overall and don’t really think the leadership at Cadillac was obsessing over the true relevance of paint colors, to begin with.
The last Track Edition Blackwing also comes with red brakes, mirrors, and the option to have matching interior if you don’t like the Sky Cool Gray which seems to be the default choice.
Additional touches for all cars include combining the optional carbon fiber packages available on the standard CT4-V, checkered graphics designed to hint at Cadillac’s racing heritage these cars aren’t technically a part of, some exterior IMSA logos, and more carbon fiber added to the back of the front seats.
There will also be a small plaque on the B-pillar and steering wheel further denoting the vehicles’ uniqueness. As the Track Editions are said to be limited to just 99 examples apiece, these will all be serialized to tell you which number you happen to have taken possession of (ideally, you’ll want number 69). There’s even a decal of the given track each model is honoring that goes on the rear glass.
It’s kind of a cool concept. But it would be substantially cooler if these vehicles were made a little more track-ready or uniquely tuned for their respective courses. The checkered graphics also feel like a low-key version of the tasteless decals offered up by the earliest Fast and Furious movies — something the tuners that actually developed those cars were reportedly against. But maybe customers will feel that they’re just that little bit of extra panache the CT4-V needed.
Production of the Watkins Glen version will begin in October and run through December, with assembly of the Sebring edition starting in January of 2023. Road Atlanta will pick up where that model leaves off, running from February to March of 2023. Pricing is TBA, though it would be crazy to expect these limited-edition cars not to be priced a fair bit above the standard Blackwing’s $60,300 MSRP. Dealer markups are likely to become a factor as well unless the models are outright shunned by Cadillac fans.
[Images: General Motors]
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