Cadillac using 3D printing to bring manual transmission to upcoming Blackwing sports cars
General Motors has been trying out 3D-printed car parts for years. When it comes to the company's new sports sedans, the parts are going from their tryout on the track to the streets of a town near you.
The 2022 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing and 2022 Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing will come standard with a manual transmission. The transmission is one part of the formula that makes the cars the first General Motors production vehicles with functional 3D parts. This includes two HVAC ducts and an electrical harness bracket. In addition, a unique 3D-printed medallion will sit on the manual shifter knob
"A lot of work went into making the manual possible in both vehicles. It's 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 Mirza Grebovic, Cadillac performance variant manager. "There are a few ways to really get that connected feel with the vehicle and the manual transmission is probably the most obvious one."
Both the CT4-V Blackwing and the CT5-V Blackwing will come standard with a six-speed manual transmission and offer a 10-speed automatic transmission as an option. The CT4-V Blackwing will be the only sedan in its segment to offer a manual.
The real question isn't regarding the production of the transmission or the parts. It's about how many people will actually want a car with a manual transmission.
A recent Harris Poll study conducted on behalf of Cadillac cousin that 66 percent of adults know how to drive a manual. Other results of the poll that Cadillac made available include that of those who do not know how to drive a manual, roughly 40 percent are either somewhat or very interested in learning. Fifty-five percent of American adults say that they have owned or leased a car with a manual transmission. Interest in driving or learning to drive a manual is higher among those with $75,000 or more in annual household income (64 percent interested) and those between 18-34 in age (62 percent interested).
It doesn't appear to answer how many people like to drive a manual transmission or how many of them would like to drive one on the regular, let alone own one. Cadillac appears to be hoping that at least a few of those are around.
The limited edition 2022 CT4-V Blackwing and CT5-V Blackwing will be available starting summer 2021 with a premium price tag.
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