Engineering

Cadillac using 3D printing to bring manual transmission to upcoming Blackwing sports cars

The Cadillac CT4-V and CT5-V Blackwing will come standard with a manual transmission.

Photo courtesy of Cadillac

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

2022 Cadillac V-Series Blackwing magnesium wheels The 2022 Cadillac V-Series Blackwing will get limited edition magnesium wheels. Photo courtesy of Cadillac

"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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What was your best car-related experience this year?

Chris Teague

This year has been a lot of things, but it hasn't been boring. Even if we focus only on the car world, there's plenty to talk about, from microchip-related new vehicle shortages to the wave of new electric vehicles hitting the market. That leaves us with a question for all of you: What was the best or most memorable car moment for you in 2021? I'll get the conversation started.

Porsche Cayenne GTS My SoCal Cayenne śaw snow for the first time in its nearly 200k-mile life last week.Chris Teague

I'd spent a good portion of 2021 wanting a new-old car to drive when I wasn't testing a new vehicle. That's harder than you'd think for someone who thinks, talks, and writes about cars all day, because there are so many interesting, risky, and downright funky options out there in every price range. The added headache for me was that I'd chosen to shop for a "fun" car in one of the most volatile car markets ever seen. Even the extremely high-mileage "untouchable" European cars I wanted to buy were commanding ridiculous prices.

After a solid few months of waffling between various rattletrap Mercedes-AMG, BMW M, and Audi S/RS cars, I landed on an option that had escaped me before: The Porsche Cayenne. First-generation Cayennes are a real bargain now, but the 955/957 (Porsche's internal code for the SUVs) can experience major problems that occur with or without regular maintenance and care. I was determined to buy one, and wasn't overly concerned about mileage, as long as I could count the number of owners on one hand. There was a beautiful 2009 Cayenne GTS with 90,000 miles but nine owners, a gorgeous 2004 Cayenne Turbo with a concerning engine tick, and many more just like them. Finally, I decided to risky-click a 196,000-mile Cayenne GTS in Southern California. It had one owner and one dealer-owner for a month or two prior to sale, its condition looked decent in photos, and I was able to negotiate a reasonable enough price that shipping it from San Diego to Maine wasn't a huge problem.

Porsche Cayenne GTS The pics look great, but hands-on tells another story.Chris Teague

I had two traveling Euro mechanics check the car out, and both confirmed that it was well-worn but mechanically sound, so I jumped. Ten days later, on a snowy, icy, dark Maine afternoon, the Cayenne arrived. Cosmetically, there were a few things the dealer and mechanics failed to mention, but overall, it looked good. The SUV passed Maine safety and emissions testing without problem, got a new set of Michelins, and I was on my way.

Porsche Cayenne GTS I'm in danger, but thankfully this should be a reasonable fix.Chris Teague

A few days of driving revealed what I was really in for. A check engine light revealed a camshaft position sensor error and the Cayenne displayed a nasty vibration at idle. A new sensor and motor mounts, and I'm on my way. I'll update you as more things break or miraculously work, but I want to hear your memories from 2021.

Email me at chris@automotivemap.com, and I will compile the best and most interesting stories for a story on New Year's Day. May you all have a wonderful 2022.

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Insurance company Hagerty compiled a list of cars it thinks will climb in value and price.

Hagerty

Vehicle prices have grown across the board this year, but collector car prices have been on the move for years. The world of online car auctions and car shows such as Radwood have driven attention to obscure and otherwise unknown cars, pushing their prices. Insurance and overall automotive lifestyle company Hagerty is stepping in to help. It complied a list of vehicles that it believes are currently a good value and have potential to climb. The Hagerty Bull Market List covers ten vehicles of all types.

Hagerty’s list is expansive, covering several vehicle types, prices, and time periods. The list features vehicles built between 1963 and 2012, and is designed to nudge people into buying cars before they become unattainable. This is especially important now, as online auction sites have moved the markets for some previously obscure cars well past the point of reason.

The Bull Market List isn’t intended to give you an inside track on car values so that you can flip them for quick profit. Instead, the list should give you the push you need if you’re already on the fence about buying a car to keep and drive a cool vehicle. Hagerty wants people to buy the cars and have the ability to pass them on to other enthusiasts without charging exorbitant prices.

The Bull Market List includes (with excellent condition pricing):

  • 1965-1970 Cadillac DeVille ($28,800)
  • 1969-1974 Ferrari 246 Dino ($365,800)
  • 1983-1997 Land Rover Defender ($61,400)
  • 1979-1985 Mazda RX-7 ($17,600)
  • 1962-1967 Mercedes-Benz 230SL ($80,500)
  • 1963-1967 Pontiac GTO ($100,200)
  • 1992-1995 Porsche 968 ($38,000)
  • 1985-1995 Suzuki Samurai ($10,200)
  • 2008-2012 Tesla Roadster Sport ($97,000)
  • 1975-1993 Volvo 245 ($15,800)

If you’re considering one of the vehicles on the list and have the means, it’s a good idea to act in the near future. Vehicle prices are rising due to supply chain shortages to the point that even older cars are climbing. That, plus the effects of online car auctions, have made it hard to find a good value car.

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