All Ate Up With Motor: Cadillac Announces a New Engine It's Keeping for Itself

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy

In ages past, more than one nameplate could lay claim to having its own engine. Olds manufactured its own V8s for over 40 years, for example. More recently, Cadillac had its own engine too, by way of the Northstar. Yes, hindsight is 20/20 and the engine did have its challenges, but it certainly set the brand apart from its proletariat brothers.

Now, the General’s crown jewel is once again introducing its own engine, a clean-sheet design called the Cadillac Twin Turbo V8. This time, it’ll be hand-assembled and signed by the builder, just like an AMG. Ich wundere mich!

The company says this engine is the first twin-turbo V8 to be installed at the factory between the fenders of a Cadillac. Perhaps the most technically complex production engine ever to emerge from GM, this 4.2-liter is a 32-valve, quad-cam, direct-injected aluminum motor.

“Cadillac V-Sport is the embodiment of our passion to deliver an exhilarating driving experience without compromises,” said nomenclature enthusiast and Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen. “The all-new CT6 V-Sport provides the perfect balance of performance and luxurious refinement.”

The CT6 V-Sport is the first recipient of the all-new Cadillac 4.2L Twin Turbo V8. It makes an estimated 550 horsepower and retina-detaching 627 lb-ft of torque. That’ll certainly juice the CT6, a car hardly known for being a slowpoke with its current power offerings. The engine introduces unique design elements that Cadillac says were developed to balance performance and efficiency with compact, mass-efficient packaging.

At the center of the Cadillac Twin Turbo V8 is a “hot V” configuration that rearranges the conventional layout of the cylinder heads’ intake and exhaust systems in order to mount the turbochargers near the intake ports. This places them in the valley between the heads, which GM officially calls the Valley of Power. Okay, maybe not.

Here are some preliminary specs for you engine nerds, as reported by Automotive News:

Block: 90-degree V8 with five cross-bolted main bearing caps; sand-cast aluminum with pressed-in iron cylinder liners; provisions for jet-spray oil cooling

Bore/stroke: 3.39 in. x 3.35 in. (86 mm x 90.2 mm in logical Metric)

Pistons: High-strength hypereutectic aluminum with friction-reducing polymer skirt coating; forged aluminum connecting rods with floating wrist pins

Compression ratio: 9.8:1

Valvetrain: Dual overhead camshafts; four valves per cylinder

Max Boost: 20 psi

In other applications, this setup helps reduce turbo lag and decrease the engine’s overall packaging size. It also creates a tremendous amount of heat, something The General will have to manage with this new mill. The Cadillac Twin Turbo V8 is teamed with a 10-speed automatic transmission and power is routed to all four wheels.

The CT6 itself gets some styling tweaks in the vein of Cadillac’s excellent Escala concept car, a vehicle on which we reported just the other day. V-Sport models will get a host of model specific equipment, from summer tires to a mechanical limited-slip rear diff. Brembo brakes are on duty when the constabulary calls a halt to the fun. An active-valve exhaust system stands ready to annoy your neighbors on cold mornings.

Cutting through the marketing chaff, it appears that Super Cruise will not be offered to V-Sport customers. The CT6 will continue to be built at GM’s Detroit-Hamtramck facility, while the snazzy new engine will be hand assembled and signed by the builder at the GM Performance Build Center in Bowling Green.

[Images: General Motors]

Matthew Guy
Matthew Guy

Matthew buys, sells, fixes, & races cars. As a human index of auto & auction knowledge, he is fond of making money and offering loud opinions.

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  • Pb35 Pb35 on Mar 22, 2018

    Apologies if this has already been mentioned, but wake me up when they announce the TT V8-6-4. Until then, I'll be busy driving my LS3 into the ground.

  • Skor Skor on Mar 25, 2018

    With all due respect to the author, the Northstar was not exclusive to Cadillac. The 4.6 started off as a Cadillac exclusive, but was eventually used by other GM divisions. The last V-8 which was exclusive to Cadillac was the 4.9 HT.

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