Cadillac Doesn't Want to Share Its Blackwing V8

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
cadillac doesnt want to share its blackwing v8

With the 2019 Cadillac CT6-V drawing its power from General Motors’ new 4.2-liter twin-turbo V8, it was only a matter of time before people started wondering where else the “Blackwing” motor might crop up. Thus far, the engine has only appeared in the CT6 sedan — producing an impressive 550 hp and 627 lb-ft of torque.

Future models are likely to include the brand’s Escalade SUV, but the luxury brand wants to put the kibosh on any rumors that the Blackwing will be available under another brand. When asked if the motor would be a cross-brand system by Motor Trend, Cadillac President Steve Carlisle responded with “over my dead body.”

However, it wouldn’t make much sense for the company to hoard a motor that currently only exists within one model with an uncertain future. Detroit/Hamtramck Assembly, which produces the CT6 (along with the Chevrolet Impala), is expected to close as a result of GM’s restructuring program. Fortunately, the luxury sedan received an extension. Initially slated to end domestic production this spring, the CT6 will stick around a bit longer so Cadillac can figure out what to do with it.

From Motor Trend:

But GM has extended CT6 production through January 2020 and that could be extended further. The automaker is still looking at alternatives, one of which is tweaking the platform a bit so assembly could shift to the Grand River Lansing plant alongside the XT5 and XT6.

The CT6 is also assembled in China for that market but Carlisle would rather not make China the sole global source and have to export it and deal with tariffs and logistics.

We imagine it won’t make much difference what Carlisle wants if GM cannot make a case to keep the model in North America. While the automaker typically struggles to move more than 10,000 examples per year in the United States, it saw 17,223 deliveries in China for 2018.

The Blackwing is helping to build interest. Of the 275 CT6-V sedans allocated to the U.S. with the new twin-turbo V8, all were spoken for within a matter of hours of the company accepting orders. While this is a unique situation, spurred by the new engine and an expansion of the V-Series sub-brand, the limited availability may only be temporary. Carlisle has already said the company has held a few back, though it is not clear who they’re being saved for — or how long until they’ll be made available.

We’ve already learned that a detuned version of the Blackwing is on the way. According to reports, that unit will generate 500 hp and 553 lb-ft of torque using the same 10-speed transmission found in the CT6-V. Unfortunately, it will only be available through the new CT6 Platinum 4.2 trim, which carries a proposed MSRP of $96,790. That’s about 7 grand dearer than the CTS-V, but a relative bargain when cross-shopping against German rivals touting similar specifications — at least on paper.

[Images: General Motors]

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  • BklynPete BklynPete on Mar 18, 2019

    "Over my dead body." LOL. Given the life expectancy of Cadillac presidents at this point, Mr. Carlisle doesn't strike me as the intellectually-gifted sort. Then again, this is GM. Make a world-class yet unproven V-8 at a time when everyone else is easing away from them, go back and forth on canceling the only half-decent car they have to put it into, and continue to act like they still got it going on. All this while there's excess capacity of small-blocks for unsold Corvettes and Camaros. How these people make it into work without slamming a car door on their heads is a mystery. Or maybe they have and we just can't tell the difference.

  • Someoldfool Someoldfool on Mar 19, 2019

    IN defense of pushrods: NHRA Pro Stock V8 engines are based on the Chevrolet 454, generally around 500 cu. in. The power peak is around 10,500 (yes) rpm. Push rods can develop power north of 10,000 rpm, with no superchargers. Used to be two 4 bbl carburetors, they're now using throttle body injection I think. Push rod engines are considerably narrower than ohc engines, and lighter. The nailhead Buick engine is really narrow, big displacement engine will fit in a lot more places. Granted, breathing ain't the best. NHRA top fuel engines develop max power around 8,000 rpm. Again, 500 cu. in. displacement, pistons big as flower pots. And they currently develop somewhere around 9,000 (thousand) horsepower. I haven't paid much attention lately, the numbers may be higher now.

    • NeilM NeilM on Mar 19, 2019

      Yeah, and as long as you're prepared to rebuild the engine in the paddock between runs, 10,000 rpm pushrods are a great idea. NHRA engines aren't a good basis for comparison of anything in the real world. NASCAR runs its pushrod engines to 9,000 rpm, but they too have little relevance for ordinary purposes.

  • Tassos While Acura was the first Japanese attempt to sell 'luxury' (or "premium") vehicles in the US market, and despite its original good success in the near-luxury segment with the Legend and the far smaller and less expensive Itegra (a glorified Civic), it later lost its momentum and offered a series of underwhelming vehicles. It sure is not a LUXURY maker, and as long as it offers FWD or AWD and NOT RWD vehicles, it will never be taken seriously as a serious sports cars maker. Infiniti is much worse, and if both of them go under, few will notice. Lexus was more successful, offering pimped up TOyotas for 10,000s more, but there is NO vehicle in their lineup, esp now that they scewed up the only serious entry (the LS), that I would care to consider. AND I say all this as a very satisfied owner of 5-speed Honda coupes and hatchbacks (a 1991 Civic hatch and a 1990 Accord Coupe).
  • Mike Beranek Yet another reason to accelerate the transition to electric vehicles charged with energy from wind & solar with modern, non-Monty Burns nuclear as a backup.
  • Tassos The cap the timid Western Europeans agreed to, a HIGH $60, which still lets Putin make a TON of billions of $, was way too HIGH. Ukraine correctly complained about this, it had asked for a $20 cap, I believe.
  • FreedMike "...I wouldn’t recommend holding your breath until fuel prices drop."Regular is $2.87 at my local gas station today. Considering that it was over four bucks this summer, I'd call that a drop. And it happened with the war still going on, the GOP not taking over Congress, Dark Brandon in the White House, and the Theoretical Keystone Pipeline still being canned. Imagine that. And I wonder if poor Slavuta has broken out the "will rap for food" sign yet.
  • THX1136 I would imagine the caps will have minimal impact. Putin is going to do what he wants to do regardless of how the citizens of his country fare.