Cadillac Was Conservative With the Blackwing V-8 Under the CT6’s Hood
Meanwhile, we’re still waiting for the CT6-V to make its appearance in dealershipsby Tudor Rus, on
The fact that Cadillac is currently on the course of finding itself shouldn’t be considered news. The company is, however, making efforts to stay relevant in the battle with Europe’s top-flight manufacturers of high-performance sedans, i.e., BMW and Mercedes.
One such effort was the launch of a completely new engine under the Blackwing nameplate - which does sound like a ton of cool and also has a Venom-y vibe around it - slated to equip the new Cadillac CT6-V. The powerplant is a hot-vee V-8 displacing 4.2 liters, which makes it smaller than the 4.6-liter Northstar V-8. However, the Blackwing V-8 makes up for the cut in displacement by embracing forced induction by housing two turbos (equal in size) in the valley formed by its eight cylinders. And if we are to believe the latest report, it also makes more torque than initially advertised by Cadillac.
How torquey is the Blackwing V-8 in reality?
Well, we need to establish right from the off that the Blackwing V-8 is an engine that’s been developed from a white sheet of paper and it will only equip Cadillac’s models; so it won’t make its way into other GM products. The Blackwing V-8 is to make its debut inside the Cadillac CT6 V-Sport, but its introduction has been delayed by emissions issues.
Now, when Cadillac first announced the Blackwing V-8, it said the powerplant would be good for 550 horsepower and 627 pound-feet of torque (850 Newton-meters).
It turns out that Cadillac actually advertised a lower amount of torque than what the V-8 actually has to offer, which is 640 pound-feet of torque (868 Newton-meters). According to Motor1, testing carried out by the Society of Automotive Engineers indicated that in fact, the Blackwing V-8 carries more twist. The same source says that a Cadillac spokesperson confirmed the new torque value.
When is the Cadillac CT6 V-Sport coming to the market, then?
Although it was announced back in March 2018 and each of the 275 pre-orders being accounted for as of January 2019, there’s no sign of the CT6-V. What’s more, Cadillac allocated extra production slots and even raised the CT6-V’s price by $4,000, yet that didn’t stop the customers from, once again, securing all the available models.
According to Cadillac Society, Cadillac announced in July 2019 that deliveries will commence “soon” and that the delay was caused by the “commitment to quality and fine detail.” However, at the time of writing, not a single CT6-V has been delivered to either dealers or customers.
Coming back to the Blackwing V-8, you should know it’s an all-aluminum unit coming to bump up the standard sedan’s power credentials.
Your run-of-the-mill Cadillac CT6 uses a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V-6 rated at 404 horsepower and 413 pound-feet of torque, while the Blackwing V-8 tops that with 550 horsepower and 640 pound-feet of twist; 90 percent of the engine’s peak torque is unlocked between 2,000 rpm and 5,200 rpm.
Tell me more about this Blackwing V-8
The two identical turbochargers are placed between the two engine banks (hence the hot-vee nature) and provide up to 20 psi (1.4 bar) of boost when asked to do so. Similar setups can be found in some of the performance sedans churned out by BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Porsche, which is a clear indicator of where is Cadillac aiming with the CT6-V, which will also pack a 19-inch Brembo brake system with four-piston calipers, Magnetic Ride Control, AWD, Active Rear Steer, and a re-worked steering setup.
Nevertheless, there were rumors that the Blackwing V-8 will somehow equip the mid-engined Chevrolet Corvette C8 since it provides a compact alternative thanks to its hot-vee design. But the C8 was already launched, and up until this point, there’s no word of the Blackwing unit in relation to Chevy’s mid-engined Vette.
|Valvetrain||DOHC, 4 valves per cylinder|
|Design||Hot-V, with exhaust manifolds positioned between the two cylinder banks|
|Max turbo boost||20 pounds|
|Power output||500-550 horsepower|
|Specific power||131.2 horsepower / liter|
|Torque||574-627 pound-feet (778-850 Newton-meter)|
Read our full review on the 2020 Cadillac CT4-V.
Read our full review on the 2020 Cadillac CT5-V.