By on March 18, 2019

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 , 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]

Recommended

64 Comments on “Cadillac Doesn’t Want to Share Its Blackwing V8...”


  • avatar
    1500cc

    Isn’t this basically the C8’s engine with a slightly different tune and a new name? Seems it’s already being shared.

    • 0 avatar
      wooootles

      Nah, the C8 will be rolling with an upgraded LT1 (the LT2)

      • 0 avatar
        1500cc

        @woootles

        That’s just the base engine. A twin turbo DOHC V8 is also slated (I’ve actually seen some of the engine parts), and I can’t imagine it’s a different architecture than the CTS’s mill. Especially since the Blackwing is built in Bowling Green.

  • avatar
    ajla

    Good news for the C8 if true.
    The LT4 and LT5 are already more powerful than the highest-output version of the Northstar II, are likely cheaper to build, and should have better packaging in a mid-engine setup. No need to lose the pushrods in the Corvette.

    • 0 avatar
      golden2husky

      I beg to differ. As an owner of a C7 I need no introduction to the virtues of the LT1. It is a fine engine that has no need to make any apologies. But the C8 is supposed to be a car that competes, at least on the track, with exotic supercars. Pushrods and a 7,000 RPM redline aren’t going to cut it. Part of the supercar allure is being cutting edge. A pushrod engine does not fit the bill even if you turbo it and belt out supercar HP numbers. As a “base” engine in the C8 the LT1 is fine. Price the Vette too high and it is doomed. But the higher horsepower iterations need an OHC set up.

      • 0 avatar
        jack4x

        I disagree completely.

        There is nothing inherently “high tech” about an OHC valvetrain, just the ability to rev higher and create more power from less displacement using 4 valves per cylinder. It has little or nothing to do with track prowess on its own.

        The Viper ACR shamed million dollar hybrid hypercars on track with a front engine, NA 6400 RPM pushrod V10, a manual transmission, and RWD. No reason the C8 can’t do better with mid-engine, forced induction, DCT, and possible AWD.

        • 0 avatar
          Flipper35

          the DOHC 4 valve engines generally make power higher in the rev range as well on a NA engine. You want to balance low end oomph and high end output.

          The exception being the Viper which made more minimum torque than most commuters ever make.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        “on the track, with exotic supercars. Pushrods and a 7,000 RPM redline aren’t going to cut it”

        I see no evidence of this being the case at all. The C7 Corvette’s track performance is already nearly unsurpassed even when price *isn’t* factored.

        “Part of the supercar allure is being cutting edge.”

        This is a better argument. Although in this case I think the “Corvette” name itself will carry enough baggage that the engine won’t matter much during a major upmarket push.

      • 0 avatar
        MrIcky

        So what’s the goal- is it to beat supercars in races or to be considered a supercar. You are sort of mixing your metaphors.

        If it’s to beat supecars on track days, a pushrod engine is fine. It can absolutely be competitive. Pick your arbitrary car journo measurement and the Corvette is right up there: the ‘ring, lightning lap, laguna seca, etc corvettes have some of the best times. Much better than your average lambo or ferrari. Needing a very high redline to get your power is more about trying to BE a supercar which we’ll get to in a minute. Making a mid-engined 1000hp corvette, regardless of what drives the valves, and it will likely be competitive.

        Now as to being a supercar, I’m not sure that Corvette can do anything in a single generation to make it a supercar. IMHO, exclusivity and marque are more important than what drives the valves. The Corvette does not have those things and I don’t think Corvette wants the exclusivity part. Putting on DOHC’s is not suddenly going to make someone cross shop a lambo against a vette. Therefore the competition for Corvette wiil remain the 911 because Porsche will build as many as they can sell. So it has always been, so it shall always be.

        That’s not a bad market to be in. And by going mid engine and doing some other tweeks, maybe the c10 will have a car that you can say with a straight face can take on whatever the new version of the 918 is.

    • 0 avatar
      bts

      I heard the base C8 will have a pushrod V8 with lighter components too allow a higher redline and around 500 hp. That engine should weigh less and cost less than an OHC engine so it should keep the base price lower. To put that in perspective, that’s about the same power as the 7 liter z06 from a few years back.

  • avatar
    MiataReallyIsTheAnswer

    What a beast – swap that into an ATS or V6 Camaro and terrify some folks :)

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Over my dead body [will the new Northstar be available elsewhere].

    That’s right we spent eleventy billion to build a powerplant which will not be made available.

    Amazing this marque is still in business.

    “Unfortunately, it will only be available through the new CT6 Platinum 4.2 trim, which carries a proposed MSRP of $96,790.”

    Smoking crack there. They wonder why there have only been 10,000 CT6 deliveries.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Seems like they’re just cutting their losses on the Johan-era stuff at this point.

      Like this is going to show up in an Escalade? LOL

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Maybe, but to me this is typical head-in-ass thinking from the marque. They are still running the 1980s playbook with regard to powertrains.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          I suspect they had bigger plans for the engine that got squashed when the previous regime got shown the door.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Cadillac has a history of “exclusive” drivetrains, more recently of which are dog****.

            From the economies of scale standpoint it would make the most sense to develop a kick-ass drivetrain and then standardize on it.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            kind of like the Duramax 4.5.

          • 0 avatar
            Hydromatic

            Forget the Blackwing nonsense. Just put LS motors in these things and call it a day. Cadillac customers will probably be more appreciative of having a proven and reliable engine under the hood rather than something “exclusive”.

        • 0 avatar
          Dan

          “Maybe, but to me this is typical head-in-ass thinking from the marque. They are still running the 1980s playbook with regard to powertrains.”

          Exactly. It’s still 1970, the only competition is ourselves, so we won’t make any of our cars good enough to cannibalize the brand above.

          They ran that playbook in the 80s and it worked so well that a 45% market share into 35% by 1990, and they’ve kept right on running to 17% today.

      • 0 avatar

        The excreable Escalade couldn’t handle this fine engine.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      Indeed. The CT6 is not a six-figure car. Unique platform or not, it doesn’t amount to much more than a long-wheelbase midsizer in terms of elegance, and competes in the same unceremonious No Man’s Land as the Volvo S90, Acura RLX, Lincoln Continental, and Infiniti Q70L (which literally *is* a LWB midsizer). It lacks any sort of opulence to compete in the $90K-$100K territory with what is really a run-of-the-mill V8.

      I expect those in that territory will continue to buy the 750i, S 560, A8, and LS 500…like they’ve *been* doing. Side note, for your bargain-priced-full-size-luxury-sedan money, the G90 is an excellent bet.

      What Cadillac really needed was a proper flagship, and the CT6 isn’t it. By all accounts, it was supposed to be, but then they pulled back somewhere mid-development.

    • 0 avatar
      SPPPP

      Maybe we are meant to read between the lines and understand that this engine is completely unnecessary for the future of Cadillac, which could just pull from the parts bin and do approximately as well. So maybe they really don’t want to produce and sell this engine.

    • 0 avatar
      PandaBear

      This. Unique doesn’t mean jack if it is not good. All these uniqueness just because of regime change doesn’t mean jack to the customers other than hard to find parts down the road.

      If they really want to make things unique, tune or software limit them differently but for God’s sake standardize on the design.

    • 0 avatar
      WildcatMatt

      I think this is bluster. Unless there is some inherent flaw they’re hoping will go undiscovered until long after the warranty period and they’re going to make just enough of them to satisfy the current pipeline, this will show up somewhere else. Different name, different modesty shroud, different tune — just enough that Caddy can claim this is theirs alone for whatever publicity value they think that has.

  • avatar
    redapple

    Blackwing 602
    Half the pressure. Twice the speed.
    Best pencil in the world.

  • avatar
    Luke42

    I expect a luxury car to be electric.

    Cadillac is behind the curve here. The brand to beat is Tesla.

    As much as I’m a Tesla fanboy, I’d like to see Cadillac actually “dare greatly” and try to beat Tesla at their own game. Because it’s all about the cars and the technology — rather than having a more expensive logo on my handbag than then other guy.

    After all, if I want a nice car with a V8, I can just buy an F-150…! [Ducks]. ;-). But, seriously, a V8 is a common kind of engine — and having a nice one hasn’t been a unique defining feature in decades.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      As screwed up as Tesla is, I don’t think Cadillac can beat them.

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      “I expect a luxury car to be electric.”

      Nobody else really does, is the thing.

      The few that really want that will buy a Tesla or, god help them, an i8.

      • 0 avatar
        Luke42

        >> I expect a luxury car to be electric.

        > Nobody else really does, is the thing.

        I wouldn’t be so sure.

        Tesla brand total sales 2018: ~245k

        Cadillac brand total sales 2018: ~155k

        Tesla’s sales are growing dramatically from year to year as they introduce new models. Cadillac is stable.

        I wouldn’t dismiss Tesla so lightly. Just look at the numbers.

        • 0 avatar
          jatz

          It’s fun agreeing with someone the majority of whose views are antithetical to my own:

          I think an EV could be the epitome of everything a luxury car has represented through the decades. Silent, fast and clean.

          “Grace, Space, Pace”… EVs just need more efficient batteries to better achieve the “Space” part of that.

        • 0 avatar
          Luke42

          Speaking for myself, Tesla’s answer to the question of “what do I get by paying extra?” is actually compelling to me personally.

          Cadillac’s answer to that question is not compelling to me. Yeah, I’d get some different styling and yet another GM V8. Yawn. If I wanted that, I’d already own it — and I’d venture a guess that most people who want a car like this already have one.

          Tesla’s answer to that question is that you get an electric car straight out of a sci-fi short story — and you get it a decade before the rest of the world will. That’s a value proposition you can actually describe, and one I actually care about!

          Which one brands itself as “dare greatly” again?

        • 0 avatar
          Flipper35

          Keep in mind there is a fair percentage of people that buy a Tesla because it is electric, regardless of luxury.

        • 0 avatar
          Dan

          Luxury is expensive. Not 48K. Expensive. Most Cadillacs aren’t. 60% of Tesla’s sales were Model 3s and aren’t either.

          100K S’s and X’s is a fair slice but holding it up to GM’s dead brand walking overstates it.

  • avatar
    R Henry

    “Cadillac President Steve Carlisle responded with “over my dead body.” ”

    How quaint!

    Mary Barra need only wave her hand and Blackwing is in Corvette, or even Camaro,…..wave her other hand and Carlisle is being escorted out of the building, dead or otherwise.

  • avatar
    stingray65

    Packard introduced a new V-8 in 1955 and produced about 100,000 units before the factory closed in 1956 due to insufficient volume and profits. Sixty-three years later, Cadillac can only wish for that kind of V-8 volume.

  • avatar

    Folks, I also share the pain the incredibly incompetent Barra has wrought on GM. However, if she decides to close another plant there is a 70% chance of a strike. Right now she is stuck producing cars like the Lacrosse, Impala, and XTS. She has to keep producing those cars to avoid even the prospect of a devastating strike. Remember, we are talking about a strike as crippling as the 1971 lordstown strike. Barra has overplayed her hand. She now has to worry about the wrath from the unions and the vindictive Donald Trump.

  • avatar
    jatz

    Look at that mess!

    How the hell is a kid today supposed to draw engines instead of paying attention in Social Studies class?

  • avatar
    Lightspeed

    When those water pipes at the front of the engine corrode just after the warranty ends, is that an engine-out fix?

  • avatar
    Boxerman

    The quad cammer is going into the vette. For one its made at the same plant.
    It will be a higher hp higher displacement version of the caddy mtoor so caddy can claim its not he blackwing. Same bock same hot V turbo setup.

    Back to the larger point, the V series caddies shoudl eb corvette brand cars, and caddy should just do the escalde and seem SUV’s.

  • avatar
    James Charles

    I like the engine, if it delivers good FE.

    The engine should be used across the GM lineup wherever possible. The Colorado could use this for example.

    I don’t know how many realise this, but the 3.6 SIDI was initially for Caddy and GMH. SAAB’s 3.0 turbo was based on the SIDI. The 3.6 is used across GM’s range and is a great Aussie engine.

    Even the VM 3.0 V6 diesel was initially designed for Caddy and is/will used in everything from agri quality vehicles (Wrangler to almosr-prestige (Grand Cherokee).

  • avatar
    conundrum

    “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.”

    Kind of makes you wonder what “using” an 8 speed transmission would do to the power output. Or is this merely a normal case of TTAC wordsmiths mangling the English language?

  • avatar
    ravenuer

    So will the CT6-V have a sticker on the side of the fender that says:
    850.097 Newton-Meters?

  • avatar
    Hummer

    What the hell is the point in a 500HP twin turbo V8? If the LT2 is suppose to be at 500HP it completely renders the Cadillac engine obselete. Turbos are synonymous with low end manufacturers, if the issue is NVH then use a supercharger, but don’t put it in the same power range as a N/A engine, and certainly don’t make the displacement so ridiculously small.

    If a TTV6 over at Ford is at 500HP then I expect a TTV8 to have a minimum of 650 HP.

    • 0 avatar
      el scotto

      Peterbilt and Kenworth would like a word with you about low-end manufacturers. Porsche, Subaru, and Mitsubishi would kindly like you to stop by a coffee and cars some time. An Alfa-Romeo with the twin turbo V-6 is a nice place to be. So no, they’re not solid lifter V-8 GM engines; but they’re hardly “low end” as you claim. Even the legendary Carroll Shelby mad some wicked turbo engines for MOPAR

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        Diesels need to be fed air, a clankety diesel is not going into a Cadillac… anymore… Regardless it’s hard to associate high end and turbo in the same car.

  • avatar
    el scotto

    Does GM still think it’s 1972 and the Germans and Japanese just make weird cars bought by college professors and cheapskates? I say offer the Z06 and regular Corvette engines in anything GM makes that they’ll fit in. Abolish the out-dated and foolish brand exclusively Corvette only, exclusively Cadillac only and while GM is throwing ‘vette engines in plenty of things; make me a Park Avenue Ultra AWD, with a ‘vette engine,big ole tires with lots of sidewall for D.C’s 3rd-world surface streets, a bitching stereo, leather heated and cooled seats, and an ashtray with a cigar lighter. Oh and a sunroof because I like them and heated steering wheel to keep my pudgy fingers toasty. Instead, we get this: A Cadillac G335IS.

  • avatar
    rickkop

    If it’s anything like that old Northstar was they can keep it.

  • avatar
    civicjohn

    275 CT6-V sold out in an hour or so. Better not make any more of those!

    That is absolutely insane. Surely they can sell 10X of them. Leaving some big cash on the table and having a halo car rolling around might lift the brand up a bit, but no, can’t do that!

  • avatar

    “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.

  • avatar
    someoldfool

    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.

    • 0 avatar
      NeilM

      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.


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • cimarron typeR: We did a fly and drive to Chi., worked out well but we didn’t bring the kids obviously so we...
  • Secret Hi5: TTAC should reimburse the travel expenses. If not, then claim as a business-related expenses on Schedule...
  • Liam Gray: I’ve got the 1.6L in a 1st Gen Soul with the 6spd manual. It’s not winning any races, but its...
  • PrincipalDan: Shudda lubed the muffler bearings…
  • Fordson: Definitely a south Texas color combo…and yes, lots of pearl. Pretty, but does not come through in most...

New Car Research

Staff

  • Contributors

  • Timothy Cain, Canada
  • Matthew Guy, Canada
  • Ronnie Schreiber, United States
  • Bozi Tatarevic, United States
  • Chris Tonn, United States
  • Corey Lewis, United States
  • Mark Baruth, United States
  • Moderators

  • Adam Tonge, United States
  • Corey Lewis, United States