Cadillac has unveiled its first-ever twin-turbo V8 – and the car that’s set to wield it.
The new CT6 V-Sport will be the sole beneficiary of a 550bhp version of an all-new Cadillac-only 4.2-litre V8, built in the latest ‘hot vee’ design that puts the turbochargers inside the two cylinder banks for vastly reduced turbo lag. Mercedes pioneered the idea in its first current-era F1 engine.
The near-5.2-metre CT6 is the first Cadillac to use a new ‘Y-shaped’ trim strategy, with a base model, then a high-end luxury model and a more powerful performance version. It comes as the model gets a model-wide refresh.
As Brits we particularly love how, in the press release for the V-Sport and its new powerplant, the engine is described as a small-displacement V8. We know what Cadillac means: you guys across the Pond are used to anything up to 9.0-litre capacities, so a 4.2 probably does seem a bit cute.
General Motors says the engine will be good for 550bhp and 627lb ft of kidney thump: plenty to be getting along with. This surprisingly European-sounding engine will also be built as a 500bhp, 553lb ft version for the softer, non-V-Sport CT6.
Around the block you’ll find twin throttle bodies, twin water-to-air charge coolers, direct injection and – gasp – stop-start technology. From the driver’s seat you might even just about feel the Active Fuel Management working. It cuts fuelling to cylinders two, three, five and eight to help save juice on partial throttle loads and at lower engine speeds.
In the all-wheel drive CT6 V-Sport it will link to a 10-speed automatic gearbox. Tall gearing helps it sprint away without unnecessary shifts, riding the torque, and it keeps revs way down on the highway, too.
Inside 20-inch wheels are shoe-horned 19-inch Brembo brakes specifically designed for the CT6. A fruity soundtrack to back-up the aggressive styling is guaranteed by active exhaust valves, tuned for loud noises. Within the law, officer.
Active rear-wheel steering is tuned for track use, lifting cornering speeds and nibbling into the car’s lap times. The front-rear torque split has been altered for the V-Sport, too, although Cadillac doesn’t say exactly how.
On-board tech levels have taken a step forward. The main screen is now full-HD resolution and sits above a larger five-Watt wireless charging pad, incorporating cloud-based navigation with real-time traffic monitoring and route adjustment.
There’s a 360-degree surround-view camera system that can be set to record CCTV footage when parked, night vision, rear pedestrian detection and a suite of low-level autonomous driving features.