“Blackwing” V-8 will remain Cadillac-exclusive, says brand president

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2019 Cadillac CT6-V GM

Throughout General Motors’ continual effort to make Cadillac a true competitive force in the luxury car market, able to go step-for-step with the Germans, critics have long asked for an exclusive, brand-specific engine—specifically a V-8. With the new twin-turbo 4.2-liter DOHC engine, dubbed “Blackwing,” that powers the high-performance CT6-V and the Platinum-trimmed CT6 models, the brand finally has it.

If Cadillac president Steve Carlisle has his way, the engine will remain a Cadillac exclusive. When Motor Trend asked him if the Blackwing could end up outside of the Cadillac brand, he had some choice words.

“Over my dead body,” Carlisle told Motor Trend.

The Blackwing is built in the same Bowling Green, Kentucky complex that assembles the Chevrolet Corvette and its high-performance variants of the LT engine family. Its presence at that location fueled rumors that the 550-hp, 627 lb-ft of torque Blackwing would thus eventually end up powering the ‘Vette.

The Blackwing engine is also expected to be under the hood of the next-generation Escalade SUV when that arrives next year.

Carlisle further said that the company is looking into alternatives to continue producing the recently refreshed CT6 here in North America, after the planned closing of the Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant. He said that potential tariffs and logistics are a barrier to importing the CT6 from China, where GM builds a version for that market. For the time being, CT6 assembly will continue at Detroit-Hamtramck into early 2020.

Cadillac sold all 275 pre-orders for the CT6-V in a matter of hours, and there are numerous reports circulating that the brand will ultimately sell more than that number, albeit at a higher price.

Going forward, Cadillac is exploring the option of building the CT6 next to the XT5 and XT6 crossovers, and upcoming CT5 sedan, at the Lansing Grand River facility. That would, however, require some changes to the CT6 platform.

The new CT6 will be showing up at Cadillac dealers soon.

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