The General Motors Blackwing V8: Everything We Know so Far
The Blackwing is an advanced 4.2-liter twin-turbo V8 that will make 550 horsepower in the Cadillac CT6-V…and maybe elsewhere.
In its upcoming Cadillac CT6-V sports sedan, General Motors is expected to launch a state-of-the-art V8 engine called the Blackwing. Unsurprisingly enough, there has been much hullabaloo about the upcoming motor as of late.
GM first detailed the (then-unnamed) Blackwing in March, noting that it will be a 4.2-liter V8 with a full roster of modern internal combustion technologies ranging from low-lag, V-mounted twin turbochargers to variable valve timing, direct fuel injection, cylinder deactivation, and stop-start technology. Horsepower is expected to be 550 at the crank, and torque 627 pound-feet. GM says it will pair with a 10-speed automatic transmission, and specified the CT6-V (then called the CT-6 V-Sport) as the vehicle in which the engine would debut.
The Detroit News reported GM's first association of the Blackwing name to the 4.2-liter engine on Sept. 19. The following day, GM filed a trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for the Blackwing name as pertaining to "engines for automobiles, sport utility vehicles, trucks, and vans." GM's trademark filing encompasses as wide a range of potential uses as possible, as is standard for trademark filings from automakers, who regularly bid for the rights to names they won't use.
On Oct. 30, GM filed for a separate trademark with the USPTO on an unnamed emblem, also in relation to "engines for automobiles, sport utility vehicles, trucks, and vans."
Some publications claimed the above to be a logo for the Blackwing engine, although links between the logo and the Blackwing name are insubstantial. While GM's official description of the emblem is "two stylized wings comprised of six elongated geometric shapes," the term "Blackwing" appears nowhere in the trademark filing. The black-and-white monochrome of the emblem is not evidence of the logo being associated with the Blackwing name, as all of GM's logo filings are either black on white or greyscale.
One could speculate that because of its geometric arrangement and general V-shape that the emblem could be either a CT6-V logo or a new V-brand logo, though it's a tad busy to appear as a small V badge on the back of a Cadillac. Another possibility is that the logo could be Corvette-related, as it resembles, to a degree, a rescaled crossed-flags Corvette emblem, as seen below. With sightings of probable mid-engined C8 test mules plentiful, it's only natural that the reimagined Corvette would get a reimagined logo.
Footage of camouflaged test cars believed to be C8 Corvettes emitting relatively muted exhaust notes has prompted speculation that the next Corvette could adopt a turbocharged V8 instead, with some pointing to the Blackwing V8 as a candidate for installation in the car.
In March, Cadillac president Johan de Nysschen specifically denied that the Blackwing would appear in the Corvette. This would normally put a damper on the speculation of a 4.2-powered Corvette, but a development from a week ago adds more fuel to the fire.
published photos of a Corvette-styled key fob with a Cadillac badge and buttons that depict a mid-engined sports car with a folding roof. Not only did this reignite speculation of a Cadillac-badged Corvette, but it breathes life into the possibility that the Blackwing and Corvette chassis may be paired after all—just not as a Corvette.
It wouldn't even be a new phenomenon for GM to use a Cadillac-branded Corvette as a showcase for an engine of which it is proud. Cadillac borrowed the C5 Corvette's chassis, jammed its Northstar V8 pride and joy into the engine bay, and sold the result as the XLR between the 2004 and 2009 model years.
The mid-engined C8 Corvette is expected to be announced sometime in the next few years, and with its announcement, we may learn more about the possible Cadillac-branded variant. As for the Blackwing V8, it will debut in April of 2019 with the 2019 Cadillac CT6-V.
We contacted GM for comment on the purported Blackwing logo and its plans for the engine, and we will update when we receive a response.
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