Cadillac Wants to Save the Stellar Blackwing V8 Engine: Report

The twin-turbocharged 4.2-liter V8 sits quietly waiting for a savior.

The 550-horsepower Cadillac CT6-V was a one-and-done offering, with the company ending production after just a single year. A swan-song for the somewhat middling CT6 platform, but the finale left the very expensive, Cadillac-only, codenamed “Blackwing” twin-turbocharged 4.2-liter V8 without a home and everyone wondering why the company devoted resources to something so finite. Apparently, Cadillac is now wondering that too.

Chatting with Motor Trend on the Blackwing’s weirdly short life, Cadillac’s Executive Chief Engineer Brandon Vivian wants everyone to know that the engine still has a fan working on a reboot. “Would I relish the opportunity to put [the Blackwing] in something else? Yes,” said Vivian, adding that the company is still looking for “opportunities to use the engine.” 

What that means is unclear as Vivian didn’t exactly spill the beans on any secret projects Cadillac is working on. However, rumors of the Blackwing slotted into the upcoming hotter CT5-V, which was set to debut in the spring but now isn’t expected due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, remains the most likely contender. 

The hot CT5-V would take the already fabulous CT5-V and drop in more horsepower, more torque, and more aggression and using the orphaned twin-turbocharged 4.2-liter V8 would be a great way of doing just that. Motor Trend speculates that the engine could be shelved until Cadillac reveals a new large sedan, possibly using the underpinnings of the fully electric Celestiq, though there’s little evidence to suggest that.

One rumor that we’re hoping manifests is the rumblings that Chevrolet Performance had its eyes on the twin-turbo motor for a monster C8 Corvette. That said, the camouflaged uprated Corvette mules we’ve seen haven’t been turbo Corvettes. Rather, what is likely the upcoming Z06 was powered by a version of the C8.R’s 5.5-liter flat-plane crank V8, while a ZR1 candidate could have a hybrid V8 setup. So where a twin-turbocharged iteration fits in the traditional Stingray, Z06, and ZR1 Corvette lineup is somewhat muddled. 

Vivian added that the Blackwing’s return would have to be the “right combination” of product and engine and that whatever it went into would have to make sense in “the segment it’s going to compete in.” Here’s to hoping that a Blackwing-powered CT4 and Escalade are in the near future.

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