Back in 2018, Cadillac revealed its first in-house V-8 since the Northstar. With twin turbos and dual overhead camshafts, this engine, called the Blackwing, was no Small Block. In the big CT6 sedan it had a perfect home, cranking out 550 hp and 640 lb-ft of torque in the CT6-V.
Unfortunately, the CT6 will end U.S. production this month, as GM will retool the Detroit plant where it’s built to produce electric trucks, leaving the Blackwing orphaned. At the reveal of the 2021 Escalade last week, Cadillac president Steve Carlisle told Road & Track that “[we have] no specific plans for that engine, but never is a long time.”
The Blackwing apparently doesn’t fit under the hood of the new CT5 sedan, so Cadillac will instead use the old CTS-V’s 6.2-liter supercharged pushrod V-8 for the version slotting above the CT5-V. No one at Cadillac would confirm or deny that this is the case. Instead, they just promised that we’ll learn more about this car in the coming months. But Carlisle’s comment seems to indicate that Cadillac will take the small-block route for its sports sedan.
Carlisle also hinted that the Blackwing name won’t die. “We learned a lot with Blackwing. It’s an idea that’s really resonated with people,” he said. “So there’ll be a little bit of Blackwing in other cars going forward.”
With the CT6 gone, the Escalade will serve as Cadillac’s sole flagship. Carlisle said that Cadillac doesn’t plan to replace the CT6, but eventually, the automaker may make another big sedan. Just don’t expect it to have an internal-combustion engine. “[B]ody style preferences are not static, and nor are body style possibilities,” he said. “So as we move into electrification, it’s a clean sheet.”
Carlisle spent a lot of time talking about the electric future, declaring that Cadillac is entering the 2020s as “an internal-combustion engine brand. Existing as a battery electric-vehicle brand.” Cadillac will soon put an electric SUV into production, and more models will follow, maybe an all-electric V-series car. “High-performance electric cars are very much a possibility,” he said.
And on the topic of performance, we asked about Cadillac’s future in motorsports, which seemed especially relevant given that the ACO and IMSA are creating a class of cars that will be able to race at Le Mans and Daytona. Carlisle would personally like to see Cadillac return to Le Mans, but there are still a number of details to work out with IMSA and the ACO before it’s a definite.
This should be a busy year for Cadillac, with the new Escalade here, and higher performance versions of the CT4- and CT5-V soon arriving. We just hope it can find some way of reviving the Blackwing V-8.
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