Cadillac begins a new chapter in its high-performance legacy with today’s introduction of the brand’s first-ever twin-turbo V-8 engine. It is the centerpiece of the new CT6 V-Sport, an engaging sports sedan infused with DNA of Cadillac’s world-renowned motorsports program.
Developed as a small-displacement V-8 in the classic vein and offering exceptional power density of 131 hp (98 kW) per liter, this new Cadillac-exclusive 4.2L Twin Turbo V-8 — GM estimated at 550 horsepower (410 kW) and 627 lb-ft of torque (850 Nm) — elevates the CT6’s performance to a new plateau and offers drivers an unparalleled experience behind the wheel. An optional 500-horsepower version will also be available.
“Cadillac’s performance technology reaches new heights with the new and exclusive 4.2L Twin Turbo V-8,” said Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen. “The engineering prowess embodies the very spirit of Cadillac performance on and off the racetrack.”
The new Cadillac Twin Turbo V-8 is a clean-sheet design that also introduces unique design elements developed to balance performance and efficiency with compact, mass-efficient packaging.
“Designing an all-new engine was the best way to achieve the performance goals for the CT6 V-Sport,” said Jordan Lee, 4.2L TT V-8 chief engineer. “It builds on Cadillac’s well-established turbocharging know-how and forges new ground with innovative features that deliver exceptional performance and refinement.”
At the center of the 4.2L Twin Turbo V-8 is a “hot V” configuration that transposes the conventional layout of the cylinder heads’ intake and exhaust systems to mount the turbochargers at the top of the engine — in the valley between the heads — to virtually eliminate turbo lag and reduce the engine’s overall packaging size.
In a conventional turbocharged engine, the cylinder heads receive the pressurized air charge through ports at the top of the engine and the exhaust exits through ports on the lower outside of the heads into manifolds connected to the turbochargers.
With Cadillac’s innovative hot V design, the intake-charged air enters through the lower outside of the heads and exits through the top inside — where the turbochargers are integrated with the exhaust manifolds — for quick spool-up that translates into more immediate power delivery. The design also allows closer mounting of the catalytic converters, for efficient packaging.
Additional engine highlights:
- Twin-scroll turbochargers
- Electronic wastegate control
- Twin water-to-air charge coolers
- Twin throttle bodies
- Direct injection
- Dual-independent camshaft phasing
- Active Fuel Management (cylinder deactivation)
- Variable-pressure oiling system
- Stop/start technology
Each engine will be hand-built at the Performance Build Center in Bowling Green, Kentucky.
SMALL DISPLACEMENT, LARGE EFFECT
The new Cadillac Twin Turbo V-8’s foundation is an all-new, durable and lightweight aluminum cylinder block that houses an equally robust, lightweight rotating assembly composed of a forged steel crankshaft, forged steel connecting rods and high-strength aluminum pistons.
The crankshaft’s 90.2mm (3.55 inch) stroke complements the cylinder bores’ 86mm (3.39 inch) diameter to give the engine its 4.2L (255 cubic-inch) displacement.
Its comparatively small bore dimension enables the reduction in the size and weight of the pistons, optimizing the engine’s geometry to match the fast-rev capability permitted by the engine’s low-inertia, twin-scroll turbochargers. The result is exceptional responsiveness and immediacy of power across the rpm band.
The turbochargers produce up to 20 pounds of boost (1.38 bar) and are matched with electronic wastegate control for more precise boost management and more responsive torque production. In fact, 90 percent of the engine’s peak torque is available at only 2000 rpm, and it is carried through 5200 rpm for a confident, virtually bottomless power reserve.
The turbos’ twin-scroll design broadens their performance capability, offering quicker response and greater efficiency. Rather than a single spiral chamber (scroll) feeding exhaust gas from the exhaust manifold to drive the turbine on each turbocharger, the twin-scroll design has a divided housing with two exhaust gas inlets and two nozzles to drive the turbine. Generally, one of the nozzles contributes to quicker response and boost production, while the other contributes to overall peak performance.
Each of the engine’s integrated exhaust manifolds/turbocharger housings splits the exhaust channels from the cylinder head so the exhaust flows through separate scrolls based on the engine’s exhaust pulses. When matched with precise valve timing, that separation leverages exhaust-scavenging techniques to optimize gas flow, improves turbine efficiency and reduces turbo lag.
The electronically controlled wastegates — one per turbocharger — are used for more precise management of the engine’s boost pressure and subsequent torque response for smoother, more consistent performance. They are independently controlled on each cylinder bank to balance the turbo compressors’ output, for greater boost pressure response.
WATER-TO-AIR CHARGE COOLING AND DUAL THROTTLE BODIES
An efficient water-to-air charge-cooling system contributes to the engine’s performance, enhancing the turbochargers’ effectiveness. Similar in concept to an engine’s radiator, the system’s intercoolers cool the boosted air charge before it enters the cylinders. Cooler air is denser, which means there is more oxygen in a given volume, resulting in optimal combustion and more power.
The system features a pair of heat exchangers located above the valley-mounted exhaust manifold/turbocharger housings. The turbos pump pressurized air directly through the heat exchangers and into the cylinder heads. The heat exchangers are cooled by their own coolant circuit.
The intercoolers lower the air charge temperature by more than 130 degrees F (74 C), packing the combustion chambers with cooler, denser air. Also, the system achieves more than 80 percent cooling efficiency with only about 1 psi (7 kPa) flow restriction at peak power, which contributes to fast torque production.
Before entering the combustion chambers, the cooled air charge flows through a pair of throttle bodies, one for each engine bank. Each electronically controlled throttle body has a 59mm diameter opening.
NEW 10-SPEED TRANSMISSION
The new Cadillac Twin Turbo V-8 is matched with a 10-speed automatic transmission. Its wide, 7.39 overall gear ratio spread enhances off-the-line performance and contributes to reduced engine speed on the highway, which enhances refinement and efficiency. Smaller steps between the gears also help the engine maintain the optimal speed for maximum power at almost all vehicle speeds.