Not too long ago, Cadillac showed the automotive world they’ve still got what it takes to make low-displacement, high-output V8’s with the Blackwing engine. In all it’s 4.2 liter glory, the mighty American block churned up 550 horsepower and 627 foot-pounds of torque with two turbos. In the land of high-output V8’s, it wasn’t earth shattering news – what was so special about it was the Blackwing being a Cadillac family recipe. They designed it themselves, to perch beautifully underneath the hood of the 2020 CT6-V.
It was highly anticipated according to James Gilboy with The Drive, an online automotive news outlet, and many purists were excited to see a manufacturer make their own engines, though not all that glitters is gold in the car world. After sales took a long dive in the deep end (again), Cadillac had to make the difficult choice of axing the Blackwing before it had much of a chance to take off. After next year’s CT6-V, there will be Blackwings singing in the dead of night.
Back when Cadillac first held the Blackwing in high regards and was rightfully proud, there was promise the world would see the Blackwing in other models – maybe it would be in their smaller SUV, the XT6 or the CT6-V’s little brother, the CT5. Though, they were hit hard with a bad case of sales slump and had to reconsider their dreams. Gilboy reported that Motor Trend had a source from GM claim that after facing the hard facts, they will definitely not use the Blackwing in any more Caddy’s.
That still leaves a burning question in the wind: what about Cadillac’s other performance models? Will they turn to turbo six’s like everyone else does? Or a twin turbo four? Thankfully, no. Cadillac confirmed that they will still make a performance oriented Escalade, though instead of the Blackwing like originally planned, they’ll implant the LT4 engine seen in the Camaro ZL1. Which, by the way, may not be a bad alternative since it makes more power anyway. Instead of having two turbos, it’s a supercharged 6.2 liter V8 that makes 650 horsepower and 650 foot-pounds of torque. It’s a sad end to the Blackwing, but as Gilboy pointed out, it’s probably for the better.
Maybe the early demise will be good for Cadillac. Having a more powerful and reliable engine might be exactly what Cadillac needs to get sales where they want them. Regardless, I’m happy to know that Cadillac is making the right choice in going with the LT4.