Thu. Dec 12th, 2019
Cadillac Escalade And CT5-V

Why The New Cadillac Escalade And CT5-V Won’t Get The Blackwing V-8

Cadillac’s 550-hp twin-turbo dual-overhead cam Blackwing V-8 is an orphan, not slated for the high-performance CT5-V or the next-generation Escalade, a highly placed source at GM tells MotorTrend (a rendering of what the new Escalade could look like is shown above).

During the somewhat confusing rollout of the new Cadillac CT5-V and CT4-V in May, Cadillac clarified that the 355-hp CT5-V being shown was in fact a new mild V-Series trim and assured us a more track focused V-Series would be announced at a later date. We had hoped that would mean a CT5-V powered by Cadillac’s exclusive Blackwing 4.2-liter twin-turbo V-8, but a senior GM source tells us that isn’t happening due to cost-cutting at Cadillac, which has seen its sales fall in recent years.

Indeed, both the CT5 and XT6 were originally intended to built on the CT6’s Omega rear-wheel drive platform, which would’ve made installing the Blackwing engine fairly straightforward. Cost-cutting moved both the CT5 and XT6 to other platforms, leaving both the Blackwing and the CT6 sedan orphaned in the lineup.

While news of the CT5-V is disappointing, news of the XT6 is disappointing but to be expected. Because the XT6 was moved to an older front-wheel-drive platform, there’s no way to add a bigger V-6 engine or even a turbocharged V-6, much less a V-8. Rather than a rebirth of the original SRX, the XT6 is just another luxury crossover.

We’re further pained to learn the Escalade won’t get the Blackwing engine, again for cost reasons. We know GM is hard at work on a new independent rear suspension for the next-generation Escalade and its Chevrolet and GMC siblings, and apparently, it’s sucking up all the funding. Instead, the Escalade will continue to employ Chevrolet’s pushrod V-8, though it’s unclear which engine variant it will use. Chevrolet now sells 5.3-, 6.2-, and 6.6-liter pushrod V-8s in its trucks and SUVs. The current Escalade uses the 6.2-liter engine with 420 hp and 460 lb-ft.