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We've Never Been More Excited About Cadillac

Interview / 19 Comments

Cadillac's BMW-fighting future lineup sounds incredible.

Back in May, Cadillac lifted the covers off the new CT4-V and CT5-V. After the unveiling of the CT6-V with its new turbocharged 4.2-liter Blackwing V8, expectations for these new performance sedans were high. Unfortunately, the reveal left us feeling underwhelmed. Instead of the Blackwing V8, the CT5-V is powered by a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 engine delivering 355 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque, while the CT4-V gets a 2.7-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that makes 320 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque.

Mercifully, hardcore variants with more power are on the way, but Cadillac’s naming strategy is starting to get confusing since V models used to represent range-topping performance models. The CT4-V and CT5-V, on the other hand, are mid-tier models. Road and Trackrecently caught up with Cadillac’s president, Steve Carlisle, to find out what the future holds for Cadillac’s V performance series.

"The visceral reaction to that-maybe not in a good way-before you tell the whole story, it's pretty amazing," Carlisle said, referring to initial reactions to the CT4-V and CT5-V’s reveal. "It just tells you how much emotion there is around these performance sedans. You can always have steps and gradations in terms of what you offer, and who you make it accessible to, and how," he continued. "And that's really where we're going." Carlisle added that he wasn't surprised by the mixed reaction to the new V models. "It's been a bit, kind of fun,” he admitted.

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As for what we can expect from the hotter variants, Carlisle wouldn’t confirm if they will be fitted with Cadillac’s new Blackwing V8. "The engine is one question, but the idea of Blackwing is another question," he said. "You can literally equate it with the engine, or you can equate it with the concept high-performance track-capable. So then what can we do with the Blackwing?"

What is clear, however, is that the Blackwing V8 will remain exclusive to Cadillac, which means it won’t be powering a future C8 Corvette variant. When asked if Cadillac plans to share the V8 with other GM brands, he replied: "over my dead body."

Carlisle is also keen to launch a high-performance SUV. "I say why not?" he said, but admits they will never replace sports sedans. "You're dealing with higher [centers of gravity], weight distributions, everything like that." Could this mean the Cadillac Escalade will get the Blackwing treatment? Perhaps, but previous reports have claimed the Escalade could get the Camaro ZL1 and C7 Corvette Z06’s supercharged 6.2-liter V8 LT4 engine that makes 650 horsepower and 650 lb-ft of torque.