Unless you go back to the 1930's, Cadillac has a relatively short performance history. That more modern performance story begins in 1992, when Cadillac introduced the 4.0-liter Northstar V8 with dual overhead camshafts and aluminum block and heads. A front-wheel-drive engine, it first produced 295 horsepower in the 1993 Cadillac Allante. This engine was exclusive to Cadillac for many years, but was later included in Pontiac, Buick and even Oldsmobile models, though the Olds used a smaller version.
More recently, Cadillac performance has meant V-Sport, usually with supercharged V8 engines borrowed from the Corvette, but lately tubocharged engines again unique to Cadillac are showing up, and now Cadillac will have its own, completely exclusive V8, again.
The CT6 always promised a new, Cadillac-exclusive V8, and now its delivering: a 4.2-liter dual overhead cam, 32-valve, twin-turbocharged V8 with variable valve timing will deliver 550 horsepower and an impressive 627 pound-feet of torque. The turbochargers are nestled in the 90-degree angle of the "V" to improve emissions and eliminate turbo lag. This is the setup preferred by our German friends, and moves the intake manifolds to the sides of the engine. The exhaust system has a valve that allows it to open up at higher speeds for more power and a louder exhaust note.
Transmitting the engine's power to the tires is a 10-speed automtic (1 more gear than Mercedes offers, 2 more than BMW or Audi) that is shared with Ford and sees duty in vehicles from the Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 to the Ford Raptor.
Like the new M5 and before it the E 63 S, the CT6 V-Sport is all-wheel-drive, only. This and its lighter weight should make it more than a match for its Chevy-engined (for now) CTS V-Sport, which boasts more power, but only eight speeds and rear-wheel-drive.
Brembo brakes and a stiffened magnetic-controlled suspension round out the package with 20-inch high-performance, SUmmer-only tires.
The key feature for the CT6 V-Sport is that lighter weight. Sized similarly to a BMW 7 Series and S-Class Mercedes, the CT6 weighs less than the 5 Series or E-Class. If the CT6 V-Sport can maintain a similar weight advantage to S 63 and B7 Alpina competitors it should compete well with them and possibly even the M5 and E 63.