This is the 4.2-liter Cadillac Blackwing V8. Last year, it emerged at the New York Auto Show exclusively for the CT6-V, and now it seems the engine will go no further, according to a recent Motor Trend piece. There were high hopes the 550 horsepower twin-turbo engine would make its way into the new Escalade, but a high-ranking source said that’s not going to happen.
Despite all that power, over 600 lb-ft of torque and the fact that Cadillac surely sunk millions into developing its own engine, the awesomely named Blackwing engine is not long for this world. Instead, the engine “is an orphan, not slated for the high-performance CT5-V or the next-generation Escalade.” Why? Apparently, as ever, it all comes down to dollars and cents.
New models = new engine? Not exactly.
That wasn’t always the plan. As Cadillac redesigned its sedans and brought out new crossovers, the CT5 and XT6 were both supposed to ride on the CT6’s Omega platform. Doing that would have made slotting the Blackwing V8 a fairly straightforward process, but it was not to be. Instead, GM decided to stick to other tried-and-true platforms to cut costs. They moved the CT5 to an updated Alpha architecture — the same as the old ATS and CTS as well as the Chevy Camaro — while the XT6 launched on the C1XX platform that underpins the XT5 as well as the Buick Enclave, the Chevy Blazer and Traverse, and the GMC Acadia.
That means two of Cadillac’s headlining models won’t support the Blackwing V8, according to Motor Trend‘s report. Still, we held out hope for the Escalade, since unlike the other two it does still pack a big V8 engine, but that is reportedly a no-go as well. Like the CT6 itself, the CT6-V’s remarkable new engine is out the door thanks to cost-saving measures.
What to expect in the new Escalade
Although it may not get a new heart, GM is working on some major updates for the 2021 Cadillac Escalade. The new model will have independent rear suspension from what we’ve seen of it and its Chevrolet and GMC siblings. It’s disappointing that GM reportedly won’t allocate any more funding to fitting the Blackwing V8, since that would put it more in the league of its three-row German competition like the BMW X7 and even give it an edge on the Lincoln Navigator, but instead will continue on with the company’s old pushrod V8.
Taking into account the reported cost-cutting, it’s likely we’ll see a 2021 Cadillac Escalade with an updated version of the current 6.2-liter V8. The current unit mates up to a 10-speed automatic and puts out 420 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque. Those aren’t bad figures, but its certainly no Blackwing V8. We’ll have to wait and see exactly how the Escalade shapes up in the coming months. For now, though, it seems Cadillac’s exclusive engine will be remembered as a one-and-done affair.