Last week, General Motors announced the 2019 Cadillac CT6 V-Sport. As the current top of the luxury line, the CT6 was previously without a proper performance model, but with the arrival of the V-Sport package for 2019, the big, beautiful sedan gets a go-fast package. Most importantly, this new luxury sedan will introduce a new twin turbo V8.
Welcome the LTA
The heart of the CT6 V-Sport is the new LTA V8 – a 4.2-liter, twin turbocharged V8 that delivers 550 horsepower and 627 lb-ft of torque. That is the second most-powerful engine in the Cadillac lineup, trailing only the 640-horsepower LT4 in the CTS-V and when the new V-Sport arrives later this year, it should make the CT6 is blast to drive.
While we were excited to hear about another high performance Caddy, the bigger news in the announcement of the CT6 V-Sport is the arrival of the new LTA V8. CAD images that surfaced online last year pointed to a similarly-designed twin turbo V8, so when it was announced that the CT6 will feature a twin turbo V8 – many people guessed that the LTA would be a new Corvette engine.
Unfortunately, while speaking at the ongoing New York Auto Show, Johan de Nysschen stated that the new Cadillac engine is not slated for use in any Corvette.
de Nysschen Says No
After so many members of the automotive media (including this one) jumped on the idea of the new LTA in the rumored mid-engine Corvette, Cadillac president Johan de Nysschen addressed this in New York alongside the formal debut of the CT6 V-Sport. According to GM Authority, he stated that the new LTA focuses on luxury performance while the Corvette “wants a different kind of character.”
This would seem to put the rumors of a mid-engine Corvette with the CT6’s LTA to rest, but the Caddy boss only stated that the exact engine in CT6 V-Sport will not power a Corvette. That doesn’t mean that some variation of this engine won’t be found under the rear engine cover of the long-rumored md-engine Corvette.
The Twin Turbo Corvette
The biggest reason that I (and so many others) guessed that the mid-engine Corvette would be powered by the new twin turbo LTA V8 in the Cadillac is that the new CT6 engine is so similar to what we expect to power the next Corvette.
Rumors and CAD images suggest that the mid-engine Corvette will have a twin turbo V8 with a dual overhead cam cylinder head design and a reverse cylinder head flow. This means that unlike the average V8 with the intake manifold on the top of the engine and the exhaust manifolds hanging off of the bottom, the LTA design is reversed. The exhaust manifolds and the integrated turbochargers sit atop the engine in what would be the intake valley in a “normal” V8 while the dual intake manifolds are located on the underside of the cylinder heads, where the exhaust manifolds or headers are found on every other modern GM V8.
This design is fairly unusual, so when Cadillac announced the LTA was this distinct design, it was as though all of the rumors on the mid-engine Corvette were proving to be true. The key difference is that leaked information suggests that the Corvette twin turbo V8 will measure 5.5 liters while the Caddy engine is only 4.2 liters and that could be the difference between the Cadillac engine and any similar design slated for us in the Corvette.
If the Corvette eventually gets a twin turbo, dual overhead cam V8 measuring 5.5-liters, then de Nysschen’s comments about the CT6 V-Sport engine not being used in a Corvette would be accurate. Then again, Corvette boss Tadge Juechter stated back in 2015 that there was no mid-engine Corvette in the works and that seems to have been a false statement, so perhaps de Nysschen is just looking to lead us astray as well. It is highly unlikely that GM would spend the most to develop such a unique engine without plans to use it in multiple vehicles, so while the exact engine from the new CT6 V-Sport might not make it into a future Corvette - my safe money says that we will see some variation of the new LTA under the hood of a Chevy supercar in the near future.