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Cadillac CT6 will Introduce a New 400hp Twin Turbo V6 and More

When the Cadillac CT6 debuts next month at the New York Auto Show, it will introduce a new pair of V6 engines, with the top of the line twin turbocharged V6 delivering a whopping 400 horsepower while cylinder deactivation will help make it more fuel-friendly than the other twin turbo V6s already in use.


The Cadillac CT6 is a very big deal to General Motors for a variety of reasons. We have known for some time now that this upcoming model will officially launch Cadillac’s new naming approach, with all of the cars in the lineup destined to eventually get a “CT” name. Also, the CT6 will be the company’s first large rear wheel drive luxury sedan, as the current range-topping XTS is a front drive model with optional all-wheel drive. Just those two factors make the CT6 a very important car for both GM and the Cadillac brand, but the name and the drivetrain configuration are just the tip of the iceberg as it has just become official that the CT6 will introduce two new engines and a new 8-speed automatic transmission.

While these new drivetrain components will debut in the CT6, we will see them put to use in other Cadillac models in the near future and while power levels may vary, we are likely to see the CT6 motors under the hood of other GM vehicles as well.

The CT6 Engines
Details are slightly limited right now, but we know for sure that the Cadillac CT6 will be powered by a new naturally aspirated 3.6L V6 and a new twin turbocharged 3.0L V6.

First up, we have the 3.6L V6 that will serve as the base engine in the new Cadillac CT6. This engine is the same size as the heavily-used 3.6L V6 that is in almost every vehicle that GM sells, but this new mill delivers more power and better fuel economy than the current 3.6L mill. In the CT6, this engine will deliver 335 horsepower and 284lb-ft of torque where the current 3.6L V6 in the 2015 CTS delivers ”just” 321hp and 275lb-ft of torque – accounting for improvements of 14hp and 9lb-ft of torque. More importantly, this new naturally aspirated V6 is expected to deliver fuel economy numbers that are 9% better than the current engine.

The premium engine in the Cadillac CT6 is an all-new 3.0L V6, which is promised to deliver 400 horsepower and 400lb-ft of torque, but unlike the twin turbo 3.6L V6 unit at work in the CTS VSport, this new engine will be the first boosted GM V6 to rely on cylinder deactivation – essentially turning the powerful V6 into a fuel-sipping V4 when the large luxury sedan is cruising under light loads. NO fuel economy estimates have been provided, but we can expect that the CT6 with the twin turbo V6 will be among the most efficient large luxury sedans sold in the US.

After debuting in the CT6, we can expect to see these engines under the hood of the 2016 Cadillac ATS and CTS, so both of those models will be more powerful and more efficient for the 2016 model year.

The CT6 Transmissions
As expected, the new Cadillac CT6 will use an 8-speed automatic transmission to send the power to the wheels, but what we didn’t expect is an all-new 8-speed gearbox which will make its production debut in this new rear drive Caddy. The new Hydra-Matic 8L45 will be the standard gearbox behind the new naturally aspirated 3.6L V6, while the CT6 with the twin turbo mill will get the heavier duty 8L90 8-speed transmission already at use in the full size GM pickups.

More to Come from Cadillac
In addition to developing the new 3.6L V6 and the new twin turbo 3.0L V6, word on the street is that GM is working on a twin turbo V8 (which could be the future drivetrain of a high performance CT6-V) as well as new electric powerplants and a pair of diesel engines with 4- and 6-cylinder configurations. It is unclear when we might see these other new engines, but as Cadillac looks to better compete with the other high end luxury brands in the US, an electric and diesel drivetrain could play a big role.