A flagship from a reputed American luxury brand should have a V8, efficiency be damned.
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – It’s now yesterday’s news that the Cadillac CT6 flagship (reviewed here) is a solid performer within its segment, and offers considerably more value than the Lincoln Continental it competes with. A few quirks aside, the CT6 is a genuine luxury vehicle that is right up there with the likes of the Genesis G90 and Lexus LS. The past year has seen increasing popularity in the 3.0L twin-turbo V6 that, untli now, was the range topping powertrain for the CT6. Those of us who are purists still insisted on the fact that a flagship from a reputed American luxury brand should have a V8, efficiency be damned.
The General has delivered, with the introduction of the 2019 Cadillac CT6 V-Sport, the complete opposite of the plug-in hybrid that is also now available within the lineup. Doing away with the 3.0 TT V6 in the standard CT6, the V-Sport aims to deliver performance that only a solid American V8 can. The motor is a twin-turbocharged 4.2L V8, codenamed GF18, that is estimated to deliver 550 horsepower and a ground-shaking 627 lb-ft. of torque. Remember, this is the same Cadillac that makes the 640-hp CTS-V (reviewed here).
The compression ratio of this motor is a high 9.8:1, on the high side for a forced-induction mill, and this helps with thermal efficiency. Cylinder deactivation is also in play here for when trying to conserve some fuel at highway speeds, and automatic start/stop tech is also on board. It’s worth mentioning that this new 4.2L V8 is Cadillac’s first exclusive engine since the famous Northstar.
Rather than the already-good eight-speed auto that powers many other models in the Cadillac family, the CT6 V-Sport’s all-new V8 is mated to a new 10-speed automatic, a joint venture between General Motors and Ford. The transmission also includes Cadillac’s “Performance Algorithm Shift” tuning for added precision. This model sends power to the wheels via a rear-based all-wheel-drive system, something that will be appreciated by those in the Great White North.
Additional performance goodies on the CT6 V-Sport include summer-only performance tires wrapped around wheels unique to this model and a mechanical limited-slip rear differential. The suspension is completely overhauled from the regular model and features the Magnetic Ride Control adaptive dampers and V-Sport tuning. If stopping is on the priority list, the 19” Brembo brakes with four-piston calipers will help considerably with this. Oh yes, the car will sound delicious too, with active exhaust valves.
The CT6 V-Sport employs styling tweaks inspired by the Escala Concept vehicle and looks like a more muscular version of the already-stylish CT6 sedan. The proportions are very good, and if the CTS-V and ATS-V are any indication, Cadillac knows how to design a car these days. LED lighting is used throughout and adds to the modern yet classical look of the luxury sedan.
Combining all of the luxury bits found in the standard CT6, the 2019 V-Sport model takes things to the next level without compromising any of the comfort in the regular model. We expect a fully jammed V-Sport to cost just upwards of $100,000, as the regular CT6 3.0TT Platinum is right in that range. At that level, it doesn’t quite compete with the likes of the Mercedes-AMG S 63, but we also wager it will be up to $70,000 cheaper.
Photos courtesy of Cadillac