The 21st century automotive marketplace has deeply altered the way we look at many brands. Crossover vehicles galore are placed under the umbrella of marques that today includes sports car maker Porsche selling the Cayenne. With Chevrolet, a plug-in gasoline/electric hybrid sedan operates within the line-up. Even in Europe, Aston Martin offering a rebranded Scion iQ is a sight few would ever expect a decade earlier. Luxury car icon Cadillac has undergone a metamorphosis in the past decade. Heavy, gas-guzzling land yachts have given way for a new premium car philosophy.
Zeroing-in on the criteria modern luxury needs to deliver athleticism in addition to comfort. The Cadillac CTS is an instrumental vehicle for redefining General Motors’ luxury brand as a relevant player in the 21st century car business. The brand’s first successful mid-sized car, the CTS would pioneer with a coupe and Cadillac’s first-ever factory sport wagon. At the high-end, the 556-horsepower, V8-powered Cadillac CTS-V models provide alluring premium performance vehicles. The Cadillac SRX, Cadillac XTS and most recently the small ATS provided a technologically guided view of premium American motoring. For 2014, Cadillac will be edging V6 performance to another level with a debut at the upcoming New York International Auto Show.
A new bred of Cadillac power, the 3.6 liter V6 engine receives a dramatic upgrade thanks to a pair of turbochargers. Sharing the same 3.6 liter displacement as the naturally aspirated engine, the Cadillac Twin-Turbo V-6 powerplant (known technically as the LF3) starts on a solid framework. However, the accommodation of two turbocharger units meant the 3.6 liter engine has undergone extensive modifications. Cylinder head block casting, connecting rods and domed aluminum pistons are all unique to the Cadillac Twin-Turbo V-6. The twin-turbocharger setup utilizes a pair of small turbines in order to deliver air pressure faster than with a single turbocharger. Heat exchangers inspired from the Cadillac CTS-V and Chevrolet Corvette ZR-1 vehicle’s supercharged powerplant cools the air charge.
Twin turbochargers and direct-injection working together, the Cadillac Twin-Turbo V-6 power unit pumps out 420 horsepower and produces 430 pounds feet of torque. Performance certified by the SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers). The Cadillac engine becomes the highest output six-cylinder engine the premium car company will sell. Besting their own accomplishments, the Cadillac Twin-Turbo V-6 touches the performance territory of V8-powered European competitors.
The Cadillac Twin-Turbo V-6 engine will be mated to a brand new eight-speed automatic transmission. A first for Cadillac, the eight-speed, electronically controlled gearbox should be a super-smooth unit offering two overdrive gears. Steering column-mounted paddle shifters deliver that choice of quick, manual-like gear changes.
With emphasis on street performance, the 420-horsepower engine and eight-speed automatic together means fuel economy of the Cadillac Twin-Turbo V-6 is respectively above 20 miles per gallon during average driving. On the 2014 Cadillac CTS, the twin-turbocharged six-cylinder engine will obtain 17 miles per gallon city or 25 miles per gallon highway. The combination of the turbochargers and a compression ratio of 10:2:1 means premium gasoline will be required for the Cadillac Twin-Turbo V-6 engine.
Turbocharging Cadillacs is a new phenomenon. The 2013 Cadillac ATS became the very first North American production vehicle offering from the brand to feature a turbocharged engine. This is the first production application of a twin-turbocharged engine in a Cadillac. Historically, Cadillac’s name has been associated with big engines. Cadillac is noted for building a 452 cubic inch V-16 powerplant during the 1930s. Through the 1960s and 1970s, the company offered a mammoth 500 cubic-inch V8 engine. Today, horsepower is expected from smaller engines incorporating civilized technology. The twin-turbocharged engine for 2014 will be the first production car use for Cadillac. Previously, Cadillac was associated with twin-turbocharged engines during a short-lived prototype sports car stint. The Cadillac Northstar LMP car competed on the American Le Mans Series from 2000 to 2002 with two turbochargers mounted to V8 powerplant.
The Cadillac Twin-Turbo V-6 engine and the eight-speed automatic transmission will be available on 2014 model year versions of the CTS starting in the fall. Buyers of the larger Cadillac XTS will also gain advantage of the 420-horsepower V6 option later this year.
Information and photo source: General Motors