GM recently announced the inclusion of a new, performance-minded engine offering for the 2020 Cadillac CT4 and CT4-V. Known by the Cadillac design team simply as the “Torque Monster,” this new dual volute 2.7T engine comes standard in the CT4-V. It is optional for CT4 Premium Luxury models.
While the Torque Monster moniker carried by the dual volute 2.7T engine certainly conjures up thoughts of supreme performance, one is left to wonder if this is simply a product of marketing hype, or if this title is well deserved. The following facts will allow you to form your own opinion and gain a deeper level of insight into the design and development process that led up to the 2.7T’s unveiling.
While the dual volute 2.7T engine is new to the CT4, it was originally a clean-sheet build by GM that debuted in the 2019 Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra. However, since its inception, there has been an underlying notion of intent for the 2.7T to serve as the powerplant for future Cadillacs.
“While the CT4’s 2.7T engine shares basic engine hardware with the GM trucks, CT4’s refinement and manners are delivered through Cadillac-specific content and tuning,” explained Kevin Luchansky, Cadillac assistant chief engineer, Global Engines. “The engine is matched perfectly with a segment-exclusive 10-speed transmission, both being low mass with low inertia, which provides rapid rpm build and very crisp shifting.”
GM is quick to tout the benefits of the Torque Monster’s subdued weight. The 2.7T is billed at a 140 lbs. less than that of the prior Northstar V8 platform yet produces an additional five horsepower and 65 lb-ft. of torque. According to GM, the engine’s lighter weight provides the 2020 CT4 with better ride and handling characteristics.
“The engine harmonizes very well with the independent suspension, available limited slip differential, and driving controls to provide exceptional levels of enthusiasm,” said Dave Schmidt, Cadillac CT4 lead development engineer. “The car delivers the torque of a V8, while providing the efficiency and vehicle balance of a smaller and lighter engine.”
Performance By The Numbers
The dual volute 2.7T differs slightly in output between its two iterations within the CT4 line. In the CT4-V, the 2.7T produces 325 horsepower and churns out 380 lb-ft. of torque. In the CT4 Premium Luxury, the same engine musters 310 horsepower and 350 lb-ft. of torque.
Also of note is the point at which the 2.7T reaches peak torque. This occurs at a much lower range than is characteristic of Cadillac’s prior offerings, peaking at 1,500 rpm in Premium Luxury models, and 1,800 rpm in the CT4-V. This peak torque is sustained to 4,000 rpm, where it begins to fall gradually.
How The Torque Monster Works
The dual volute turbo utilized by the 2.7T features two spiraled chambers that direct exhaust flow across each side of its turbine. In doing so, GM states the engine’s turbine is spun quicker and more efficiently than is the case in traditional units. Both chambers are integrated into the Torque Monster’s exhaust manifold where heat is gathered for quicker engine and transmission warm-up, and more rapid turbo response.
A three-step sliding camshaft is also utilized. This technology facilitates low-lift for fuel efficiency, high-lift for performance, and GM’s Active Fuel Management feature for additional fuel economy.
Torque Monster Availability
Cadillac has shown a tendency toward ever-increasing performance in recent years. It appears the 2.7T Torque Monster is the next step in this evolution. For all intents and purposes, those that shun the mundane daily commute, and cling to all that is exhilarating behind the wheel, will likely find favor in Cadillac’s newest powerplant.
“The benefits of the CT4’s dual volute turbo engine are very noticeable on a track or on your daily drive,” Schmidt said.
The new CT4 and CT4-V are available now. However, the 2.7T engine is only available in the United States, Canada, and the Middle East. The Torque Monster is built at GM’s Spring Hill Manufacturing plant in Tennessee.
Josh Boyd is an ASE Certified technician with over a decade of experience in automotive repair. When not under the hood, he can be found in the woods or on the water, pursuing his other passions of hunting and fishing.