Have a seat, because what we’re about to tell you might come as a bit of a shock. For the mere sum of just $25,000 and some change, you could own the most sophisticated engine ever fitted to a production Cadillac model: the one-of-a-kind Cadillac Blackwing V8.
Okay, maybe it’s not that shocking. But here’s the deal: the twin-turbocharged, 4.2L Blackwing V8, or “LTA” as it was designated internally, was designed and produced for just one particularly low-volume car model, the high-performance Cadillac CT6-V. After that car sold out far quicker than GM anticipated, they decided to go ahead and drop the Blackwing V8 in another low-volume sedan, the CT6 Platinum, which got a detuned version of the motor.
Last we heard, Cadillac was looking for another use of its special clean-sheet LTA motor, but as far as we can tell, the GM luxury brand hasn’t been able to identify one. That makes the Blackwing V8 something of a commodity.
Of course, no matter how few examples of a particular model are built, you can bet the American OEMs are going to build a few extra motors to have on hand for replacement parts – which brings us back to how you can lock in your very own Blackwing V8 motor. The Drive discovered the engine still listed among the myriad available GM Genuine Parts available on the Cadillac parts website recently, and reached out to GM for confirmation.
The company’s response: yes, you can indeed buy a brand new Cadillac Blackwing V8, for $21,666.67 MSRP plus a $3,500 core charge. Unfortunately, to do it, you’d have to go through your local Cadillac dealer, and chances are strong they’re going to demand to see a suitable VIN.
What Makes The Cadillac Blackwing V8 So Special?
We’ll assume that you aren’t asking that question in jest – that you legitimately know essentially nil about Cadillac’s radical LTA V8. The short answer: everything.
The longer answer: the GM LTA V8 is Cadillac’s first dual overhead cam V8 engine since the Northstar series (remember those?), and its first twin-turbocharged V8 ever. It came at a time when Cadillac was still trying in earnest to out-Mercedes Mercedes-Benz, and it showed; the turbos were arranged in a so-called “hot-vee” configuration, placed between the cylinder banks right in there with the exhaust to shorten the distance exhaust gases have to travel to spin up the turbines. As engine designs go, it’s très Européen, and it resulted in 90 percent of the engine’s peak torque being available from 2,000 rpm.
All told, the Blackwing V8 put out a properly impressive 550 horsepower – almost as much as a Ferrari 458 Italia – and a whopping 640 lb-ft in the Cadillac CT6-V, despite displacing just 4.2 liters. In the CT6 Platinum, it was rated at a still-respectable 500 horsepower and 574 lb-ft.
So is it the right motor for your restomod? Probably not. It’s too complicated, parts are scarce, and there are easier ways to make big power. But boy oh boy would that ever be a conversation starter.