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Unique “LT4+” Engine Bridges The Gap Between The LT4 And 755 hp LT5

2023 Cadillac Escalade-V LT4+ LT4 LT5 General Motors Supercharged V8 Engine
Image copyright Manoli Katakis, Muscle Cars & Trucks.

The 2023 Cadillac Escalade-V is reaching dealerships very, very soon. And when customers finally get their keys, they will possess the most powerful (gas-powered) full-size SUV in the world, and the only one of its kind out there with three rows of seats. Anything with this kind of power coming from Mercedes-AMG, Porsche, BMW or Audi will not give you the size, cargo space, or sheer presence that only this $150,000-plus American SUV can deliver. Yes, it’s also the most expensive vehicle General Motors ever put into production, commanding more coin than even the GMC Hummer EV truck.

At the heart of this triumphant demonstration of American engineering is a 6.2L supercharged V8 engine that produces an astonishing 682 horsepower and 653 lb-ft of torque. It’s the most powerful production Cadillac yet, and has much to do with the oversized, 2.65L R2650 TVS supercharger that sits atop the intake manifold. This blower spins at up to 13,500 RPM to produce approximately 10 pounds of boost and has an electronically controlled bypass valve for optimal drivability. The supercharger’s unique four-lobe rotors are designed to broaden the engine’s power band, with great low-end torque production and strong high-RPM power. It really wasn’t hard to find the (tire-rated) top speed in this thing.

2023 Cadillac Escalade-V Engine LT4+ LT4 LT5
Image copyright Manoli Katakis, Muscle Cars & Trucks.

LT4+ Supercharged V8 Engine: Bridging The Gap Between LT4 And LT5

Keen observers may have noticed that the supercharger displacement on the LT4 V8 matches that of the bygone LT5; the 755 horsepower powerhouse that was found exclusively in the C7 Corvette ZR1. Turns out, it is the same supercharger. But as for why GM didn’t go ahead and refer to the Cadillac Escalade-V engine as the LT5 is for several reasons. According to various engineers during the Escalade-V Drive program, the LT4 in the Escalade-V is lacking the port injection, camshaft and supporting fuel system that the LT5 had. But because of its larger displacement, the team referred to the engine internally as “LT4+”.

The LT4+ of the Cadillac Escalade-V still features a forged steel crankshaft, forged aluminum pistons, as well as forged connecting rods. The valves are titanium, which has all the strength of steel but with half the weight. Each and every one of these engines are built by hand at the GM Performance Build Center in Bowling Green, Kentucky, next to the Corvette plant. There’s no word as to whether or not the automaker will offer this 680+ hp mill in its crate engine portfolio, but considering GM’s withdrawal to display at the 2022 SEMA Show, we’re gonna bet against it. Regardless, we invite you to have a look and a listen of the supercharged V8 engine in our video just below:

Cadillac Escalade-V Engine Won’t Fit In CT5-V Blackwing

As for whether or not the Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing will also get the LT4+ treatment, that’s gonna be a “no,” according to the Escalade-V team. Because in order to do so, the hood of the 668 horsepower super sedan would have to be cut open to fit the massive blower that’s found with the LT4+ engine. And you’re probably thinking that something like that would look pretty cool, but it would deter from the poshness that the CT5-V Blackwing also exudes, as well as adding further cost and complexity to the program. Considering how much financial and human resources GM is throwing at electric vehicles right now, engineering how to cut into the hood of a low-volume Cadillac just didn’t make the priority list.

We’ll have more Cadillac Escalade-V content shortly, so keep checking back to MC&T for more.

2023 Cadillac Escalade-V First Drive
Image copyright Manoli Katakis, Muscle Cars & Trucks.

Written by Manoli Katakis

Detroit Region SCCA Member and founder of MC&T. Automotive Media Jedi Knight. Not yet the rank of Master.

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