Some necessary cost-cutting at Cadillac led to switching the new CT4, CT5, and Escalade to older platforms. The revised architecture plan meant Cadillac's newest top-tier products couldn't fit Cadillac's newest top-tier engine, the 4.2-liter twin-turbo DOHC V8 known as Blackwing. That engine would serve limited duty at full power in the now-dead CT6-V, and at reduced output in the CT6 Platinum V8 trim before ending its bright, brief domestic life. But the story isn't over, the rebirth of Blackwing coming from a most surprising locale: Turin, Italy.
Before the canceled Geneva Motor Show, Hagerty spoke to Paolo Garella, CEO of Manifattura Automobili Torino; that's the company better known as MAT, makers of the New Stratos and contract engineering house for boutique screamers like the Aspark Owl electric hypercar, Apollo Intensa Emozione, and SCG003C. Garella told the outlet, "We have an agreement with General Motors" for a supply of Blackwings, which would be developed and built at the General Motors Propulsion Engineering Center (PEC) in Turin. Since 2005, the PEC has been used to develop GM's global diesel engines and electronics. MAT's plan is to put the V8 into a new limited-run car MAT is creating from its own design.
Then another surprising turn: Belgium-based global auto supplier Punch Group bought the PEC, with plans to work with GM on projects in progress until at least the end of 2021. Nothing changes as far as MAT is concerned, except perhaps a chance for an even closer collaboration with Punch Turin.
The V8 once hand-built at the Performance Engine Center in Bowling Green, Kentucky, made 550 horsepower and 627 pound-feet of torque in its most powerful form. Of course we're looking forward to the Blackwing-powered vehicle MAT comes up with; the prospect of a V8-powered supercar with a modern mill is the best kind of news. Just as much, though, we're looking forward to what's possible with the Blackwing in a high-performance application freed of OEM constraints. The 4.2-liter LTA Blackwing shares its architecture with the 5.5-liter LT7 V8 in the Chevrolet Corvette C8.R racer and headed for the Corvette Z06, the big differences being turbos mounted between the cylinder banks on the Blackwing, whereas the boosters hang outside the banks on the LT7, and the Chevy engine uses a flat-plane crank.
It's a moonshot, but if the Blackwing proves its might and popularity over time, and sees continuous development, perhaps the engine could one day be recalled to service with a different car at its original brand home.
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