Remember when Cadillac’s were bloated land yachts with pillow-soft suspensions? If Elvis were to see his beloved American luxury brand today he’d mess his leather jumpsuit. Cadillac’s new direction is aimed at world-beating performance. Their biggest stab at the likes of BMW and Mercedes thus far is the 2014 CTS; a car General Motor’s deemed worthy to introduce their first ever twin-turbocharged V6 - the most powerful six-cylinder engine GM has ever produced.
In the CTS the 420hp 3.5-liter twin-turbo is mated to an 8speed automatic transmission (a first for Cadillac). The new tranny has the ability to skip gears to maximize performance or fuel economy, which Cadillac says should help the car get to 60mph in 4.6 seconds, reach a top speed of 170mph and still manage 17mpg city, 25mpg highway when running on premium fuel.
Torque is equally impressive from the turbo six. Peak low-end power reaches 430lb-ft, 90% of which is available from 2,500rpm to 5,500rpm. The broad power curve combined with the fast-spooling twin turbo setup should give the CTS V8 responsiveness without the propensity to suck a gas station dry every few blocks.
General Motors also plans to feature the new 3.5-liter as an option in the Cadillac XTS this fall. Despite GM’s vocal opposition to offering turbocharged engines as a fuel-efficient V8 alternative in their 2014 pickups, it’s worth wondering if the new Caddy turbo might eventually find its way to the Chevrolet Camaro.
The Camaro's base 6.2L V8 makes nearly identical horsepower and torque numbers as the lil’ 3.5-liter. With the introduction of a new 7.0L V8 in the resurrected Camaro Z28 this month, there just might be room now for a turbocharged-six to enter the Camaro’s option list at some point.
Whether or not Chevy might be willing to follow Ford’s lead by offering a turbocharged engine in a muscle car as we've heard there will soon be in 2015 Mustang could be another story.