2020 Cadillac CT6 4.2TT AWD: We Test the CT6’s Blackwing

2020 Cadillac CT6 4.2TT AWD: We Test the CT6’s Blackwing

It should have been that. The American luxury and performance sedan to finally stand up to German V-8 sedans like the Mercedes-AMG E 63 and S 63, the BMW M5, M6 Gran Coupé and 750i, and the Audi RS 7 and S8 (and can – even being the Lexus GS F) which forever dominated the fast sedan market crossing the continent. But before we even had a chance to properly test a 2020 Cadillac CT6 4.2-liter biturbo Platinum powered by the mighty Blackwing V8 introduced in 2018 – not to mention comparing it to its competition – the car was canceled. Production ended in January.

Powertrain Fitness

It is truly a shame (and probably an inflammatory offense to the decision-makers involved) to have designed and developed this high-tech engine from the ground up, only to sell less than 1400 copies before removing the cap. Like the 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 from Audi and Mercedes and the 4.4-liter from BMW, it has two twin-scroll turbos mounted in the vee valley, deactivation of the four-cylinder cylinders, variable valve timing, direct injection, and a host of other high-tech features. It is even assembled by hand and signed by its manufacturer like many Euro engines. With a displacement of 4.2 liters, the Blackwing’s ratings of 500-550 hp and 574-640 lb-ft (in Platinum or CT6-V trim) compare reasonably well to sedans from competing Audi engines. (453-591 hp and 487-590) lb-ft), BMWs (523–617 hp and 516–590 lb-ft) and Mercedes-AMG (469–603 hp and 479–664 lb-ft). In addition, GM’s new ten-speed automatic meets or exceeds the performance of the eight- and nine-speed transmissions that are currently serving Germans in terms of flexibility and speed of shifting, and shift timing logic, especially in sports modes.

Lean and toned body

Reducing weight is at least as important as adding horsepower, and the CT6’s Omega platform chassis, derived from the Alpha platform that has been so well received in other Cadillacs and the Camaro. , weighs only 4,407 pounds in its fully loaded Platinum version (the sportier CT6-V probably weighs less). That’s 185 to 698 pounds lighter than any recent A8L, BMW 750i, or Mercedes-AMG S 63 we’ve measured. Compared to the slightly smaller, more closely priced V-8 competitors, our CT6 Blackwing weighs 174 pounds less than our latest E 63 S 4Matic and weighs about 140 pounds more than the BMW M5s we weighed. Equipped with magnetic ride-control dampers and sophisticated multi-link front and rear suspension, the CT6 seems well-equipped to take on these worthy competitors.

So how does the CT6 4.2L Twin-Turbo work?

The 60 mph mark flashes in 4.1 seconds while en route to a 12.4 second quarter mile 113.0 mph. This easily crushes the BMW 750i (4.3 and 12.7 seconds) and Audi and Mercedes non-V-8 flagships, but the Audi RS 7 and Mercedes-AMG S 63 easily smoke the Cadillac (3.3 / 11.5 and 3.4 / 11.6 seconds, respectively), just like the smaller E 63, M5 / M6 and even the BMW M550i xDrive. The CT6-V would undoubtedly reduce that performance by a few tenths, but it probably won’t beat the mainstays of the industry.

The story is much the same in the corners, where the CT6 boasts a reasonable average lateral grip of 0.91g – better than the 750i / A8L (0.90 / 0.89g) while lacking grip displayed by Zootier full and medium sport sedans. That’s not a bad performance, given the Cadillac’s more ride-focused Goodyear Eagle Touring tires, which only managed to stop 119 feet from 60 mph, or 3 to 22 feet. more than all the competitors considered. The Eagle F1 Asymmetric 3 summer tires available on the CT6-V would undoubtedly improve both results significantly. (Our eight-hour course was not available due to the global pandemic.)

What does the CT6 Blackwing look like?

Cadillac strikes a good balance in this CT6 between reasonable driving dynamics when your adrenaline is running and relaxed touring behavior when it isn’t. Body motion control is compound, the steering feel is class-friendly, and the brake pedal is better than its lackluster stopping distances suggest. The 10-speed Hydra-Matic transmission is superbly mated to this engine and programmed to avoid the need for paddle shifters. Could this 4.2TT or maybe a well-trained CT6-V overtake an S 63, Alpina B7 or S8 on a French ledge in a Ronin-style villain chase? Maybe not, but assuming you don’t die in the chase, you’ll revel in the calming tunes of Bose Panaray and find it much easier to relax while riding the CT6 4.2L Platinum at home with the set. Super Cruise (assuming someone is mapping the French highways).

How does it feel to live with this CT6 Platinum?

While its interior design, material choices and trim patterns aren’t as fabulous as the new Escalade’s, the CT6 cabin remains uniquely American and as distinctly Cadillac as the angular exterior. All of those weight savings discussed above are costing the Cadillac somewhat in terms of sound insulation. It’s just not as quiet here as it is in an A8, 7-Series, or S-Class. But what the CT6 lacks in library ambiance, it somewhat makes up for library space, offering more head and legroom front and rear than the outgoing S-Class (Mercedes, however, has much more shoulder room) and more front passengers in general. space than any of the contests considered; the rear Audi and BMW seats are larger. At 15.8 cubic feet, there is less trunk space than in the big Benz and BMW; more than in the Audi.

How could a Blackwing CT6 have fared in a comparison test?

It totally depends on the suitors. Pairing the flagships of Audi, BMW and Mercedes press cars that match the CT6 4.2TT AWD reasonably closely on price would have excluded V-8 engines from the competition, giving the Cadillac a big performance advantage. This, combined with its nifty packaging, light weight and high feature content (especially Super Cruise) could have been enough to secure the victory for Cadillac. If we had paired it with smaller high-performance contenders that were still priced close, we would have had to walk away from an optional E or maybe Mercedes C 63 AMG, a base M5 (still a few thousand more), and opted for an Audi S6 with a twin-turbo V-6 or spent more on the RS 6 station wagon with V-8 engine. Any of those pairings would really require the CT6-V, which could have seemed richer in space, comfort, and functionality at the expense of performance. This could presage an intermediate finish. Unfortunately, no such comparison is likely to happen.

What future for Blackwing?

Prior to the cancellation of the Geneva Motor Show, Manifattura Automobili Torino, an Italian coachbuilder known for producing the New Stratos (designed to look like Lancia’s legendary rally car) and manufacturer of cars as the next electric hypercar Aspark Owl, reportedly entered into a handshake deal with GM to supply Blackwing engines for a future unspecified product. But soon after, GM sold its Turin engine center and publicly announced that the deal was over. It sounds tragic. Why deprive the world of this excellent engine? And wouldn’t Bean Counters be happy to recoup some more of the high engine development costs by selling engines at a price worthy of a handmade Italian exotic?

2020 Cadillac CT6 4.2TT AWD
VEHICLE LAYOUT4-door front-engine sedan, all-wheel drive, 5 passengers
ENGINE4.2L / 500hp / 574lb-ft twin-turbo V8 DOHC 32-valve
TRANSMISSION10 speed automatic
WEIGHT ON BOARD (F / R DIST)4407 lbs (55/45%)
Length x Width x Height205.8 x 74.0 x 58.0 inches
0 to 60 mph4.1 seconds
QUARTER MILE12.4 seconds at 113.0 mph
BRAKING, 60-0 MPH119 ft
ENERGY CONSUMPTION, CITY / ROAD241/135 kW-h / 100 miles
CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB1.11 lbs / mile


The Cadillac CT6 4.2TT AWD after 2020: We test the Blackwing of the CT6 appeared first on MotorTrend.

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