Cadillac will make a huge impact at the 2013 New York International Auto Show with the announcement of an all-new powertrain for the third-generation Cadillac CTS, for it will be the 2014 Cadillac CTS that will debut the LF3 – an all-new twin-turbocharged 3.6L V6 engine. Complementing the new boosted six will be an eight-speed automatic transmission that can shift in a double-clutch-rivaling .3 seconds at full throttle.
The engine, which requires premium fuel, packs a hell of a punch at an SAE-rated 420 horsepower and 430 foot-pounds of torque, just ten less horsepower and six more foot-pounds than the 6.2L LS3 V8 found in the outgoing Corvette, with the turbos spooling “more than 12 PSI” with a unique and patented intake-manifold-mounted air-to-water intercooler system. The turbos themselves use Mitsubishi Heavy Industrial turbo housings with tailor-made internals specific for the LF3.
The patented intercooling setup greatly reduces the path that the intake air must travel between the compressor and the intake valve compared to the conventional air-to-air systems that must pump the boost out in front of the radiator and then back into the engine. This application increases throttle response, compromising just 1 PSI of boost in the process compared to a conventional system.
Equally as impressive is the engine’s power density, at 118 horsepower per liter — the best in the segment. And with the addition of an Aisin-sourced eight-speed, we can expect decent fuel economy numbers, as well. They aren’t EPA official yet, but The Wreath and Crest expects around 17 mpg city and 25 highway in this application. Not bad considering the amount of power on tap.
The new powertrain is so potent, that it will accelerate the all-new CTS from 0-60 mph in a scant 4.6 seconds, and will continue all the way to 170 mph. That 0-60 acceleration number, by the way, is identical to that of the original CTS-V. The twin-turbo setup also gives the 2014 CTS approximately 90 percent peak torque from 2,500 rpm to 5,500 rpm, but for those who don’t need or appreciate such velocity, the all-new CTS sedan will also offer the familiar 321-horsepower LFX V6, and the 272-horsepower 2.0L turbocharged four cylinder; both engines can currently be found in the smaller ATS.
In essence, the twin-turbo 3.6L V6 is the force-inducted variant of the popular LFX V6 currently found in the Cadillac ATS, XTS, and SRX, among many other GM models, with several important upgrades, including:
- All-new cylinder block casting
- All-new cylinder head castings
- Strengthened connecting rods
- Machined, domed aluminum pistons with top steel ring carrier for greater strength
- 10.2:1 compression ratio
- Patented, integrated charge air cooler system with low-volume air ducts
- Two turbochargers produce more than 12 pounds of boost (80 kPa)
- Vacuum-actuated wastegates with electronic control valves
- All-new direct injection fuel system
- Tuned air inlet and outlet resonators, aluminum cam covers and other features that contribute to exceptional quietness and smoothness.
The power figures also make the twin-turbo LF3 very fitting for the Cadillac ATS-V, which we’ve been told will cradle a TTV6. Look out, BMW. Look out, Mercedes. Cadillac is coming to steal your lunch.