The 2018 New York International Auto Show was dominated by Cadillac news. With the debut of the first-ever 2019 Cadillac XT4, a refreshed 2019 Cadillac CT6, and the introduction of an exclusive DOHC engine in the first-ever 2019 CT6 V-Sport, the brand threw its own party in a city it has called home for two years and counting. And while the significance of a new Cadillac crossover can’t be overlooked, the real excitement seems to revolve around the 2019 CT6 V-Sport and its punchy new LTA V8 twin-turbo engine.
The introduction of an all-new DOHC V8 engine architecture fuels a lot of speculation. Will it go in the Corvette? Will it come in different displacements? Will it come in naturally aspirated form? A few of these questions are too early to confirm officially, but after an interview with Cadillac V8 chief engineer Jordan Lee, we have and understanding that the new 4.2L LTA V8 engine won’t be shedding the turbos any time soon.
“(The LTA) was designed from the ground up with turbos in mind,” said Lee. “Think of it as a point solution for Cadillac. It’s a purpose-built and designed engine for the CT6 V-Sport.”
It’s difficult for a turbocharged engine to replicate the pedal feel and power band of a naturally aspirated V8 engine. However, Lee said the torque curve isn’t finished being shaped yet, but did note that his team could engineer the engine to breathe without turbos, if need be. Moreover, the new engine architecture likely has capacity for greater potency.
With 550 horsepower and 627 lb-ft of torque as a baseline, it’s easy to assume this all-new DOHC V8 engine architecture has potential to be one of the most powerful V8 engines the world has ever seen from any automaker. That’s if it should ever plug in another set of fuel pumps, and add the necessary provisions such as increased airflow.
So while Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen has been vocal about Corvette never getting “this engine,” the extra power on the table seems deliberate. It’s hard to imagine a future Corvette not utilizing this engine architecture, likely with a quartet of fuel pumps, but nothing is confirmed.