Cadillac Blackwing V8 Is Handcrafted At Corvette Plant In Bowling Green

Bowling Green facility 14 photos
Photo: screenshot from YouTube
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The first DOHC V8 since the Northstar, the Blackwing V8 developed by General Motors for Cadillac is a bit of a hit and miss. The 4.2-liter is modern alright, featuring twin-turbocharging and lots more technology! But on the other hand, 550 horsepower isn’t enough for this displacement, let alone a full-size luxury sedan that serves as the halo in the CT6 range.
On the other hand, the Cadillac-exclusive engine comes with a plaque which reads “Performance Build Center, USA” and “Handcrafted.” The facility in question is Bowling Green in Kentucky where the Corvette is made. Coincidence or not, the C8 will receive a Blackwing-inspired twin-turbo V8, expected to displace 5.5 liters.

The Corvette’s engine bears the LT7 codename, and as expected, it features a hot-vee setup similar to the Blackwing. As for the handcrafted part, there are six engine builders at the Performance Build Center, and each engine is hand-assembled by one individual.

You could say that Cadillac took a liking to how Mercedes-AMG does business in Affalterbach, although the 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 in the GT and 63 Series is miles ahead of the Blackwing V8 in more than one aspect. The LT4 (6.2 liters, supercharged) in the Corvette Z06, Camaro ZL1, and CTS-V are also assembled at the Performance Build Center.

Speaking of the CTS-V, how do you feel about the fact the LT4 in the mid-size sedan is more potent than the Blackwing in the full-size CT6-V? Cadillac didn’t think this through, let alone crank up the Blackwing to match the pushrod V8 with a 2.3-liter supercharger and two valves per cylinder.

It’s hard to understand what the hype is all about given the dramatic and boastful clip uploaded by Cadillac on YouTube. The crown jewel of General Motors might be in something of a transition period, but that’s not an excuse for bragging about an engine that’s lacking where it matters.

Adding insult to injury, Cadillac will stop production of the CT6 in Detroit in a handful of months. China will take over production duties in Jinqiao, and hearsay suggests the North America-spec CT6 could be relocated to a different facility.

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About the author: Mircea Panait
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After a 1:43 scale model of a Ferrari 250 GTO sparked Mircea's interest for cars when he was a kid, an early internship at Top Gear sealed his career path. He's most interested in muscle cars and American trucks, but he takes a passing interest in quirky kei cars as well.
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