The V-8 means a lot of things to a lot of people. For the enthusiast, it’s the staple of all things fun and awesome: sound, power, speed. For the greenie, it’s a symbol of waste, excess, and old technology. So what does the future of the V-8 look like?
In a very well-written and well-researched article, Sam Abuelsamid of Navigant Research argues that the V-8 has reached the end of an era—at Cadillac, at least. Citing the recent announcement of the 2016 Cadillac CT6’s turbocharged V-6 and four-cylinder-based powertrain lineup, Abuelsamid argues that the V-8 is no longer the flagship engine of choice—in fact, it’s dead.
While noting that the CT6 still promises high performance capability from its 3.0-liter turbocharged V-6 option, Abuelsamid remains true to his argument, closing with the following:
“What about the classic V8 configuration? Those are now limited to a pair of niche but still highly profitable segments, the ultra-high-performance CTS-V sedan and the full-size Escalade SUV. The rest of the lineup will rely on fours, sixes, and electrification from now on. It seems that a century after it began, the era of the mainstream Cadillac V8 engine has drawn to a close.”
But then he posted the article to Facebook, where Cadillac chief Johan De Nysschen stepped in to have a word.
Johan De Nysschen comments on Sam Abuelsamid's article on the death of the Cadillac V-8
“Sam Abuelsamid, you are way wrong, I'm sorry to say. There absolutely will be another state-of-the-art mega powerful highly efficient new 8-cylinder from Cadillac, besides the CTS-V engine. Purpose designed for Cadillac. Now, if you consider "mainstream" to represent the average powertrain used, well, no, the realities of the market today excludes that. Besides the exotics, I don't know that any luxury manufacturer today could claim they sell most of their volume in V8. But the V8 Cadillac is alive and well today, and will be in even better shape tomorrow.”
That’s right, friends and neighbors. Not only is the V-8 not dead at Cadillac, there’s an entirely new, Cadillac-only V-8 in the works, and it will be “state-of-the-art powerful highly efficient.” It may even be twin-turbocharged.
Our guess? It’ll be used for the flagship car that’s planned to sit above the CT6. The new flagship didn’t receive its sign-off until shortly after De Nysschen took the helm at Cadillac.
So was Abuelsamid really wrong? Yes and no. As far as the world knew, the V-8 was dead at Cadillac—you can’t research the future. But now the world knows differently—and we can’t wait to see what comes of it.