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Inside the Cadillac CTS-V’s LT4 V8

ETi speaks to GM about the supercharged 649ps engine at the heart of its new sedan

by Graham Heeps

 

The 2016 Cadillac CTS-V will launch in the late summer of this year, powered by a 649ps LT4 V8. The 6.2-liter supercharged motor makes 855Nm and is paired with the GM 8L90 8-speed automatic transmission.

The 322km/h sedan’s powertrain is derived from the one in the current Corvette Z06 (see ETi, March 2014), including its cylinder deactivation technology, but there are a number of changes. The biggest is that the LT4 is now wet-sump with an aluminum oil pan, rather than dry-sump, a switch facilitated by the higher mounting position in the CTS-V. Extensive development focused on coping with high levels of lateral g from heavy track use, without losing oil pressure. 

“We took the crankcase ventilation system and created an [oil] storage container to the right-hand side of the engine, from where it drains back into the pan,” says Jordan Lee, chief engineer and program manager, LT4. “It’s pretty close to a race-type dry-sump system, without having a dry sump.” The result is that the CTS-V’s V8 is “a couple of kilos” lighter than the Z06’s and copes with a lateral 1.1g, which compares favorably with the dry sump version’s 1.2g. 

Other changes include new venting of the crankcase pressure through the top of the engine, different engine map calibration, new induction and exhaust systems and a different accessory drive. The guts of the Eaton supercharger are the same as on the Z06, although different packaging means it sticks about 20mm further out. 

Development of the new version has taken two years. An extensive track-testing program proved the performance at GM’s own Milford Road Course (MRC), Michigan, USA, which takes elements of different racetracks around the world, as well as at Virginia International Raceway (VIR), Virginia, and Spring Mountain Motorsports Ranch, Nevada, USA, and at the Nürburgring, Germany.

May 5, 2015
 

 

5 May 2015

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