The world of high-performance large luxury sedans grows by one today with the introduction of the 2019 Cadillac CT6 V-Sport. This all-wheel-drive flagship packs tons of power from a new twin-turbo V8 engine and looks to balance sports car traits with luxury. You can expect it to be smooth on the freeway but capable of disappearing when you romp on the gas.
Crucial to traffic-light vanishing acts is the V-Sport's twin-turbo 4.2-liter V8, which makes 550 horsepower and 627 pound-feet of torque. Those impressive figures compare well with output from the V8s in the latest German supersedans. Like those engines, the V-Sport's direct-injected V8 has its turbochargers nestled between the cylinder banks, a location that brings benefits to emissions and overall responsiveness. The twin-scroll turbocharger design also helps them work more quickly, so you experience less of a delay from the go pedal. Each 4.2-liter V8 is hand-built and boasts a plaque bearing the signature of its builder.
A 10-speed automatic handles all that power, and it's the same transmission you'll find in high-performance Chevrolets such as the Corvette and the Camaro. The large number of gears means there are super-close ratios for quick acceleration but also tall overdrives for low-rpm freeway cruising.
Beyond gearing, the engine also packs a few tricks to help save fuel. Standard stop-start turns the engine off when you're waiting at a light and fires it back up once you're ready to move again. The engine can also run on just four cylinders, which could help improve freeway consumption. Cadillac hasn't released fuel economy figures, but we suspect that technologies like these should help its combined figure land just below 20 mpg.
Cadillac didn't go into detail about the V-Sport's all-wheel-drive system or mechanical differential, but this hardware should translate into rapid 0-60 mph acceleration and enjoyable traction during cornering. On that note, the CT6 V-Sport employs the brand's Magnetic Ride Control, whose dampers use a special fluid that allows them to switch quickly between firm and soft settings. A revised rear steering system makes slight adjustments that increase nimbleness at low speeds and stability at high speeds.
The exterior merely hints at the power under the hood. There's a massive mesh grille and gloss-black exterior trim, but you'd have to step up close to recognize the V-Sport-specific design of the 20-inch wheels. You might also recognize the quad tailpipes or the summer tires and massive Brembo brakes. The look is appropriately subtle for a performance-oriented luxury sedan, but it's unmistakably Cadillac.
You can expect to see a 500-hp variant of this engine in other Cadillac models soon, starting with the standard CT6. Like that vehicle, the V-Sport offers the brand's latest entertainment interface that promises to be even faster and more intuitive, now displaying on a 10-inch, 1080-pixel resolution screen. The V-Sport is available with a suite of active safety and driver assistance tools, including lane keeping assist, a surround-view camera, and night vision, but not Cadillac's hands-free driving Super Cruise technology.
We're sure that shoppers looking for a supersedan like the CT6 V-Sport will want their hands on the wheel anyway.