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Cadillac V-8s: A rich heritage of technology and Performance

Cadillac has a rich history of noteworthy engines: the first mass-produced V-8 engine starting in 1915 models, the V-16 of the 1930s and 1940s, and the overhead valve V-8 introduced in 1949. Fast forward to today, and there’s the supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 that cranks out 640 horsepower and is found in the 2019 CTS-V; the Escalade uses a naturally aspirated version of the engine, where it makes 420 horsepower. While the CTS-V has been discontinued, there are rumblings that the 6.2-liter will be the engine in the upcoming CT5-V Blackwing. And then there is the intriguingly named Blackwing DOHC V-8 in the now-defunct CT6-V.


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Replies (6)

Replies (6)

My first Cadillac V8 was a big, black 1937 Model 65 Fleetwood, four-door sedan.  I bought it for $150 when I was a junior in high school.  Innovations were AM radio with hidden antenna, hydraulic (silent) valve lifters, traditional grey wool gabardine interior (felt like cashmere), triple-beam headlights and more.  The engine was loaded with torque and the car drove quietly and smoothly.  Gas mileage was lousy, but gas was cheap back then, in the early sixties.  Cadillac kept that same engine through the 1948 model, then went to the 331 overhead valve engine.  By the way, the Cadillac V12 and V16 were overhead valve also.  Wonderful automobiles.

Pit Crew

Yes, the 1984 HT 4100 V8 engine with 135 horsepower was very noteworthy.   I bought a brand new 1984 Cadillac Fleetwood d'Elegance that was a piece of crap.  The car was cheaply made with cardboard being used as backing for inside paneling.  The body was so thin that I was trying to get a spot of rust off of it 7 years after I owned it and under that thin rust spot was a hole you could see through.  The engine head gasket went out after 70,000 miles and water was leaking into the cylinder block.  I was told because the difference between the aluminum block and iron heads cooling and heating at different temperatures created warping between the two metals and thus the gasket would not work anymore.  I went to put a rebuilt engine in it and the only one it would take is the same HT 4100 V8.  I replaced it and got rid of the car a few years later because it was a rust bucket.  I was also told that GM did not test their own engines.  They let the public do that for them after they sold them the piece of crap for an outrageous amount of money.  Only GM car I ever owned and will never buy another one.


One of the cars in my stable is a Black 2013 CTS-V Coupe that uses the 6.2 L Supercharged engine.  Lots of power and torque.  This is the same engine family that powers my C7 Z06 Corvette and it was also built in the engine shop at Bowling Green facility that is home to all Corvettes.  This is a great Cadillac and it is very, very quick.  The two door Coupe CTS-V Coupe looks sharp and is an eye catcher (Rakish lines).  I have thoroughly enjoyed this addition to my collection. 

I don't know why Cadillac discontinued mating the Supercharged engine to Coupe model in 2015, but I think it was a mistake.  Mine runs great and never disappoints when I drive it.  I also own a Cadillac XLR two seater convertible (also built in the Bowling Green plant on the Corvette production line), but that is a story for a different day.  :<)

Pit Crew

The race cars should be labeled Chevrolet.

New Driver

Just wish the article had some photos of those old engine (1915 V-8, 1930s  V-12s & V-16s, and the 49 V-8).  I did a little research and found that Cadillac used nothing but V engines since 1915, using the flat-head V-8 up through 1948.

Intermediate Driver

The inept bosses in charge of Cadillac are slowly killing off what is left of a once great car.  They are continuing a flaccid attempt to be BMW and Audi in a market where those who like BMW’s and Audi’s are going to buy BMW’s and Audi’s not GM products.  Right after the new Blackwing V8 was introduced in the CT6 to sold-out orders, GM discontinues the CT6.  This brand is adrift like a rudderless ship, or in reality, a rudderless dinghy.

Pit Crew