Cadillac V-Type Engines: Over 100 Years of Automotive Innovation

Press release
Published November 22nd, 2018 - 07:56 GMT
The first 1902 one-cylinder Cadillac car was a quality product, thanks to the insistence on precision by the brand’s General Manager, Henry Leland.
The first 1902 one-cylinder Cadillac car was a quality product, thanks to the insistence on precision by the brand’s General Manager, Henry Leland.

Cadillac has been at the forefront of automotive innovation throughout its 116-year history, leading the way with V-type engines. From V6 up to V16, the American premium car brand has evolved its V-type engine range since 1914, becoming the first automobile maker in the world to mass-produce V8 engines.

The first 1902 one-cylinder Cadillac car was a quality product, thanks to the insistence on precision by the brand’s General Manager, Henry Leland. A four-cylinder car was then invented in 1905, confirming Cadillac’s place in the luxury market.

In 1912, Cadillac wowed the automotive world with the groundbreaking electric self-starter that made driving more convenient, paving the way for the brand to consolidate its luxury status. Three years later, Cadillac went exclusively to a 5.1-liter, 70-horsepower V-8, which smoothness and performance were well received that 13,000 were sold in the first year. From then on, the V-8 was Cadillac’s mainstay engine.

Fast-forwarding to the present day, building on its V-8 legacy, Cadillac introduced earlier this year the brand’s first-ever twin-turbo V-8 engine, boasting 550 horsepower (410 kW) and 850Nm of torque. Debuting in the Middle East in 2019 as the centerpiece of the new first-ever CT6-V, the all-new Cadillac Blackwing™ Twin Turbo V8 engine is hand-built and then signed by a single engine builder. It complements the brand’s current portfolio of V-type engines, including the ATS-V’s 3.6L, 464hp, Twin Turbo V-6 and the CTS-V’s 6.2L, 640 horsepower supercharged V-8 engines.

Christian Soemmer, Managing Director of Cadillac Middle East, said: “The adoption of the V-shape engine was a defining moment for Cadillac that brought about a steep change in performance that has continued to guide and shape our engineering and design to this day. These engines introduced people to new technological advancements and what the brand could offer.”

Cadillac’s reputation for manufacturing V-type engines began in 1914 with the introduction of brand’s first V-8 engine but continued to bolster it through the subsequent generations. The premium American brand expanded the range in 1930, adding the V-16 engine to its portfolio, followed by the V-12 engine few months later. The V-16 was one of Cadillac’s signature engines, with its tight 45-degree V angle, becoming a distinguishing design that once again made the brand stand out among its industry peers and luxury-segment rivals.

Almost two decades later, Cadillac began work on a ground-breaking technological development, presenting the 1949 short-stroke, overhead-valve, high-compression V-8 engine. It displaced 5.4 litres, produced 160 horsepower, and its release became a trend-setting moment for automotive engine technology.

Three years later, in 1952, Cadillac then improved upon its original design by raising the output of the V-8 to 190 horsepower. By 1970, Cadillac’s Eldorado V-8 had reached 8.2 litres and 400 horsepower.

As part of designing its own powerplants, Cadillac then created its new-for-1993 twin-overhead-cam Northstar V-8, marking another engine-technology milestone with a fine tribute to its 90 years of V-type engine production.

Today, Cadillac continues to offer a V-8, in its twin-turbo form, as it has for more than 100 years, setting the manufacturer apart from all other premium automotive brands. With track-honed design, chassis and suspension elements, the Cadillac V-Series of vehicles are dual purpose luxury performers with true track capability straight from the factory, blended with sophisticated and refined features.

Background Information

Cadillac

Cadillac is a luxury vehicle marque owned by General Motors. Cadillac vehicles are sold in over 50 countries and territories, but mainly in North America. Cadillac is currently the second oldest American automobile manufacturer behind Buick and among the oldest automobile brands in the world. 

Cadillac was born in 1902. Its founder, Henry Leland, a master mechanic and entrepreneur, named the company after his ancestor, Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac, the founder of Detroit. It was purchased in 1909 by General Motors and within six years, Cadillac laid the foundation for the modern mass production of automobiles by demonstrating the complete interchangeability of its precision parts, also establishing itself as America's premier luxury car.

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