Lutz unveiles the Cadillac Sixteen concept at NAIAS 2003 in Detroit

It's official. It's been confirmed: Cadillac is preparing a new V12 flagship. That's straight from the mouth of our favorite man in the business, Bob Lutz. On a recent trip across the pond, GM's venerated product guru confirmed in an interview to the British car magazine AutoWeek that they are indeed working on a twelve-cylinder engine, slated to power a new range-topping, import-beating "Cadillac of Cadillacs," a super-luxury-sedan to rival the likes of the Mercedes S-Class and Lexus LS in the grandest of American style.

The new powerplant is being fabricated from two of GM's 3.6-liter 60-degree V6 engines mounted on a common crankshaft. Far from relying solely on cylinder count, sources speculate the engine will also benefit from such features as direct injection and cylinder deactivation, resulting in a 7.2-liter V12 with somewhere in the neighborhood of 600 horsepower and 540 lb-ft of torque.

And just where is GM testing such a behemoth of an engine? In Australia, of course! As has become de rigeur for American automakers of late, GM is relying on its Australian subsidiary to run the development work on the new flagship engine. Holden is reported to have already begun testing mules, based on a Commodore with a stretched-out engine bay, at its Lang Lang test center near Melbourne. Although the Zeta-based Commodore, (a.k.a. the upcoming Pontiac G8) is being used strictly as a test bed for the time being, it could end up providing the underpinnings for the Cadillac megasedan when the time comes.

Lutz has been pushing for a top-tier Cadillac for years now, and the impetus for its development has apparently come from the feedback received by the Cadillac Sixteen showcar debuted back in 2003. Although the showcase V16 engine was ruled out, apparently the V12 has gotten the green light for development. Shoot for the stars and land on the moon, eh Bob?

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[Source: Automotive News - subscription required]