New V6 engines are only the start at Cadillac

Luxury Brand Promises New Powertrains For New Vehicles In New Segments

Cadillac debuted its new family of V6 engines Friday, but that's not all General Motors' luxury brand has in store for the coming years.

The six-cylinder powerplants will certainly help Cadillac in the near term, but they're just two of the many parts of the company's future strategy. GM has invested $12 billion in Cadillac to help the brand grow over the next five years, and the company will launch eight new products between now and 2020.

That all starts with the launch of the CT6 flagship later this year – a fullsize luxury sedan we'll see for the first time in New York on March 31. The CT6 will introduce several new features and technologies to the Cadillac range, and with its launch also begins the slow restructuring of Cadillac's model-naming system.

The new nomenclature means CT and XT badges for cars and utilities, respectively. Cadillac says that of the eight new vehicles it plans to launch by 2020, five of them will be first-time offerings in market segments where the brand currently does not play.

Cadillac 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 engineBut it's not just about new products – new powertrains are an important part of the Cadillac story, too.

After the new V6 engines – a naturally aspirated 3.6-liter and a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter engine – launch later this year in the 2016 ATS, CTS and CT6, the company says it has a strategy for V8 power – possibly a twin-turbo application – as well as future electrification. Cadillac also says it's working on adding four- and six-cylinder diesel powertrains, though it's unclear which vehicles will make use of those engines.

This new six-cylinder engine family is indeed important, with Cadillac's chief engineer, David Leone, calling it the "most advanced V6 in the industry." With 335 horsepower, the 3.6-liter engine is the highest output, naturally aspirated V6 powerplant Cadillac has done – and that's SAE-certified, and on regular fuel. Beyond that, the 3.0-liter mill (pictured at right) marks the first application of GM's active fuel management system on a twin-turbocharged engine. This means that when full power isn't necessary, the TTV6 can run as a 2.0-liter V4 in order to save fuel.

New transmissions are also part of the V6 engine story. GM's all-new eight-speed Hydra-Matic 8L45 gearbox will be paired to the 3.6-liter V6, and the 3.0-liter TTV6 will use the company's existing 8L90 transmission that is already found in the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups (with the 6.2-liter engine).

For now, Cadillac has a lot riding on the debut of the CT6, which will show its face to the world in less than two weeks' time (though we've kind of already seen it). But with new products and new powertrains in the pipeline, it certainly isn't the only thing to look forward to at Cadillac.

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