Cadillac Announces New Halo Car, Says 4.2-Liter Not Headed For Vette

For a while now, we’ve been speculating that the so-called mid-engine C8 Corvette spotted testing recently is actually a Cadillac—or there is a Cadillac-based variant at the very least. There’s been more than just anecdotal proof to lend credence to the theory and we now have another very compelling piece of evidence. Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen announced ahead of the New York Auto Show, which kicks off at the end of the week, that Cadillac is working on a new halo model that will “shock the world.”

He then — annoyingly — followed that up by saying Cadillac isn’t ready to talk details just yet but it has us wondering if the heavily camo-clad, mid-engine vehicle we’ve been seeing running around is, in fact, a Caddy. Not only does it coincide with what de Nysschen is portending, but with the recent announcement of Cadillac’s 4.2-liter, twin-turbo V8, it seems downright likely. Could this be the 550-horsepower mill that will propel Cadillac’s new halo car? It most certainly could be.

We know for sure that the 4.2-liter mill will power the 2019 Cadillac CT6 V-Sport, also set to debut at the New York Auto Show, but that doesn’t mean the Wreath and Crest division doesn’t have greater ambitions for the engine either. And if you’re thinking what Cadillac means by “halo car” could be just another high-horsepower sedan, you’d be wrong there, too. “I do not think the world needs yet another large, three box conventional sedan,” said de Nysschen, following up his remarks about building a halo vehicle. 

Whether you take that to mean that it will be a less-conventional sedan, a SUV above the Escalade or a mid-engine supercar is up to interpretation, but you can guess where we land on that one. We think that a successor to Cadillac’s XLR would be quite the vehicle, especially if it is based on the mid-engined architecture we’ve been seeing running around on the streets. However, this doesn’t rule a mid-engined Corvette out just yet.

Both cars could easily be based on the same platform, and with the rumored DOHC 5.5-liter twin-turbo engine MIA at this point, it could definitely be reminiscent to when the XLR and Corvette were offered side-by-side and built with the same building blocks—albeit, with different engines (sound familiar?). 

Adding even more fuel to the fire was that de Nysschen quickly shot down rumors that the new 4.2-liter, twin-turbo mill was headed for the Corvette saying, “Just quit the speculations it’s headed for the Corvette. It’s not.”

But as we mentioned before, we’ve discovered more than a few shreds of evidence that a 5.5-liter engine of similar, yet different, architecture dubbed the LT7 is on the way. You’ll notice in the rendering below that the “Hot V” design from the 4.2-liter Cadillac engine is absent. While the mid-engine C8 may forgo the 4.2-liter powerplant, that doesn’t mean a similarly constructed higher-horsepower variant isn’t on its way either.

You can clearly see in these leaked CAD renderings that the purported LT7 engine does not use the “Hot V” design of the Cadillac making a compelling argument that something even crazier is coming our way.

Of course, all of this is mere speculation at this point, but if you follow the bread crumbs, it makes a lot of sense. We do know the new 4.2-liter engine will be constructed at Bowling Green, you know, the home of the Corvette. We all know that they didn’t triple the size of the Bowling Green just to make the new motor there by accident.

So it isn’t out of line to think that we may have two new halo cars on our hands. Either way, something big is coming and we can’t wait to get our balls on it…eye balls that is.

About the author

Chase Christensen

Chase Christensen hails from Salt Lake City, and grew up around high-performance GM vehicles. He took possession of his very first F-body— an ’86 Trans Am— at the age of 13 and has been wrenching ever since.
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