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By The Numbers: Cadillac's TT V6 vs. V8s

William Maley



Cadillac announced today their engine lineup for the next-generation CTS that will be shown at the New York show next week. The lineup includes the 2.0T four-cylinder, 3.6L V6, and a new 3.6L V6 with twin turbos. This engine produces an immense 420 horsepower and 430 pound-feet of torque.

So how does it compare to the competition? For curiosity sake, I have created a comparison chart with the new TT V6 and the competition. My thoughts are underneath the table.


For starters, TT 3.6L seems directly aimed at competitors equipped with V8 engine. Horsepower is matched by the Audi and Infiniti M56, while torque is just behind the 550i and E550.

The CTS TT 3.6 is pipped by the S6 in the run to 60 MPH, mostly due to the quattro AWD system and seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox. But being only 0.1 second off the S6, I wondering if the CTS' eight-speed has better gearing or is lighter than the S6, which tips the scales at 4,398 lbs.

Fuel economy wise, the new TT 3.6 sits in the middle in the City, while its second to last on the highway cycle. I do wonder where it land when the EPA rates the combined number; my guess is somewhere in the middle.

Other items for your consideration:

  • Out of this group, the Infiniti M56 is the only naturally-aspirated V8.
  • How does the S6 get 27 MPG on the highway? Thank cylinder-deactivation.
  • BMW 550i is the only model to have the choice of a manual and automatic. Also, if you want the top speed raised on your 550i, be prepared to shell out $2,900 for the M Sport Package.
  • Rumor has it that Mercedes-Benz will drop the twin-turbo V8 for a twin-turbo V6 within the next few years.
  • As I reported this morning, the TT 3.6L V6 will be in the 2014 XTS. We didn't know the performance figures at the time, but Todd Lassa at Automobile Magazine says 410 horsepower and 370 pound-feet of torque. It will stick with a six-speed automatic though.

Where do you stand on this? Does the new TT 3.6L have a chance?


Recommended Comments

The engine has a chance, Cadillac brought a gun to the gun fight this time around. BMW engines are under rated, and the Audi V8 can be made to make more power, it makes 500 in the Bentley. The Germans never have a shortage of new engines, but this segment seems to be moving more to boosted V6s because the buyers in this segment want sportiness and decent fuel economy.

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Cadillac just raised the bar with this engine by meeting and beating the V8s in most metrics

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They have finally raised the eyebrow of the Germans and Asian auto makers and this will get solid play in the news as long as it is dependable.

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The German V8s have been around a couple years, they could up the power on those, but I think they are going to move more toward boosted V6s for fuel economy reasons.

Missing from that list is the Jaguar XF, that V8 has 470 hp, although their V6 has less power than Cadillac's. This is a good engine for Cadillac, they need something in between the 300 hp V6 and the V-series.

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This does look to be a replacement for a Cadillac V8 in the now truly Mid-sized CTS model! I hope as nice as this engine will be its not the powerplant thats chosen for the ATS V! I hope that all the V models use V8's and I hope that Cadillac does a Turbo 3.0L V6 with more power then the NA 3.6L as that engines eventual replacment! The TT3.6L would not have been my choice as a pretend V8 but with the upcoming regulations it does make sense and it will be sweet with that much power and torque! Just dont over use this engine GM! Keep it mostly a Cadillac exclusive engine only letting Buick use it for a dreamed of future Alpha based Regal replacment Grand National model!;)

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I think you are forgetting the benchmark V8 -- GM's own Pushrod 2-valve / cylinder LT1.

At least 450 bhp / 450 lb-ft

Greater than 16 (city) / 25 (hwy) mpg

One quarter as many camshafts

Half as many valves

No turbo

No intercooler

No spaghetti of hoses

Lighter than all of the above (including the TT V6)

More compact than all of the above

Speaking of being superior in every measure...

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Why doesn't GM build a even smaller V8? The hp keeps going up on the 6.2, but what about going back to a 5.0 or 5.7? Is it a question of marketing, ie. no one is going to buy a mid-size car with a V8 or is there a technical reason?

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Why doesn't GM build a even smaller V8? The hp keeps going up on the 6.2, but what about going back to a 5.0 or 5.7? Is it a question of marketing, ie. no one is going to buy a mid-size car with a V8 or is there a technical reason?

Well, two reasons, the first being that the Gen V is being launched as the Corvette's Engine. There is no interest, and rightfully so, in a less powerful engine for the the Corvette. Also, the 6.2 was found to be more efficient than a smaller displacement version of the Gen V pushrod engine, more efficient than a DOHC V8 of drastically lower displacement and more efficient than a twin turbo V6 -- assuming that all have to meet the 450 hp target. It is more efficient because it can operate on 4 cylinders over a wider range of operating conditions than a smaller displacement pushrod design. It is more efficient because it has lower internal friction, lower mass and smaller exterior dimensions than a 4 liter class DOHC design. It is more efficient because it utilizes much higher compression ratio and has much better thermal efficiency at low loads than a bi-turbo V6.

The other reason being that while Small Block engines have been and will be built to smaller displacements than 6.2 liters, they are most efficient from a power to weight and power to size standpoint when they are larger, not smaller. All small block Chevy engine uses a 111.76 mm bore spacing and 90 degree V angle. This commonality is essential to the sharing of tooling and production equipment. A 4.8 liter Small Block V8 will not be externally any smaller, will probably weigh more and will make less power.

The only reason really for going to a 5.0 or 5.7 liter Small block is for reducing displacement tax penalties. But the USA doesn't have a displacement tax, and in countries that do a 5.0 or 5.7 V8 is not going to offer as much of an advantage as say a 3.0 or 3.6 bi-turbo V6. And, GM has those for markets that prefer reduced displacement over reduced fuel consumption.

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