Turbo Era: Next-gen Cadillac V6s led by twin-turbo mill

23 Mar 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

2016 Cadillac CT6 to pack 400-HP twin-turbo V-6.

The Cadillac CT6 is one of the most anticipated debuts of the 2015 New York Auto Show, and Cadillac has just honed the edge of our interest: it will pack a 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V-6 engine good for 400 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque. Delivering 133 horsepower per liter, the engine is the most powerful for its displacement in its segment which also includes the BMW 7 Series, the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and the Audi A8, among others.

From the clues we’ve been able to uncover so far, GM’s luxury division isn’t holding back in any category; the CT6 won’t be anything like your grandfather’s Caddie. A Cadillac press release said the luxury automaker announced a new generation of V6 engines Friday, March 20 that will be led by a twin-turbo V6 that it said will be “one of the industry’s most advanced six-cylinder gasoline engines.” The engine reportedly is destined as the halo powerplant for the brand’s coming halo car, the CT6 set to debut Tuesday, March 31 at New York International Auto Show (NYIAS).

According to Automotive News and Cadillac spokesman Dave Caldwell, the CT6 could add other engines to its options catalog in the future, like a V8 engine for example. Sitting behind the new twin-turbo V-6 will be GM’s brilliant Hydra-Matic 9L90 eight-speed automatic transmission, versions of which are also found in the Chevy Corvette and GM’s pickup and SUV lines. Back to the twin-turbo 3.0-liter V6, it will also be equipped with a cylinder deactivation system and a stop/start system which should help make it quite fuel-efficient as well.

The release also said the twin-turbo V6 will be the first engine to combine twin turbochargers with stop/start and cylinder deactivation, creating a best-of-both-worlds scenario for power when you want it and fuel economy when you keep your foot out of the throttle. It develops 133 hp per liter and is the only six-cylinder to combine turbocharging with cylinder deactivation and stop/start technologies in order to conserve fuel. Peak torque in the new CT6 engine will arrive at just 2,500 rpm, holding there until 5,000 rpm, giving the car a strong mid-range torque plateau that should translate to easy pulling power in any gear, as well as an unflustered quality. The new turbo V-6 also features some interesting turbocharger technology and design aspects, including low-inertia turbos with titanium-aluminide turbines, which translates to quicker turbo spool-up.

A 9.8:1 compression ratio, forged crankshaft, reinforced pistons, hardened exhaust valve seat material, and sodium-filled exhaust valves also contribute to the engine’s performance potential—and may allow a fair amount of headroom for the aftermarket. They also feature low-inertia titanium-aluminide turbine wheels and a low-volume charger-air cooler, thus enabling optimal boost production and more immediate power delivery.

Upgrades to the new engine over the previous version include: a stiffer aluminum block, a forged steel crankshaft, polymer-coated reduced-friction pistons, improved cooling, higher-flow cylinder head design, and a new variable displacement oil pump for improved efficiency. Bartlett said, “Torque is the pulling power of an engine and the new 3.0-liter twin turbo delivers it with confidence-inspiring smoothness and progression. In fact, the potency of the torque across the rpm band is matched only by the satisfaction of the horsepower created as those revs climb quickly to 6,500 RPM.” Using GM’s widely-utilized 3.6-liter naturally aspirated V6 engine as a basis, the press release outlined some ways the twin turbo V6 gets a shot in the arm: While the 3.0L Twin Turbo is based on the same, all-new architecture as the naturally aspirated 3.6L V-6, it incorporates specific components and features to support the load and cylinder pressure characteristics unique to a forced-induction engine. In practical terms, that means the relatively small size of the turbochargers and their lightweight turbines foster more immediate “spooling,” which practically eliminates lag, for an immediate feeling of power delivery. A single, centrally located throttle body atop the engine controls the air charge from both turbochargers after the temperature is reduced in the intercooler.

This efficient design also contributes to more immediate torque response, while reducing complexity by eliminating the need for a pair of throttle bodies. The wastegates also work in concert with vacuum-actuated recirculation valves to eliminate co-surge from the turbos – a condition that can result in dynamic flow reversal, such as the moment immediately after the throttle closes.

Also, the air cooler system achieves more than 80 percent cooling efficiency with only about 1 psi (7 kPa) flow restriction at peak power, which contributes to fast torque production.

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