While full details will have to wait until its official reveal in New York, we now know that the all-new 2014 Cadillac CTS will arrive on the scene with the most powerful GM V6 ever under its hood. Rated at 420 horsepower and 430 lb-ft of torque, this new LF3 is being exclusively teamed with a new 8-speed automatic transmission. Based on GM's existing naturally aspirated and direct-injected 3.6-liter V6 that also will be available in the 2014 CTS, this new Cadillac twin-turbo variant features a comprehensive redesign that brings a modified cylinder block and heads, new pistons, stronger connecting rods and a super-efficient -- and patented -- intake-air cooler package along with a revised direct-injection system. Also displacing 3.6 liters, the LF3 V6 will be available in the full-size 2014 Cadillac XTS sedan.
According to Richard Bartlett, assistant chief engineer for the LF3 engine, this new twin-turbo is a model of operating efficiency that's designed to deliver the ultimate in total responsiveness while virtually eliminating "lag." Developing a heady 118 horsepower per liter, it's also one of the most power-dense engines in the market. One key to the LF3's success includes having a short and direct intake path that's based around a single throttle body mounted directly atop the engine to control air charge from both of the turbo units after it has passed through the dual charge coolers. The other comes from a heavily revamped combustion chamber configuration that optimizes port flow, injector spray angle/pattern and piston topology.
Cadillac is projecting the new Twin-Turbo 3.6 will be able to take the 2014 CTS from 0-60 mph in 4.6 seconds and give it a top speed of 170 mph. The EPA estimates for this rear-wheel-drive-only application will be an impressive 17 city/25 highway mpg compared to the official 18/27-mpg stats of the current base-model CTS with its 270-horsepower 3.0-liter V6.
Working in concert with the new LF3 engine is an equally new 8-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission that was specifically designed to handle higher output. In addition to stronger internal bits, it features unique auto and driver-selectable programming functionality that includes the ability to hold and skip gears during certain performance driving situations, as well as paddle shifters to facilitate even quicker (0.3 second) full-throttle changes. With a wider ratio spread and "taller" top-gear, this new transmission also contributes to a 1.5-percent gain in fuel economy.
Cadillac confirmed that two other powertrain choices will be available in the 2014 CTS. The 3.6-liter direct-injected V6 used in the current CTS carries over and makes 321 horsepower and 275 lb-ft of torque, while the 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder from the new ATS rated at 272 horsepower and with 295 lb-ft of twist also will be offered. Both get backed by a 6-speed paddle-shiftable automatic and buyers can choose rear- or all-wheel drive configurations with either engine.
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