Cadillac will offer four-cylinder engines in a number of future models. The compact engines should make for a stark contrast with the dinosaur-gulping euphoria that is the company’s supercharged LSA V-8 in the CTS-V.
Unlike Cadillac’s other forays into engine downsizing—including one motor, the 8-6-4, that was at least intended to downsize itself while in use—this attempt should be quite a lot more functional. The upcoming full-size Cadillac XTS and compact ATS sport sedan sedan will offer turbocharged Ecotec four-cylinder engines; we’d expect these units to make between 220 and 260 hp—although we hope they’ll be at the top end of that scale.
We’ve learned that if shoppers respond positively to the notion of four-cylinder Caddies, the company is also considering adding a four-cylinder option to the SRX crossover and next-generation CTS as well. Since we live in an increasingly China-focused automotive world, there’s an additional case for using the force-fed Ecotec: Its 2.0-liter displacement gives GM a tax advantage in the all-important Chinese market.
The big question is whether customers will go for a four-banger on Cadillac’s American home turf. Chances are that from behind the wheel, most drivers wouldn’t notice the difference between a high-output turbo four and a more traditional V-6. Moreover, with Cadillac’s focus on matching European model offerings, this move makes sense: Audi has long offered Americans a turbocharged four in its A4, and an A6 with the same engine is on the way. BMW is bringing its own two-liter turbo four to the U.S. next year, and Mercedes-Benz is set to do the same with the C250 sedan and coupe.
It’s a rapidly changing automotive market, but we still have a bit of a difficult time swallowing the notion of a Cadillac with a four-cylinder engine—even if it sells well, even if it offers plenty of power, and even if it returns respectable fuel economy. This is a company that, in the early 1930s, offered a V-12 as its mid-level engine; the range-topper was a V-16. Then again, that engine made 165 hp. Maybe a turbo four with 260 ponies ain’t so bad after all.Tags: Cadillac, Cadillac ATS, Cadillac CTS, Cadillac XTS, General Motors |