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Cadillac Escalade with a 16-cylinder engine?

A GM executive has officially confirmed that consideration has been given to equipping the Cadillac Escalade with a 16-cylinder engine.

16-cylinder engines are extremely rare in automotive engineering - the only manufacturer currently offering such a unit is Bugatti. The Chiron is powered by a double VR-16 engine (Bugatti itself calls the type W engine) with 8.0 liters displacement, which delivers up to 1,600 hp. Most 16-cylinder engines date from before WWII - and even then they were very rare. In the post-war period there were twice (1950 and 1966) 16-cylinder engines from BRM for Formula 1, the Italian designer Franco Sbarro built a one-off model in 1976 with the Royale model, the engine of which consisted of two V8 engines fused together and BMW built the 7 series with a 16-cylinder engine as a prototype in the late 1980s . The Italian 16-cylinder sports car Cizeta V16T was created from 1991 to 1995, Mercedes even started developing a 18-cylinder engine for the S-Class of the W140 series and in 2006 Isdera built a one-off with the Autobahnkurier 116i , that has two V8 engines under the hood. However, one of the largest 16-cylinder engine manufacturers from 1930 to 1940 was Cadillac. And for their SUV Escalade, the Americans have actually thought about such a monster engine.

Cadillac with a real 16-cylinder tradition

From 1930 to 1935, Cadillac produced the Series 452 , whose 7.4-liter V16 engines delivered 188 hp. The Series 90 then followed from 1935 to 1940, initially with the same engine as in the Series 452, which after a revision in 1938 had the same power and only 7.1 liters displacement. And Cadillac hasn't let go of its multi-cylinder past - in 2003 the Americans presented the prototype Sixteen, which has a 1,000 hp 13.6-liter V-16 under its long hood that opens on both sides. To this day, however, it has not gone into series production – Bugatti was probably not sad about this decision. But the 16-cylinder at Cadillac has apparently not yet been forgotten: Escalade project manager David Schiavone has now confirmed to the US car magazine GM Authority that Cadillac has seriously considered giving the Escalade-V a 16th -Equip cylinder engine.

Half the number of cylinders had to be enough

However, the Cadillac developers didn't get through with their 16-cylinder idea with the GM decision-makers - they had to be content with half the number of cylinders for the Escalade-V. But even with its supercharged 6.2-liter V8, it's not underpowered - after all, the unit delivers 691 hp and generates 885 Newton meters of torque.GM also uses the engine in the third generation Cadillac CTS-V, in the Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing , in the Chevy Camaro ZL1 and the C7 Corvette Z06. The V8 accelerates the 2.7 ton Escalade V to 97 km/h (60 miles per hour) in 4.4 seconds.

16-cylinder lives on - at Bugatti

It is very unlikely that Cadillac will actually launch a new 16-cylinder engine in times of emerging electromobility. After all, Bugatti seems to be sticking to its unique selling point drive for a while: Bugatti boss Mate Rimac recently made it clear that he appreciates the special features of Bugatti and will cultivate them for a while longer .

In the picture gallery we show the Cadillac Escalade-V.


It is surprising that Cadillac has been thinking about re-launching a 16-cylinder engine until recently - after all, many car manufacturers are currently discontinuing their drinkable 12-cylinder models because they now find them anachronistic. The fact that the Cadillac engineers wanted to pack a 16-cylinder engine under the hood of the Escalade SUV seems quite appropriate - such a large engine would have an easy time with such a large vehicle.

16 or more cylinders: Many car manufacturers have not dared to do this so far. BMW had already completed a 16-cylinder engine for its 7 Series E32, while Mercedes was already very far along in developing its 18-cylinder engine for an 800 SEL. The official reasons for moving away from series production were: Too thirsty, not enough performance difference to the V12 and, in part, feared low social acceptance. On the other hand, what's the point of having a V12 when there's a powerful V8 on offer at the same time? And would Bugatti be just as successful with a V12 as with its VR-16? The marketing appeal of a 16-cylinder seems to be immense. In the end, a combination of a lack of courage on the part of the decision-makers and an objectively correct "we don't need it" may have been the deciding factor for a 16-cylinder out.


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