by Brian Silvestro | Road & Track
The future of Cadillac’s 4.2-liter twin-turbo “Blackwing” V-8 has been up in the air for some time now. The company discontinued the CT6-V—the only car that used it—and told us in February it has no future plans for the engine. A report from Hagerty published earlier this week suggested the Blackwing might be getting a second chance at life after all, with small Italian coach-builder Manifattura Automobili Torino (MAT) claiming it struck a deal with GM to use the motor. But it turns out no such deal is in place… yet.
This article, originally published March 6, 2020, has been updated with a statement from GM.
If that name sounds familiar, it should. MAT is the company responsible for building the ultra-cool, ultra-expensive, and ultra-rare new Stratos. MAT president Paolo Garella told Hagerty the company plans to build a new in-house designed supercar with the turbocharged GM engine.
“We have an agreement with General Motors,” Garella told Hagerty. “It’s a very, very interesting engine, a 4.2-liter twin-turbo reverse-flow V-8. I believe that for Cadillac, it’s discontinued. They aren’t using it anymore.”
However, GM later clarified in a statement to Hagerty no such agreement was in place.
The story regarding the 4.2-liter V-8 Blackwing engine is not accurate. We do not have an agreement in place with Manifattura Automobili Torino (MAT) to provide or sell the Blackwing engine. Furthermore, although MAT may be working with the Punch Group, we have not licensed this engine as part of the Turin Propulsion Engineering Center sale to Punch Group.
Punch Group is an Italian automotive supplier that recently purchased GM’s Turin-based Propulsion Engineering Center. MAT has close relations with the company, and according to Hagerty, it was this sale that helped initiate the Blackwing engine deal.
Of course, the story doesn’t end there. MAT issued a response to GM’s statement, seeming a bit caught off-guard. From Hagerty:
We thank GM for the clarification. Although a signed agreement was not finalized between the parties, we were under the impression that our counterpart was committing to making this engine available to MAT at conditions yet to be defined. All the agreed joint commercial activities, such as the participation with the engine to the cancelled GIMS2020, were based on this assumption. Furthermore, we were not aware of the sale of the Turin Propulsion Engineering Center to Punch Group until the official announcement on February 27th.
We hope that this misunderstanding will not compromise our relations with GM and possible future collaborations.
Hagerty suggests that while informal agreements with a selection of higher-ups at each company might have occurred, nothing had been made official, hence the statement from GM. It makes sense, but it’s not really a good look for MAT.
MAT hasn’t revealed specifics about the upcoming car, other than that it’ll be produced in limited numbers. If it comes to fruition, it would only be the second production car to ever use the Blackwing.
Out of all the places the Blackwing could’ve ended up, a niche Italian exotic car builder is the last place we would’ve expected. If MAT can salvage this deal, it hopefully means we get to see the American powerplant live on. We’re curious to see how it all works out.