HOLDEN’S tight connection to the General Motors global development program is going from strength to strength with the Australian team drafted to assist in the development of Cadillac’s CT6 V-Sport performance halo.
A disguised version of the new high-performance CT6 was spotted cruising Melbourne public roads ahead of the model’s official release date in its native US market, suggesting the Lang Lang-based engineering team is still in the final stages of tuning.
It’s not the first time a Cadillac has been spied Down Under with the steering wheel on the left, with GM previously exploiting the local team’s skill in chassis and drivetrain calibration, but the most recent pictures confirm Holden has its hands on the GM’s all-new 4.2-litre twin turbo powerhouse.
Brake cooling ducts next to the unmistakable extended headlight are the fingerprint of the V-Sport variant which was unveiled at the New York motor show this year, although the vehicle spotted in Melbourne wears a different grille, which might reveal the local outfit is working on an as-yet unannounced version.
Its forced-induction V8 is capable of churning out 410kW and will gradually proliferate the GM family including at least one variant of the Corvette sports flagship, and is the company’s foray into ‘hot V’ turbocharging, where the turbos nestle in the valley between cylinder heads.
With the end of local vehicle production, the new powertrain is a glimmer of hope for V8-powered rear-drive vehicles for Australia and it’s likely the vehicle’s suitability for the local market is under scrutiny.
If not under the bonnet of the CT6 V-Sport, hopes still remain that the cutting-edge V8 will find another avenue into Holden showrooms to satisfy Australia’s appetite for V8s.
Holden was unable to comment on exactly what the CT6 pre-production car is doing on red dirt, but the reintroduction of Cadillac to the local market has been rumoured since a planned return was cancelled in 2009.
If, however, the mysterious disguise-wrapped visitor is solely here for development work, its presence is an indication of the ongoing influence of Holden’s design and development team in the GM global landscape.
Holden corporate and brand communications senior manager Megan Lloyd said Australian engineers “have a great reputation” and the decision to send the V-Sport Down Under was a commitment to the ongoing relationship between General Motors in the US and its southern hemisphere outpost.
“We’re involved in lots of programs for GM,” she said. “It’s all part of the work on global programs that our engineers are involved in”.