Cadillac models in China are generally the same or very similar to those we find in the U.S. and Canada. But in one specific way, the vehicles destined for the world’s largest car market differ considerably from the ones found in North America. While Cadillacs sold in North America are offered with a variety of engine choices, all Cadillacs in China use the same motor.
The engine in question is none other than the turbocharged 2.0L I4 gasoline engine (production code LSY) usually rated at 235 horsepower (though it depends on which vehicle it’s fitted to) and always at 258 pound-feet of torque. This is the only engine used for the XT4 crossover in North America – though a diesel is offered in Europe – so it makes sense that it’s fitted to that model for the Chinese market also.
However, this can not be said for other Cadillacs in China. In North America, the XT5 and XT6 crossovers are offered with a choice of the turbo 2.0L I4 LSY engine or the naturally aspirated 3.6L V6 gasoline motor (production code LGX), which produces 310 horsepower and 271 pound-feet of torque. Chinese customers do not have access to the V6 in either of these vehicles.
The same applies to all other Cadillacs in China. North American customers can opt for the turbocharged 2.7L I4 (production code L3B) in the CT4, which makes 325 horsepower and 380 pound-feet of torque in the CT4-V or 310 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque in the CT4 500T Premium Luxury as an alternative to the 2.0L I4 LSY. And in the CT5, North American customers have the option of a turbocharged 3.0L V6 (production code LGY), which is rated at 360 horsepower and 405 pound-feet of torque in the CT5-V or 335 horsepower and 405 pound-feet of torque in the CT5 550T Premium Luxury. By this stage of the article you will not be surprised to learn that only the 2.0L I4 LSY is available to Chinese buyers in both the CT4 and CT5. In fact, the CT4-V and CT5-V are not offered in China to begin with.
The situation is at its most extreme in the case of the CT6. In the U.S. and Canada, this model was discontinued after the 2020 model year, and the 2.0L I4 LSY had been withdrawn from the range after the 2019 model year. But the large sedan is still being built at the Cadillac Jinqiao plant in Shanghai, and yes, the only motor one will find under the bonnet of the CT6 in China is the LSY.
However, this is all about to change, and not because of a change in policy and not because of any of the models mentioned above. Instead, it’s because of the all-new Escalade.
Although previous generations of the Cadillac Escalade were imported by Chinese dealers from the U.S. at the special request of wealthy customers, the 2021 Escalade will officially be sold in China. In North America, the 2021 Cadillac Escalade is offered with a choice of two engines: a naturally-aspirated 6.2L V8 gasoline engine (production code L87) rated at 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque, or the optional turbo diesel 3.0L I6 (production code LM2) rated at 277 horsepower and 460 pound-feet. It is not yet clear whether both powerplants will be available in China, but we can be quite sure that Cadillac will not be fitting its full-size luxury SUV with its ubiquitous 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, whether it’s turbocharged or not.
|Model||Engine(s) In USA||Engine In China|
|CT4||Turbo 2.0L LSY or Turbo 2.7L L3B||Turbo 2.0L LSY|
|CT5||Turbo 2.0L LSY or Twin-Turbo 3.0L LGY||Turbo 2.0L LSY|
|CT6||Model discontinued||Turbo 2.0L LSY|
|XT4||Turbo 2.0L LSY||Turbo 2.0L LSY|
|XT5||Turbo 2.0L LSY or 3.6L V6 LGX||Turbo 2.0L LSY|
|XT6||Turbo 2.0L LSY or 3.6L V6 LGX||Turbo 2.0L LSY|
|Escalade||6.2L V8 L87 or turbo-diesel 3.0L I6 LM2||Model not yet available|
The Cadillac Society Take
The fact that Cadillac doesn’t offer more powerful engine options in China is noteworthy, since it has become Cadillac’s biggest global market by sales volume over the past few years, eclipsing even the United States. In any event, it’s quite impressive that Cadillac can sell as many vehicles as it does with a single engine.
It’s worth noting that the lack of engine variety is driven by China’s stringent emissions standards enacted over the last several years, standards with which the boosted LSY engine is in full compliance.
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