Consider, for a brief moment, the De Tomaso Pantera. Italian design and build. Mid-mounted American V8 power. Perfection, really. Not many sports cars have used the same recipe, which is a kind of a shame. Still, there’s hope in the horizon for fans of the combination, if everything goes to plan.
Recently, the future of Cadillac’s twin-turbo “Blackwing” eight-cylinder has been hanging in the air. Cadillac has ceased production of the only car which used the 4.2-liter engine, and Road & Track reported in February that no other plans for the engine have been made. It wouldn’t have been right if the Blackwing would have been shelved for the foreseeable future, and Hagerty’s now reporting that the engine might have a future after all, but not where you’d expect.
Enter MAT, or Manifattura Automobili Torino. This is the company which wants to build the reborn Stratos, which takes after the Lancia brand legend from the rally days of the Seventies. While the original Stratos used a Ferrari Dino V6, and while the “new” version from a few years back would be fitted with a Ferrari F430 engine, it appears that a new project might be undertaken. MAT would then be going the way of the Pantera, animated by an American V8, in this case the Blackwing.
All of these cool-as-hell names are making my head spin, yet it feels so right that the twin-turbo unit would find a new home in something as cool as the MAT-built Stratos. Earlier articles mentioned a 25-car production run, a weight of under 2800 lbs and a 44/56 weight distribution – whether the Cadillac engine affects any of these specifications remains to be seen.
MAT’s president Paolo Garella told Hagerty that an agreement exists with General Motors, and that Cadillac has no other place to put the Blackwing. Like Road&Track says, the Stratos would be the second car ever to use the engine. 500 horsepower sounds plenty enough for it.
Correction: We originally wrote that the Blackwing may go into a new Stratos. That isn’t quite true, but the makers of the “new Stratos” still indeed want to put a Blackwing in a new project of theirs. We’ve updated the headline and a sentence in the article to make that more clear. We regret the error.