The Cadillac Northstar V-8: A History
Cadillac has had a long history in the automotive marketplace as General Motors’ luxury car division. During the 1980s, Cadillac’s management wanted to reestablish the brand as a leader in sophistication, innovation, refinement and prestige. Engineers conceived a new dual-overhead cam, four-valve-per-cylinder V-8 engine—the Northstar. This power plant was the heart of Cadillac’s Northstar System, which included a greatly improved suspension and braking system.
The division redesigned its entire line to incorporate these new technologies for the 1990s and beyond. The Northstar was the last engine designed and built by Cadillac before the 2005 establishment of GM Powertrain, which took over engine design for all GM divisions. This history of the Northstar V-8 and the cars it powered covers the first generation front-wheel drive Northstar, the second generation rear-wheel drive model, and the supercharged version, along with racing history and the most collectible Northstar-powered Cadillacs.