Originally posted on CleanTechnica
Last week GM revealed its new flagship luxury car, the Cadillac CT6, which debuts a new naming nomenclature and chassis structure for the brand. While the Cadillac CT6 debuted with a 400 horsepower twin-turbo V6 engine, CEO Johan de Nysschen told The Detroit Bureau that a plug-in hybrid version with similar performance would debut at the Shanghai Auto Show later this month.
The timing couldn’t be better, as de Nysschen was just quoted as saying that Cadillac’s only plug-in car, the Volt-based ELR, would not continue after its product cycle ends. With an average of less than 100 sales a month (due mostly to its Tesla-rivaling MSRP of $76,000), the ELR may be popular with its owners, but woefully outdated once the CT6 plug-in hybrid debuts. Out with the old, in with the new, as it were.
Cadillac is keeping details of the CT6 plug-in hybrid close to the chest for now, though Cadillac officials did hint that a lithium-ferrous-oxide battery larger than the lithium-ion battery found in the Chevy Volt will be part of the equation. This may imply that the Cadillac CT6 has a different plug-in drivetrain from the Volt or the just-revealed Chevy Malibu Hybrid, though officials have suggested similar fuel economy in the neighborhood of 45 MPG, with an electric driving range of more than 30 miles per charge.
So why a Shanghai debut? Simply put, because Cadillac needs more plug-ins to compete in the Chinese market as the local government seeks to further incentivize green car sales. The CT6 will go on sale in China at first, but will definitely come to the American market if for no other reason than to improve the economies of sale and profit margins.
More importantly, de Nysschen says that battery-powered drivetrains will play an increasingly important role within the Cadillac lineup. Despite an almost entirely-new lineup, Cadillac sales have been falling, buffered only by the hot-selling Escalade SUV. Are the lack of plug-in vehicles to blame? Considering competitors like Mercedes, Audi, and BMW pledging to sell more and more models that plug-in more than they fill-up, I think there’s something to the notion that Cadillac is just a few steps behind its biggest competitors.
Here’s hoping the new Cadillac CT6 plug-in hybrid can close the mineshaft….err electrification gap.