The first 100 Cadillac CT6 PHEV cars are in the country and are on their way to dealer showrooms. As a reminder, all hybrid versions of the CT6 are built in China and imported to the US.
The car features an electric only range of more than 30 miles from its 18.4 kWh battery. Hmmm … isn’t that the same size battery GM uses in the Chevy Volt? Yes, it is, but it is not the same battery. Instead of being T shaped like in the Volt, the battery for the CT6 is more rectangular and fits between the rear seat and the trunk.
The CT6 PHEV builds on the Voltec technology GM developed for the Chevy Volt, but there are significant differences between the two powertrains. For starters, the CT6 PHEV has rear-wheel drive, whereas the Volt is front wheel drive. The Volt uses a 1.5 liter normally aspirated 4 cylinder gasoline engine, whereas the Caddy has a 266 horsepower turbocharged 2.0 liter 4 cylinder under its hood.
The transmission for the CT6 is similar to the Volt transmission in that it uses two electric motors — one is an induction motor, which requires no rare earth materials to manufacture. The second is a permanent magnet motor. Combined, they add 183 horsepower for a total of 449. The motors are enclosed in the transmission housing that sends power to the rear wheels.
Cadillac tried to make an upmarket clone of the Volt called the ELR, but it was a dismal failure. More than anything else, it was deemed too slow off the line to be a “true” Cadillac. For the CT6, the company has remedied that weakness by stuffing 3 planetary gears (two simple, one double-pinion) and 5 clutches into the transmission, which now has four continuously variable transmission modes with 3 fixed gears.