As promised, the Cadillac CT6 Plug-In Hybrid has made its world debut at the Shanghai Auto Show. The Cadillac CT6 Plug-In Hybrid promises to double the fuel economy of the conventional version, 37 miles of electric driving range, and at least 335 horsepower from a 2.0 liter gas engine and a pair of electric motors at the rear-wheels, but don’t mistake this for the ELR 2.0. Instead, this is a new direction for Cadillac that finally takes plug-in cars seriously.
Despite using a similarly-sized 18.4 kWh battery pack using the same lithium-ion chemistry as the 2015 Chevy Volt, the battery was made specifically for the Cadillac CT6 PHEV, as was its drivetrain. A 2.0 liter gas engine sits under the hood, while two electric motors can drive the rear-wheels for up to 37 miles. In Sport Mode, the gas engine and electric motors can work together, and acceleration should come in under six seconds if GM executive Mark Reuss is to be believed.
But unlike the Chevy Volt and the Cadillac ELR (which GM calls extended-range electric vehicles), once the battery pack is drained, the gas engine takes over driving duties. In Hold mode, drivers can reserve the battery pack for when they need it, while Normal driving mode lets the CT6 prioritize the battery over the gas tank, maximizing MPGs. The CT6 will use the same Regen-on-Demand system as the ELR though, and the electric motors can handle speeds of up to 75 MPH, which should help it approach 70 MPGe. That will match competitors like the Mercedes S500 Plug-In Hybrid, though it should be substantially lighter than the German behemoth thanks to Cadillac’s new lightweight chassis architecture.
With the CT6 and much-improved (and more reasonably-priced) 2016 ELR, Cadillac is doubling the number of plug-in cars it offers, and under the reign of Johan de Nysschen, we will probably see many more. The Cadillac CT6 is the first car Johan can really put his name on, and including a plug-in version will prove an important turning point in Caddy’s fortunes, if you ask me.
Which you sorta are, because you’re still reading this right now, aren’t you?