Cadillac CT6 Showcases Advanced Plug-In Technology

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【Summary】The 2018 Cadillac CT6 Plug-In features cutting-edge technology that makes it popular in China.

Mia Bevacqua    Oct 05, 2017 4:00 PM PT

This isn't your grandpa's Brougham. The 2018 Cadillac CT6 is a futuristic, plug-in hybrid – and it's coming to a showroom near you. Performance, luxury, and efficiency combine to make this Caddy one of the finest rides on the planet.


Advanced hybrid powertrain design

A diminutive 2.0E badge on the trunk is the only way to visually distinguish the plug-in CT6 from the standard model. Like all other CT6s, the plug-in features a low stance and unmistakable, sweeping body lines. 

It's the powertrain that makes this CT6 standout. Propulsion for the CT6 comes from two electric motors, along with a turbocharged 4-cylinder engine. The combination is good for 335 hp and 432 lb-ft. As for the battery pack, it's a 17.6 kWh lithium-ion unit. 

One of unique aspects of the CT6 Plug-In is the transmission. The unit is what's referred to as an electric variable transmission (EVT). It houses the two traction motors, along with planetary gears and hydraulic clutches. According to SAE, it's capable of power-split-hybrid operation in continuously variable transmission (CVT) ratio ranges. 


Another thing the CT6 has going for it is its slender physique. Built from an aluminum-intensive, mixed-materials structure, the car only weight about 4530-lb. That's much lighter than the competition. 

According to CarGurus, the CT6 Plug-In is good for 62 MPGe combined with an all-electric range of 31 miles. Its total range is 442 miles with a top speed of 150 mph. The batteries can be fully juiced from a 240-volt outlet in about 4.5 hours. As for the cost – expect a retail price of $75,095.

Lead vehicle development engineer, Mike Kutcher, explains the motives behind the CT6 design.

"We weren't trying to make this a super-long-range electric vehicle. Combining the 335-hp 2.0-L turbo with the plug-in hybrid propulsion system gives V6 twin-turbo performance with pure-electric range that's equal to about 75% of a typical commute."

Global popularity 

Somehow, the distinctly Western (and slightly gaudy) appearance of the CT6 Plug-In has made it popular in China. Another draw for the Chinese is the cars great efficiency since the country faces environmental challenges. Kutcher notes that the CT6's EV range qualifies for China's EV purchase incentives.  

The CT6 Plug-In is so popular in China, that GM has decided to build it a Shanghai plant. It will be exported to the U.S. at a volume of 1000 units/year. Will the CT6 hybrid fair as well in the states as it has overseas? We'll have to wait and see.  

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