As expected, Cadillac is slowly releasing ever greater detail about their new flagship CT6 sedan.
This time, we have the long-rumored plug-in hybrid variant. Combining the best of GM’s electric vehicle technology with a 18.4kWh lithium ion battery constructed of cells similar to those in the recently updated ELR and 2nd generation Chevrolet Volt, dual electric motors, and what Cadillac is calling an “Electric Variable Transmission”. The electric powertrain combines with Cadillac’s 2.0l turbo 4-cylinder to deliver 335hp and 432 lb*ft of torque.
Cadillac is surprisingly calling this their ‘first plug-in electric hybrid’ – surprising until you realize that GM insists on referring to the Volt and ELR as ‘extended range electric vehicles’. This is a distinction that may confuse the average consumer but center on how power makes it from the gas engine to the drive wheels. CT6 will use the EVT transmission to blend power from the turbo engine along with electric propulsion from the twin electric motors. In the ELR, the wheels are driven almost exclusively by the electric motors with the gas engine driving a generator to provide power when the battery runs flat.
Similar to the ELR, though is the CT6’s regeneration on demand system, where paddles behind the steering wheel allow the driver to increase how aggressively the vehicle’s control systems turn motion back into electricity (through running the electric motors as generators). The CT6 also apes the ELR with normal, sport, and hold modes. Hold allows the driver to reserve battery charge to use later in the drive – running exclusively on gas power until taken out of hold mode. Normal and sport are the expected modes that control suspension and steering settings alone.
All of this technology is promised to bring with it some impressive numbers. Cadillac is claiming that the MPGe (a number from the EPA that attempts to equate electric assisted vehicles with gas powered vehicle efficiency) of the CT6 will be over double the mileage numbers of any other powertrain offered, almost certainly the 2.0l turbo without the electric assist.
See the full press release below:
SHANGHAI - Cadillac announced today at the Shanghai Auto Show that it will add an available Plug-In Hybrid Electric (PHEV) propulsion system to its upcoming range-topping CT6 sedan. The new PHEV system is expected to more than double the fuel economy of the conventional powertrain offerings.
The CT6 PHEV takes advantage of the car’s advanced lightweight structure to create a unique formula for the prestige sedan.
“The first-ever CT6 is a technological showcase throughout, making it an ideal platform for Cadillac to offer its first plug-in hybrid,” said Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen. “In the CT6, Cadillac presents a new formula for prestige luxury. The advanced Plug-In Hybrid system is a key addition, providing a combination of exceptional fuel economy, crisp acceleration and strong electric-driving range.”
The CT6 Plug-In Hybrid system is designed to provide all-electric driving for most daily commutes, while maximizing fuel efficiency by providing blended power from the engine and battery at higher speeds and higher loads, even when energy is stored in the battery.
The CT6 PHEV leverages General Motors’ proven battery technology. An 18.4 kWh lithium-ion battery pack is located between the rear seat and the trunk. The battery system is comprised of 192 prismatic pouch cells, which use the latest generation cell chemistry found in other GM plug-in vehicles.
With industry-leading quality levels of fewer than two problems per million battery cells produced, more than 20 million battery cells have been made for more than 73,000 GM plug-ins on the road today. The CT6 PHEV battery system will use the company’s proven active thermal control system that maintains electric range over the battery system’s life.
The battery system can be charged using a 120V or 240V charger. Range estimates will be provided closer to U.S. launch of the PHEV option.
Electric Variable Transmission Delivers Exceptional Performance
All-electric launch performance is one of the key purchase considerations for PHEV and EV owners. The Cadillac CT6 PHEV combines an all-new rear wheel electric variable transmission (EVT) with exclusively designed motors to provide smooth, spirited acceleration.
The two-motor EVT also uses three planetary gears and is mated to a 2.0L turbo 4-cylinder engine with spark-ignited direct injection and variable valve technology. The use of a two-motor system provides smooth and seamless power through the entire driving range.
The combined system is capable of producing total system power of 335 hp (250 kW) and 432 lb-ft (586 Nm) of torque.
“The CT6 PHEV will deliver exceptional smooth, responsive acceleration that Cadillac and luxury sedan owners demand,” said Travis Hester, Cadillac CT6 executive chief engineer. “We have managed to achieve superior drive quality when compared to our PHEV competitors due to our exclusively designed EVT.”
Cadillac expects the fuel economy of the CT6 PHEV to be more than double that of the car’s conventional engine offerings, as measured by miles per gallon equivalent. Standards for measuring vehicle fuel economy differ between China and other global regions. Full details on the CT6 PHEV efficiency in the U.S. and other markets outside China will be released closer to the car’s introduction in those markets.
The CT6 PHEV will feature iBooster and Electronic Stability Program tailored for hybrid electric vehicle regenerative blended braking to provide maximum energy recovery combined with reduced stopping distance and improved fuel economy over traditional regenerative braking systems.
The iBooster and ESP-hev technology balance the use of the CT6 electric motors to act as generators to slow the vehicle and capture as much kinetic energy as possible during low-demand scenarios, while blending the traditional hydraulic brakes with the motors in high-demand scenarios.
As expected from a driver’s car like the CT6, the system provides improved brake pedal feel and enables increased opportunity for engine stop-start operation.
Operating Modes and Regen on Demand
CT6 PHEV drivers will be able to select among three distinct operating modes: Normal, Sport and Hold.
Normal: Designed for everyday commuting. Provides ideal balance of comfort, performance and maximized EV range and fuel economy.
Sport: Provides more aggressive pedal mapping for improved off-the-line feel and a stiffer steering response.
Hold: Allows owners to select when the CT6 PHEV uses its engine, reserving the remaining battery charge for later use. This feature helps enhance efficiency because owners who mix city and highway driving can save the battery charge for city travel, where the CT6 EV mode operates most efficiently.
The CT6 PHEV will also feature Regen on Demand, which allows the driver to temporarily regenerate energy from vehicle momentum into electricity and store in the battery pack for later use.
Regen on Demand supports a more-engaging driving experience by slowing the vehicle when entering a turn to better position it on the exit, much like downshifting with a manual transmission. Regen on Demand is engaged via steering-wheel paddles adapted from traditional performance cars.
Cadillac has been a leading luxury auto brand since 1902. Today Cadillac is growing globally, driven by an expanding product portfolio featuring dramatic design and technology. More information on Cadillac appears at www.cadillac.com. Cadillac's media website with information, images and video can be found at media.cadillac.com.
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2016 CADILLAC CT6 PHEV PRELIMINARY SPECIFICATIONS
2016 Cadillac CT6 PHEV
Body style / driveline:
RWD, five-passenger large luxury performance PHEV sedan
2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder
Two motor rear drive electric variable
Total System Power:
335 hp (250 kW) / 586 Nm (432 lb-ft) of torque
iBooster / Electronic Stability Program tailored for hybrid electric vehicle; fully blended regenerative