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Cadillac announces CT6 plug-in hybrid for China

Cadillac will add a Plug-In Hybrid Electric (PHEV) propulsion system to its upcoming range-topping CT6 sedan, to be manufactured at the new Shanghai GM Cadillac plant, Pudong Jinqiao, China. The new PHEV version of the CT6 will be capable of greater than 60 km (32.4 miles) of all-electric range, and pairs with Cadillac’s 2.0-liter turbo 4-cylinder gas engine to offer estimated fuel efficiency of approximately 2.0L per 100 km (141 mpg US) based on China testing standards. CT6 PHEV will qualify for China new energy vehicle regulations and incentives, and is planned to be onsale in 2016. The CT6 PHEV may come subsequently to the US, according to Cadillac spokesman Dave Caldwell as quoted in the Detroit News.

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 there is energy stored in the battery. (By comparison, in the GM taxonomy the Cadillac ELR and its cousin the Chevy Volt are extended-range electric vehicles with all-electric drive, augmented by a range-assisting engine. ELR is not offered in the Chinese market.)

The first-ever CT6 is a technological showcase throughout, making it an ideal platform for Cadillac to offer its first plug-in hybrid. 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.

—Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen


The CT6 PHEV leverages GM’s proven battery technology to provide greater than 60 km of all-electric range depending on speed and driver behavior. An 18.4 kWh lithium-ion battery pack is located in the rear of the vehicle between the rear seat and the trunk. The battery system comprises 192 prismatic pouch cells, which utilize the latest generation chemistry that will be used in other GM vehicles. (Earlier post.)

With industry-leading quality levels of less 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 220V charger.

The Cadillac CT6 PHEV combines an all-new rear wheel electric variable transmission with exclusively-designed motors to provide smooth, spirited acceleration. The two-motor EVT also uses three traditional planetary gears and is mated to a 2.0L turbo 4-cylinder engine with spark-ignited direct injection and variable valve technology.

The combined system is capable of producing total system power of 250 kW (335 hp) and 586 N·m (432 lb-ft) of torque.

The CT6 PHEV will feature iBooster and ESP-hev regenerative blended braking, to provide maximum energy recuperation combined with reduced stopping distance and improved fuel economy over traditional regenerative braking systems.

The iBooster and ESP-hev technology balances the use of the CT6 electric motors to act as generators to slow down 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.

CT6 PHEV drivers will be able to select between 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.


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