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Cadillac CT6 Gets a Plug in Shanghai, Will Come To US

On Monday, April 20th, 2015

Don’t call it the third coming of the Chevy Volt. The unsurprising debut of the Cadillac CT6 PHEV in Shanghai today has a powertrain that sounds an awful lot like the one that can be found in the Volt and the Cadillac ELR. The plug-in CT6 – identical to the CT6 that debuted in New York earlier this month – has an 18.4-kWh lithium-ion battery (just like the 2016 Volt) and offers an all-electric range of around 37 miles. It also copies the “Regen on Demand” feature from the new Volt and the battery cells “use the latest generation cell chemistry found in other GM plug-in vehicles.”

Cadillac CT6 gets a plug

But Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen doesn’t see the two powertrains as similar in at least one important way. General Motors calls the Volt and the ELR “extended range electric vehicles” (EREV) but in a statement, de Nysschen says that the plug-in hybrid CT6 is, “an ideal platform for Cadillac to offer its first plug-in hybrid.” That GM is using the PHEV terminology rather than EREV is going to be important to some, even if the practical difference is only semantic.

And yes, we all understand the irony of de Nysschen – the same guy who has a history of speaking ill of plug-in cars – hyping them now. Back when he worked for Audi, he said the original Volt was too expensive for what it offered and was thus, a car for “idiots.” Speaking in Shanghai today, de Nysschen said the new CT6 PHEV was, “an EV without any of the disadvantages or range constraints,” according to Automotive News.

If the batteries are similar to GM’s other EREV/PHEV cars, the CT6 powertrain is at least different. The ELR uses a 1.4-liter engine, while the new Volt has a 1.5-liter four-cylinder mill. The CT6, on the other hand, has a 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder engine with direct injection. There is also an “all-new rear wheel electric variable transmission (EVT) with exclusively designed motors,” that will give the CT6 PHEV, “smooth, spirited acceleration.” The EVT is a two-motor-unit that uses three planetary gears. Maximum overall system output is 335 horsepower and 432 pound-feet of torque.

Perhaps most interesting for American audiences is the fact that GM’s press release, available below, makes multiple references to US-market sales of the PHEV. Official details on the EV range and fuel economy will be made available closer to the car’s US launch.

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