Cadillac CT6 gets a plug in Shanghai, will come to US

The New PHEV Has 37 Miles Of Range, 18.4-kWh Battery

  • The 2016 Cadillac CT6 unveiled at the 2015 New York International Auto Show.
  • Image Credit: AOL On
  • 2016 Cadillac CT6 | 2015 NYIAS
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."

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.
Show full PR text
Cadillac CT6 to Offer Plug-In Hybrid Electric Technology


PHEV system expected to achieve fuel economy more than double that of conventional engine
Total system power estimated 335 hp and 432 lb-ft of torque
Includes Regen-on-Demand system

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.

Battery Technology

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.

Regenerative Braking

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 Cadillac's media website with information, images and video can be found at



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

Wheelbase (in / mm):

122.4 / 3109

Length (in / mm):

204 / 5182

Width (in / mm):

74 / 1879

Height (in / mm):

57.9 / 1472

Curb weight (lb / kg):


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