Cadillac showed what will be the brand’s first hybrid model in the CT6 plug-in hybrid EV (PHEV), an electrified version of the range-topping sedan first seen earlier this year at the New York auto show.
This gas-electric version takes the 2.0L turbo four-cylinder that will power base models of the gas-only CT6 and pairs it with two electric motors, each of which is good for 100 hp. With all three power sources working together, Cadillac estimates total output at 335 hp and 432 lb-ft of torque, that latter figure giving the CT6 hybrid the most twist of any version of the forthcoming Cadillac flagship.
Cadillac says the motors are built into an electric variable transmission that sends all power–gas and electric–to the rear wheels (leaving V6-powered gasoline models as the only versions available with AWD). On electricity alone, driving range is estimated at 48 kilometres (30 miles), but our impression is one of a hybrid system conceived for performance rather than electric wholesomeness. Caddy claims a top speed of 240 km/h and a zero-to-100 km/h sprint of about 5.3 seconds; regardless to what extent a CT6 driver wants to explore the upper reaches of the speedometer, they’ll have three drive modes to choose from: a ‘normal’ setting that balances performance, fuel economy and EV range; a ‘sport’ option for improved off-the-line response and stiffer steering; and a ‘hold’ function that allows the pilot to dictate when the car uses its gasoline engine in order to reserve battery power for later.
With a full charge (accomplished in as little as five hours with a 240-volt charger), Cadillac estimates fuel consumption at 3.6 Le/100 km, a figure its manufacturer says will make this particular CT6 the most efficient PHEV luxury sedan on the market.
An 18.4 kWh battery pack placed over the rear axle is structurally integral to the car, which Cadillac says improves body stiffness and driving dynamics; we’d be curious to see the process involved in replacing the battery if it proved faulty.
Watch for the CT6 PHEV to go on sale next year, sometime after the first-quarter launch of its gasoline-powered counterparts.