“2018 Cadillac CT6 2.0E Plug-in Hybrid RWD”
New Plug-in Hybrid Caddie is electrifying
Over the past few years, the Cadillac team of General Motors has been busy to say the least, launching the ATS, a third generation CTS along with emotion-stirring V performance versions for both, a newly styled Escalade, the new XT5 crossover and the large CT6 sedan. Then there was a lull in the production of new product, with the only really new product to roll out in the last two years – the electrified Cadillac CT6 2.0e Plug-in Hybrid.
The Hybrid is based on the same platform as the semi-autonomous flagship 2018 Cadillac CT6 Platinum AWD Super Cruise luxury sedan but doesn’t quite measure up to the same status. The Hybrid weighs an additional 121 pounds and carries 3.9 gallons less fuel. The Platinum Super Cruiser calls on a 3.0-liter twin turbo V6 for propulsion, delivering energy through an 8-speed automatic transmission to all four wheels. Power output is 404 horses along with 400 pound feet of torque.
The Cadillac CT6 2.0e Plug-in Hybrid draws its motive force from a 2.0-liter Ecotec, DOHC,16-valve, twin-scroll turbocharged and intercooled, inline four-cylinder with CVVT and Direct Injection that produces 265 horsepower and 295 pound feet of torque. Added power comes from one1 permanent magnet synchronous AC electric motor and one induction AC electric motor with an18.4 kWh lithium battery pack for a combined output of 335 horsepower and 432 pound feet of torque, delivering energy to the rear wheels via an electronic Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT).
The Hybrid cost $13,200 less than the Super Cruise version, but then it’s not quite as plush. It does however, outshine the flagship model in terms of fuel economy – the Hybrid delivers 26-mpg city / 23-mpg highway with combined gasoline and electricity yielding 62 MPGe, with an impressive EV Range of 31 miles, configurable regenerative braking, and pleasing dynamics. Add another $10,000 savings from BMW’s 740e plug-in hybrid.
A transverse hybrid unit, such as the one found in the FWD Chevy Volt was not viable for the longitudinal RWD setup of the CT6 , so the Crest engineering team (formerly Wreath and Crest) engineering team found it necessary to develop a totally new gas-electric powertrain. The system combines the CT6’s 2.0-liter turbocharged four-banger with two electric motors housed in the transmission. The 18.4-kWh lithium-ion battery pack provides more than twice what the BMW 740e offers from its 9.2-kWh battery pack.
The CT6 plug-in delivers its torque to the ground is complex, with the three power sources combining their operation in the transmission that is made up of three planetary gear sets, five clutches, and two motors capable of four variable gear-ratio ranges and three fixed gear ratios. In total, the drivetrain has 11 different operating states, with only eight actually propelling the car and the others applied only in specific, rare scenarios such as engine-on regenerative braking at high speeds or in transitioning among other operational states.
The Cadillac CT6 2.0e Plug-in Hybrid displays an elegant simplistic, design that is less angular less angular design with a lightweight body, excellent handling and road holding attributes, The CT6 is 8.5-inches longer than Cadillac’s CTS sedan, stretching the sheet metal over the longer, low, broad-shouldered, and muscular body, incorporating straight edges and flatter surfaces rather than arcs in a form that blends the long hood with the high shoulder and expressive wheels. Up front the CT6, displays a broad grille with distinctive textured cross-hatching and the large, prominent Cadillac crest.
Entering the cabin there’s a balance of luxury and functionality. Satin chrome and stained wood trim with delicate carbon-fiber accents, and supple leather seating. The interior ambience exhibits expert craftsmanship and comfort.
Safety features include: ABS disc brakes, traction and stability control, front seat side airbags, front knee airbags and side curtain airbags are all CT6 standard fare, as is a rearview camera, OnStar with auto crash notification, on-demand roadside assistance, remote door unlocking and stolen vehicle assistance.
My test 2018 Cadillac CT6 2.0e Plug-In Hybrid came with the exterior finished in a rich Deep Amethyst metallic, with the interior executed in Jet Black leather. The base price was set at $75,095. The final tally rose to $76,090. after adding the Destination charge. There were no other optional costs.
SUMMARY: The 2018 Cadillac CT6 2.0e Plug-in Hybrid handles equitably with other luxury sedans, delivering ample power from its hybrid system. The hybrid travels from 0-60 mph in an impressive 5.2 seconds, providing passing power across a broad speed range. The electric steering is responsive in all modes, working with the suspension Regardless of the driving mode selected, the CT6 Hybrid delivers a firm and stable ride quality.
The CT6 Hybrid delivers athletic handling characteristics in spite of its length and overall mass. The low positioning of the battery pack contributes to the positive stability and outstanding road-holding ability. The electric motors are capable of powering the sedan up to 78 mph, with the four-cylinder gas motor only firing up to provide additional power. Driving with one-pedal driving may be accomplished by combining the lowest regenerative mode with the automatic brake-hold function.
The Cadillac CT6 hybrid possesses virtually all the same safety, connectivity and infotainment features as the rest of the CT6 lineup.
Bottom line, the 2018 Cadillac CT6 Plug-In Hybrid RWD with SuperCruise is a pleasant step up from the earlier land yacht image of yesteryear, and is now a solid and impressively agile luxury sedan with the added advantages of electrification. Trade-offs found in most hybrids include reduced trunk space, which is four feet less at 11 feet. Compared to BMW’s 7-series, the CT6 is perhaps not as visually striking, nor is the interior quite as plush, but these factors are made acceptable by its significantly lower price.
SPECIFICATIONS: 2018 Cadillac CT6 2.0E Plug-in Hybrid RWD
Base Price: $75,095.
Price as Tested: $76,090.
Engine Type and Size: 2.0-liter Ecotec, DOHC, 16-valve, twin-scroll turbocharged and intercooled, inline four-cylinder turbocharged 4-cylinder with CVVT and Direct Injection.
Horsepower (bhp): 265
Torque (ft./ lbs.): 295
Electric Motor: 1 permanent magnet synchronous AC motor and 1 induction AC motor. 18.4 kWh lithium battery pack
Combined output: 335 horsepower and 432 pound feet of torque.
Transmission: Electronic Continuously Variable automatic (ECVT)
Drive Train: Longitudinally mounted front engine / Rear-Wheel Drive
Suspension: Front – Independent
Rear – Independent
Brakes: Power-assisted four-wheel vented discs with ABS, EBD, ESC, Stabiltrak, BA and Regenerative braking.
Tires: Goodyear Eagle Sport 265/45 R18 A/S 101V mounted on 5-“Tri-Spoke” silver finished alloy wheels.
Wheelbase: 122.4 inches
Length Overall: 204.1 inches
Width: 74.0 inches
Height: 58.0 inches
Curb Weight: 4,530 lbs.
Turning Circle: 37.0 ft.
Fuel Capacity: 15.6 gallons
EPA Mileage Estimates: 26 mpg city / 23 mpg highway
Combined gasoline and electricity: 62 MPGe – EV Range: 31 miles.
Drag Coefficient: Not listed
0 – 60 mph: 5.2 seconds
Arv Voss is a Northern California based freelance motoring Journalist and member and past officer of several noted Automotive Journalist organizations who contributes regularly to a number of national and international media outlets. He reviews not only cars, trucks and SUVs, but motorcycles and unusual wheeled vehicles as well.