2017 Cadillac CT6 Plug-In Hybrid Review

CT6 Plug-In Hybrid

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2017 Cadillac CT6 Plug-In Hybrid Overview

The Cadillac CT6 replaced the old XTS for 2016, offering a solid lineup with a choice of 4- or 6-cylinder motors. For 2017, Cadillac is expanding the range to include a plug-in hybrid model—the CT6 Plug-In. Although aimed primarily at the Chinese market, where lower-emissions vehicles are in high demand and luxury brands like Cadillac are experiencing rapid sales growth, the CT6 Plug-In is expected to have a wider appeal, including here on Cadillac’s home turf.

Visually, the CT6 Plug-In almost indistinguishable from the standard CT6, apart from a 2.0E badge on the trunk and an extra filler cap for the electric plug. Otherwise, the $76,000 luxury sedan just looks like a loaded CT6, since it comes standard with many of the convenience features that are optional on the regular CT6. The CT6 has proven competitive with its German rivals even though it doesn’t quite match them on items like interior quality, and the Plug-In model will compete with cars like the Mercedes-Benz S550e, BMW 740e, and Porsche Panamera 4 E-Hybrid.

The Cadillac CT6 Plug-In borrows the turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine from the base CT6 and adds 2 electric motors to form a 2-mode hybrid system. The electric motors work together through a planetary gear set to put power to the road via a 4-speed automatic transmission. The gasoline engine, in turn, has a higher idle than normal in order to generate extra electricity for the battery when the car is sitting still. Total system output is 335 hp and 432 lb-ft of torque, which is plenty of performance even with the hybrid system’s considerable extra weight. The electric charge plug is hidden under the second filler cap on the driver’s side, and charging through a 240-volt outlet will take about 4.5 hours. The CT6 Plug-In is rated at 62 MPGe combined and has an all-electric range of 31 miles.

Much of the CT6 is constructed from a mix of aluminum and steel and Cadillac claims this makes the car lighter than an entirely aluminum one, since steel absorbs sound more effectively and eliminates the need for extra sound-deadening material. The Plug-In model gives a different driving experience than the standard CT6 as its main focus is efficiency, which is apparent from its driving modes. The car defaults to Tour mode, which switches to electric-only operation when the battery is sufficiently charged, and the Hold mode uses gas power to maintain the battery’s current charge. The CT6 Plug-In also features regenerative braking, which is controlled via a paddle on the left side of the steering wheel.

The CT6 has been praised for its interior room, especially in the rear, which is an important consideration for Chinese buyers. Like most other hybrids, the Plug-In version does make concessions in terms of trunk space—the standard CT6 offers a respectable 15.3 cubic feet of cargo room, while the Plug-In manages just 10.6 cubic feet.

In terms of technology, the CT6 Plug-In receives the latest version of Cadillac’s CUE infotainment system with a 10.2-inch touchscreen, navigation, and a touchpad with handwriting recognition. The rear seats offer 2 USB charge ports, a 12-volt socket, and a 120-volt power outlet. In addition to all the features from the regular CT6, the Plug-In comes standard with the semi-autonomous Driver Assist package with night vision as well as the Rear Seat Infotainment package. Also included are heated and ventilated seats, dual-zone climate control, a power steering wheel, a panoramic sunroof, a Wi-Fi hotspot, and wireless device charging.

The CT6 Plug-In hasn’t been properly crash tested yet, but it does come standard with a reversing camera, forward-collision warning with automatic emergency braking, a surround-view camera system, blind-spot monitoring, lane-departure warning, lane-keep assist, and adaptive cruise control. The car also features an industry first—Cadillac’s rear camera mirror, which projects the reversing camera display onto the rear-view mirror for a better view of what’s behind the vehicle.

While the CT6 Plug-In is aimed primarily at Chinese markets, it has appeal here in areas like California, which is likely where most of the early domestic models will be sold.

Updated

Andrew Newton first got into cars through vintage racing a Formula Vee. After receiving history degrees, he followed his passion for cars and became a contributor for sites like Sports Car Digest, BoldRide.com and JamesEdition.com in addition to serving as Education Manager at the Larz Anderson Auto Museum in Brookline, MA. Andrew currently covers the collector car market full time as Auction Editor for Hagerty Classic Car Insurance.

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