2018 Cadillac CT6 Plug-In Hybrid Review

CT6 Plug-In Hybrid

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2018 Cadillac CT6 Plug-In Hybrid Overview

For 2017, Cadillac expanded its CT6 lineup to include a plug-in hybrid version. The standard CT6 was only introduced for 2016, so its overall design is still fairly fresh, and the CT6 Plug-In in particular is a step towards further breaking into the Chinese market. The CT6 Plug-In is even assembled in China, but it does hold an appeal for drivers in the United States, especially in areas like Southern California. Not much changes for the 2018 model, although a newly available SuperCruise adaptive cruise control will allow for hands-off driving, and the optional Park Assist feature now includes gas- and brake-pedal operation. There's also a new exterior paint color, Cocoa Bronze Metallic.

Visually, the CT6 Plug-In is nearly identical to the standard CT6 sedan, apart from a 2.0E badge on the trunk and an extra filler cap for the electric plug. The CT6 Plug-In also comes standard with many of the features that are optional on more conventional models.

The CT6 Plug-In pairs 2 electric motors with a revised version of the turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine from the base CT6 to form a 2-mode hybrid system with an output of 335 hp and 432 lb-ft of torque. The 2 electric motors are backed by a 17.6kWh battery pack and work together through a planetary gear set, putting power to the road via a 4-speed automatic transmission. The 2.0-liter gas engine also has a higher idle than normal, in order to generate electricity while the car is stationary. The CT6 Plug-In is rated at 62 MPGe combined with an all-electric range of 31 miles, and charging the batteries via a 240-volt outlet should take about 4.5 hours.

The CT6 Plug-In platform is impressively light for a car of its size, in large part thanks to the high-strength steel and aluminum used throughout. Cadillac claims this results in a lighter overall weight than if the car was made entirely of aluminum, since steel is more sound-absorbent, which eliminates the need for extra sound-deadening material. Steering is by electric power assist and is reportedly well weighted, and the CT6 Plug-In model offers several driving modes to switch between gas and electric-only power. The regenerative braking force can be adjusted using a paddle to the left of the steering wheel.

The one significant drawback of the CT6 Plug-In is one that’s common to most vehicles in the plug-in hybrid category—its trunk space. While the regular CT6 comes with an unexceptional but decent 15.3 cubic feet of cargo space, the CT6 Plug-In offers just 10.6 cubic feet due to the location of the battery pack. Otherwise, the Plug-In features the same impressive amount of interior room—especially for the rear passengers—as the rest of the CT6 range.

The CT6 Plug-In gets Cadillac’s CUE infotainment system centered on a 10.2-inch touchscreen with a touchpad that features handwriting recognition. The spacious rear seats offer 2 USB ports, a 12-volt socket, and a 120-volt outlet, and wireless device charging is also included. The Plug-In comes standard with the Rear Seat Infotainment package, in part because back-seat comfort and convenience are highly important in the Chinese market. Up front are heated and ventilated seats, dual-zone climate control, a power-adjustable steering wheel, a panoramic sunroof, and a Wi-Fi hotspot.

The CT6 Plug-In hasn’t yet gone through the usual crash tests, but standard equipment includes a reversing camera, forward-collision warning with automatic emergency braking, a surround-view camera, blind-spot monitoring, lane-departure warning, lane-keep assist, and adaptive cruise control with automatic emergency braking. Cadillac’s industry-first rear camera mirror also comes standard, turning the standard rear-view mirror into a display screen for the reversing camera for a wider view of what’s behind the vehicle.

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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