CADILLAC CT6

Con­sid­er­ing there aren’t too many choices for a lux­ury hy­brid sedan, the Cadillac CT6 is worth a good look, says Barry Spyker

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Cadillac’s new CT6 Plug-In Hy­brid is built in China? Well, no one should be too sur­prised, de­spite the fact the rest of the CT6 fam­ily comes from Detroit. China is a land of ma­jor ur­ban pol­lu­tion, and it leads the planet in its push for elec­tric ve­hi­cles. China pro­duced 680,000 elec­tric cars, buses and trucks last year alone more than the rest of the world com­bined, ac­cord­ing to Forbes mag­a­zine. And it plans to sprout 500,000 pub­lic charg­ing posts by the end of 2020.

So, yeah, no sur­prise that Cadillac-par­ent GM wanted in on that mega-mar­ket and built a $1.2 bil­lion fac­tory in Shang­hai. The CT6 plug-in should do well in a na­tion where cities are start­ing to out­law gas-en­gine ve­hi­cles down­town, and where folks get great in­cen­tives to go elec­tric.

But the new en­try from Caddy may do well here, too, with its boat­load of fea­tures (it comes only one way, fully loaded), and up to $7,500 in fed­eral tax cred­its, too. And, of course, it drives like a Cadillac: smooth, strong and steady.

It only gets around 31 miles on elec­tric only on its best day but there’s a help­ful drive mode called “Hold” that will use the gas en­gine alone to pre­serve the elec­tric for in-town driv­ing. The elec­tric drive is what boosts this CT6 to an eye-open­ing 62 mpg-e (equiv­a­lent)rat­ingfromtheEPA.But when you run dry and are driv­ing on gas only, ex­pect no more than 25 mpg com­bined city/high­way.

Cadillac calls its pow­er­train a “blended hy­brid.” It starts with a con­ven­tional 2.0-litre tur­bocharged 4-cylin­der en­gine that gets 265 hp. It is mated to a pair of 100-hp elec­tric mo­tors that make up Cadillac’s elec­tric vari­able trans­mis­sion, or EVT.

Join­ing the power team is a burly 18.4-kWh lithium-ion bat­tery, wedged be­tween the rear seats and trunk yes, it steals about 4 cu­bic feet of trunk space. The bat­tery can be charged in about 11 hours via a typ­i­cal house­hold 120-volt out­let, and in just 4.5 hours with a 240-volt con­nec­tion.

Com­bin­ing the en­gine and elec­tric mo­tors, the CT6 Plug-In pro­duces an im­pres­sive 335 hp and amaz­ing 432 pound-feet of torque. That’s com­pa­ra­ble to Cadillac’s non­turbo V-6. Also com­pa­ra­ble is a 0-60 mph time of 5.2 sec­onds, not bad con­sid­er­ing it has to lug around a 400-pound bat­tery within its al­ready husky 4,500-pound frame.

On the road, the CT6 has all the power and get-up you’d ex­pect in a rear-wheel-drive lux­ury car (all­wheel-drive is not an op­tion). It can reach 150 mph with en­gine and elec­tric mo­tors work­ing to­gether, and it can do 78 mph on elec­tric alone.

The ride is smooth but there is a per­sis­tent hic­cup when­ever the gas en­gine takes over from elec­tric. Its road manners are ex­cep­tional, stay­ing lat on cor­ners and S curves. Bumps and road div­ots are nicely ab­sorbed, too, es­pe­cially in Tour mode.

The other drive mode, Sport, of­fers more ag­gres­sive ac­cel­er­a­tion anda(much­needed)boost­in­steer­ing feel and re­sponse.

In­side,it’styp­i­calCad­dy­comfort, lux­ury and high tech­nol­ogy. Hand-stitched, leather-trimmed seats are sup­port­ive and come heated, ven­ti­lated, and with 16way ad­just­ment for both driver and front pas­sen­ger.

Cadillac’s CUE in­for­ma­tion/ me­dia sys­tem ap­pears on a 10-inch color dis­play and of­fers nav­i­ga­tion, Ap­ple and An­droid ca­pa­bil­i­ties. There’sa12-inchdig­i­tal­gaugeclus­ter plus a head-up dis­play for quick data at a glance. And it has a rear mirror-cam­era with washer! that al­lows un­ob­structed video views be­hind in­stead of the relec­tive view.

A rear-seat, dual in­fo­tain­ment sys­tem with wire­less head­phones al­lows pas­sen­gers equal rights to the fun stuff, mu­sic and videos. Or, if pre­ferred, a chauf­feur can take the wheel while the ex­ec­u­tive con­ducts busi­ness or en­joys the view through the dual sun­roofs.

The bat­tery-squeezed trunk has only 11 cu­bic feet of space but is deep enough for a pair of golf bags.

High-tech fea­tures ex­tend to the safety pack­age, in­clud­ing an au­to­matic park as­sist that ac­tu­ally steers and brakes the ve­hi­cle. It also has adap­tive cruise con­trol with au­to­matic brak­ing, blindspot alert, lane-keep as­sist and pedes­trian brak­ing. Night vi­sion is im­proved with an in­frared im­age lo­cated be­tween the gauges.

So, con­sid­er­ing there aren’t too many choices for a lux­ury hy­brid sedan, the CT6 is worth a good look. If max­i­mum mileage is your thing, you might do bet­ter else­where. But the CT6 Plug-In comes fully loaded, remember, and it’s still eas­ier on the wal­let than sim­i­larly-equipped op­tions from the Euro­pean en­tries.

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