Cadillac rolls out Super Cruise hands-free driving system for 2018 CT6 luxury sedan
Cadillac’s CT6 full-size premium sedan arrived for 2016, and now General Motors’ luxury brand has added the all-new Super Cruise hands-free driving system as an option beginning with the 2018 model.
For $5,000 extra on the Premium Luxury model or no extra charge on the top-end CT6 Platinum, Super Cruise brings hands-free driving technology for the highway. The automaker says Super Cruise differs from other driver-assist systems in that it uses a driver-attention system and precision LiDAR map data to steer the vehicle and keep it in its chosen lane, although the technology works only on limited-access divided highways – ones that have dedicated on- and off-ramps.
The CT6 Super Cruise system uses those two extra features to complement the cameras and radar sensors around the vehicle that are designed to help define the lane and make sure the vehicle doesn’t stray outside the lines.
Our recent weeklong test drive of the 2018 CT6 Premium Luxury All-Wheel-Drive model (base price $69,295 plus $995 freight) equipped with Super Cruise gave us some hands-on – or, rather, hands-off – experience with this system.
During interstate highway driving – with a minimum of two lanes in each direction and the usual limited access – Super Cruise did a credible job of managing the steering effort at highway speeds of 65-75 mph (and slower as conditions warranted). On some long stretches of interstate, this system proved to be useful – but of course only as long as the driver (me) kept eyes on the road and attention to the task of keeping the drive safe.
Super Cruise also uses adaptive cruise control to keep the vehicle within a safe distance of any vehicle it is following, a feature that of course must be part of any self-driving system.
Now, would I recommend spending the extra $5,000 to add Super Cruise to the CT6 Premium Luxury model? Probably not if I were on a budget, but then I figure most people choosing to buy a higher-end version of the CT6 wouldn’t really have to worry about whether they could afford the extra dough. And if money were no object, then yes, I would add Super Cruise to my CT6, or just buy the Platinum model that already includes it – mostly because I love technology and would have fun playing with it.
And while I never recommend such a dangerous practice as texting while driving, Cadillac says the Super Cruise system can help the driver while he or she is using the navigation system, adjusting the audio system or taking a phone call.
The CT6 is larger and roomier than the midsize Cadillac CTS sedan, and it comes with a choice of three engines: the base 2.0-liter turbocharged inline four-cylinder with 265 horsepower and 295 foot-pounds of torque; a 3.6-liter normally aspirated V-6 with 335 horsepower and 284 foot-pounds of torque; and, for those of us who like more power, a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V-6 that cranks out 404 horsepower and 400 footpounds of torque. There is also a CT6 V-Sport model coming for 2019, with a 4.2-liter twinturbo V-8 engine rated at 550 horsepower and 627 foot-pounds of torque.
Our test vehicle for this report was the CT6 Premium Luxury AWD model, which came with the 3.0-liter twin-turbo V-6 engine and a host of standard features, along with $11,700 in options (including Super Cruise). That ran the total sticker price to $81,990, including freight.
Other options included the 34-speaker Bose Panaray audio system ($3,700), 20-inch Midnight Silver alloy wheels ($2,095), Satin Steel Metallic exterior paint ($625), and an interior protection package ($280) with floor and cargo-area mats.
Among standard features on our tester was the rearview mirror that has a camera system that gives the driver a completely unobstructed view to the rear – with no headrests or body elements blocking the way. The regular mirror is there, too – the driver can choose the camera view by flipping the lever at the bottom of the mirror just like changing from day to night view on a standard rearview mirror.
Other technologies include Active Rear Steer, Magnetic Ride Control and selectable drive modes, as well as Auto Vehicle Hold, a driver-selectable feature that prevents forward/rearward vehicle creep when the driver’s foot is off the brake. It reduces fatigue during heavy stop-andgo traffic and improves vehicle control on steep grades. Some SUV models have a similar technology that most call “hill hold.”
The CT6 also offers the industry’s first surround-view video recording system, which can record front and rear views while driving, and can do 360 degrees of recording if the vehicle’s security system is activated. It records onto an SD card.
There is also Enhanced Night Vision, which helps identify people and animals in the vehicle’s path, displaying them on the instrument-panel display for the driver information center. This is part of the Super Cruise Package, which also brought front and rear automatic braking.
Other features include Advanced Park Assist, which can almost park the car by itself, and Pedestrian Collision Mitigation, which gives the driver alerts to dangerous situations. Both are standard on the Premium Luxury model we had, along with lane departure warning and lane-keep assist, automatic safety belt tightening, rear crosstraffic alert, and side blind-zone alert.
We also had a head-up display that projected the vehicle’s speed and other information on the lower edge of the windshield directly in front of the driver.
The Jet Black leather interior included two very comfortable heated bucket seats up front, with 16-way power adjustment for the driver and front passenger. The rear bench seat can hold three people comfortably, and there is no lack of leg or knee room. Also included is a power-operated trunk lid, which has hands-free operation.
There’s also a very cool wideview sunroof, and the rear side windows have manual sunshades. They can interfere with the driver’s side vision, though.
Our tester’s twin-turbo V-6 engine provided outstanding pickup, and the eight-speed transmission shifted smoothly. Handling was precise and predictive, even on some twisty country roads.
EPA ratings for the 3.0-liter engine are 18 mpg city/26 highway/21 combined.
The 2018 Cadillac CT6 is available with Cadillac’s new Super Cruise, a hands-free driving technology for limited-access highways. Super Cruise is a $5,000 option.