Live Images: Cadillac CT6 PHEV From Shanghai Debut

APR 21 2015 BY JAY COLE 42

Cadillac CT6 PHEV Cutaway Turns Up In Shanghai

Cadillac CT6 PHEV Cutaway Turns Up In Shanghai

Over the weekend General Motors debuted the Cadillac CT6 PHEV at the Shanghai Auto Show.

Cadillac CT6 PHEV Interior From Shanghai

Cadillac CT6 PHEV Interior From Shanghai

The plug-in CT6 is a luxury, extended range sedan that can travel about 37 miles on electricity, of which GM says will cover “most daily commutes”.

The car combines an electric motor and a 2 liter turbo four cylinder engine, good for a total output of 335 hp and 432 lb-ft of torque.  (full details on the car can be found here)

What we didn’t have at the time of the release, was any actual shots of the car, or how well the 18.4 kWh battery (which is the same size as found inside the upcoming 2016 Chevrolet Volt) fit between the rear seat and the trunk.

Turns out GM brought a handy, full-scale cutaway of the CT6 PHEV for us to look at.

A Look At The 18.4 kWh Battery Housed Behind Rear Seats

A Look At The 18.4 kWh Battery Housed Behind Rear Seats

18.4 KWh Battery Trunk Protrusion

18.4 KWh Battery Trunk Protrusion

Cadillac CT6 Plug-In Powerplants

Cadillac CT6 Plug-In Powerplants

Cadillac CT6 PHEV

Cadillac CT6 PHEV

Cadillac CT6 PHEV - 18.4 kWh Battery Provides 37 Miles Of Range

Cadillac CT6 PHEV – 18.4 kWh Battery Provides 37 Miles Of Range

Cadillac CT6 PHEV On The Stand In Shangai

Cadillac CT6 PHEV On The Stand In Shanghai

Cadillac CT6 Rear Seating

Cadillac CT6 Rear Seating (Premium)

Cadillac CT6 (Premium)

Cadillac CT6 (Premium)

Cadillac CT6 (Petrol Version) In Shanghai

Cadillac CT6 (Petrol Version) In Shanghai

The Cadillac CT6 PHEV And CT6 Prestige Sedan Debuted This Weekend In China

The Cadillac CT6 PHEV And CT6 Prestige Sedan Debuted This Weekend In China

Cadillac CT6 PHEV

Cadillac CT6 PHEV


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42 Comments on "Live Images: Cadillac CT6 PHEV From Shanghai Debut"

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So, the 18.4kwh won’t retain the T-shape. CT6 is rear drive, and is mechanically linked through the drive tunnel (hump between the seats). The way Volt2 does this is an improvement, but it called for what they are doing, here.

A 5th seat, and RWD, suggested to me that the T-battery’s modules may needed to be split up, or relocated. Here you go.

The fold-down armrest with cup holders in the CT6 is s big improvement over the cup holders on top of the hump in the 2016 Volt. Tesla should redesign the Model S rear bench seat to have a fold-down armrest with cup holders like the CT6 to replace its ridiculous strap-on console for the rear seat. Its so much more convenient to fold up the armrest when you have an occasional middle-seat passenger than to climb into the trunk and unstrap the rear console, not to mention having to climb back in to the trunk to strap the console back in when you no longer have a middle seat passenger.

Is the section missing from the battery for trunk “pass through” or is just that way for the show & tell?

Pass-through? It would be the size of the Lincoln Tunnel.

Did the GM folks in Shanghai hint at a curb weight for the PHEV CT6? GM engineers at the NY reveal were hinting at 3700 lb for the gas-only versions, which is quite light for a car this size.

It would be interesting to see the F/R weight balance. Clearly the front engine offsets the rear battery, but it also means using a long prop shaft.

Looks like they have done a nice job packaging the CT6 and it has a Cadillac feel that should appeal to their base. I’ve got to check my display setting though on that funky orange leather. All-in-all, it looks like another great addition to the EV fleet. I wonder how many EVs the IEV monthly Cole report will be covering next year at this time?

In person, I’d say the polite interior term is “coral”. I think it is better than, say, a flat light beige. Louder? A tad.

i’m thinking that they could do a front wheel drive luxury vehicle with twice the range since the tunnel could be used to additional battery storage. the “37 miles” that gm is quoting really means that you could probably get 50 miles during warmer weather. so if you could double the battery capacity, you would have a PHEV with potentially 100 miles of EV range. for me, that is a sweet spot.

Wow. That is quite a fascinating arrangement for the battery pack. But what is more interesting for me to take away is seeing just how small the battery pack is. This is really significant because if you think back to the early hybrids (2001 Prius, or Civic Hybrid) the battery packs in those cars were just about as large as what we see here. And yet this car has 18.4 Kwh of storage, with presumably somewhere around 14-15 kwh actually usable. Again, it makes you wonder why any hybrid would not have a battery like this, especially considering the government is still footing the bill for the larger battery.

It seems to be the same volume as the Volt pack, just repackaged as two stacked rows of cells. It just looks smaller because this is quite a large car.

The real advance seems to be the light weight for such a large vehicle. Lots of complicated light weight castings in the photos.

This also confirms the eCVT is in the front behind the ICE and not in the back like the corvette. You can tell from the HV batt cables

So it must be a Voltec derived unit in a longitudinal configuration, although it doesn’t look like it from the pictures.

Someone on site needs to take a closer look…

Wow, a cigarette lighter in the rear seat armrest, it has been a while since I’ve seen one of those.

Executive seating … cigar?

That is now known as a 12V accessory outlet for laptop and smart device power (using a USB adapter).

Personal opinion here but this is another Cadillac that looks like crap. Even if I did have the money to buy this thing I wouldn’t simply on the styling. Perhaps the reason Cadillac is floundering recently is because they are poorly styled “box” cars, they just look so bland on the outside.

Using the RE-EV style for a Cadillac is good I suppose. The last one didn’t go over so well though, guess time will tell.

I agree that at least on the outside it looks like it belongs to the 20th century, not the 21st. Here in Europe they would hardly sell any. Then in China maybe they have a taste for old fashioned boxy style land barges.

They do, because the Chinese taipans that can afford these cars have drivers and only ride in the back. They are enamoured with large long wheelbase sedans that have plenty of room in the rear seat and overtly display their wealth.

The ordinary people aren’t driving these cars. But the reason the Chinese luxury car market is important is because a small fraction of 1.2 billion is still a big number of high margin cars.

Draighven: “Perhaps the reason Cadillac is floundering recently”
Cadillac sold more cars in the US last year than it ever has. Maybe you are speaking for Europe?

Also regarding the styling, do you have any examples of common European cars that aren’t bland?

I was under the impression Cadillac wasn’t doing so well, hence the reason for their restructuring and re-directing with new management. The same new management that axed the ELR, perhaps I am misinformed? I fully admit I don’t follow Cadillac very closely.

Cadillac sales flattened out in 2014 and fell behind all other luxury brands in sales in the USA. 2015 year-over-year sales were down 5.7% in March with Audi projected to pass Cadillac in the USA by mid-year. GM’s challenge is to leave the “second-tier” luxury brands ( Infinity and Acura ) behind and go after the Germans who have a lock on the market of late ( BMW, Mercedes and Audi ). Lexus is also considered top-tier and soundly defeats Cadillac in sales here. This may change with a solid influx of new models in the next two years, and the ditching of deadwood like ELR. To me, they could also benefit by ditching their current import President, de Nysschen and departing from their Art & Science design language. To me – it’s stale and needs a solid update. I understand CT6 is not the place to begin a design retool, as it’s potential customer base is conservative and businesslike. The move towards electrification could be Cadillac’s salvation, if they can leverage Voltec tech and quickly integrate it into all of their products A.S.A.P.. Next move? A skateboard platform configurable for all models to have a PHEV and EV… Read more »

Here’s the yearly data

US Cadillac sales
2009 – 4724
2010 – 7398
2011 – 7577
2012 – 6644
2013 – 9608
2014 – 10,538

2015 is a bit slower than the banner year of 2014, but nothing to shake a stick at.

Monthly data 2014 vs 2015
Jan – 11,386 vs 11,680
Feb – 13,437 vs 11,739
Mar – 14,765 vs 13,756

Saying that Cadillac should ditch their “import President” sounds kind of xenophobic. Does it really matter that de Nysschen was born in South Africa and not in the USA? Cadillac is, after all, a global brand and part of a global automaker. Tesla’s “import” CEO, also born in South Africa, seems to be doing a great job at that American auto company. 😉

The car’s body design is not my taste either. I’m not Chinese though. 🙂

I’m wondering what percentage of CT6 sold in the US will be PHEV. Pretty low I’m guessing. If I could afford one, I could probably afford the gasoline as well.

Saving money not buying gas is nice, but I like my plug-in for a lot of other reasons before that one.

I’m glad its a plug-in and the Voltec drivetrain is awesome, however it is also another example of how the GM invented skateboard design used by Tesla is light years ahead of the center tunnel architecture used here.

Skateboard architecture with batteries in floor allows for much more efficient use of interior space a much lower center of gravity for handling.

I still think the BMW I3 approach of a flat floor with a relatively small ICE range extender in the back is a far superior design provided you use an ICE that is powerful enough and with a bigger gas tank and a hold mode.

a skateboard might work well for a BEV, but i’m not so sure how well it works in a PHEV where you have to design around an ICE and a gas tank.

Ditto on the Tesla’s and I3’s flat floor!!!

Well, its got a really nice big hump running the through the middle of the car anyway. That setup really moves the center of gravity up just a bit to.

Clean sheet design I guess???

There is no excuse not to be putting the battery under the floor where it belongs.

I’m guessing the marketing requirement was “front engine, rear drive”, which necessitated a drive shaft, hence the tunnel.

And I’m guessing the China marketing requirement was “huge back seat” which put the battery in the back.

Anybody want to debate the packaging advantages of cylindrical cells versus prismatic pouch? Not a whole lotta trunk left in this large sedan and driving dynamics reduced with the higher center of gravity. Not sure 500lbs of battery in line with the passengers is a great idea either. What happens with the momentum of the battery when a high energy frontal impact occurs?

Probably will find out w/the crash testing.

The batteries look tied in to that substantial bulkhead

that’s a good point. since you mention it, what happens in a rear collision? at least in a front collision, you can design the bulkhead to steer the engine under the passenger compartment, but i don’t see how you would do that with the battery compartment.

You don’t know GM vehicles. I do! My 1995 Buick Regal (with the gas tank under the rear seat) was hit by a Ford Econoline van at over 40 MPH. The bumper and trunk was pushed in, and the Regal itself was pushed foward over six feet. I drove home after the accident. The Ford van has to be towed for scrap since its engine was crushed into the passenger area.

That how strong GM makes their sedans! The passengers of that CT6 will survive more than what my Regal suffered.

Any count on the total EVs/PHEVs displayed?

Why has there not been a single picture of the charge port? Where is it?