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The only variant of the CT6 sedan built in China and exported to America—the gas versions are all built in Detroit—the Shanghai-built CT6 2.0E is designed to take advantage of the Chinese government’s aggressive push to lower the country’s emissions. With the communist party incentivizing what it calls New Energy Vehicles, such as plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) and electric vehicles (EVs), and some cities such as Shanghai implementing gasoline-free zones, plug-in hybrids such as the Cadillac CT6 plug-in hybrid are necessary to sustain that growth.

The beating heart of the car isn’t actually its engine, but rather its transmission. Utilizing the two-mode hybrid system that GM co-developed with Chrysler at the end of the past decade, the CT6 2.0E’s electric-variable transmission sandwiches two 100 hp electric motors together via a CVT-like planetary gear set and puts the power to the road through a four-speed automatic transmission. Providing supplemental power to the electric motors is a 2.0-liter turbocharged I-4 from the base CT6 2.0T that’s been modified to have a higher idle speed in order to allow it to generate electricity for the battery while idling. Total system power output is 335 hp and a healthy 432 lb-ft of torque. The final piece of the CT6 plug-in hybrid’s powertrain is its power pack. The plug-in hybrid has an 18.4 kWh lithium-ion battery featuring the same battery chemistry as the Chevrolet Bolt EV behind the rear seats.

Like most PHEVs, the hybridized CT6 is designed to operate in electric-only mode when the battery is charged, driving like a conventional hybrid when the speeds exceed 78 mph or once the battery is depleted. Plugging into a 220 volt outlet for 4.5 hours is enough to fully charge the battery’s 192 cells, giving the Cadillac 31 miles of range on electricity.

The car’s default Tour mode will always default to electric-only mode with the battery sufficiently charged or to hybrid mode when the juice has run dry. The CT6 also features a Hold mode to hold the battery’s state of charge in order to save the electric motors in EV-only areas of Chinese cities and in high-density low-speed situations where electric motors are most efficient.

The CT6 2.0E is the second GM import from China...the first being the Buick Envision...
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