Plug-in hybrid version of Cadillac CT6 will return at least 70 mpg

Article by Christian A., on October 9, 2014

Cadillac already announced that it will offer a top-end car called CT6, which will be built in late 2015 at GM’s Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant. During a conference last week, GM’s global product chief Mark Reuss confirmed the fact that Cadillac will offer a plug-in hybrid version of the CT6, which will return a fuel economy of at least 70 mpg.

In addition, Reuss said that the CT6 will use a 3.6-liter twin-turbo V6 petrol engine that will deliver around 400 hp. This model will use an 8-speed automatic transmission, the one offered also on the 2015 Corvette Stingray, as well as a stop-start system.

The lightweight structure of the upcoming CT6 will also help improve fuel economy and according to Reuss, the new car will be 8 inches longer than the current CTS but 53 pounds lighter.

The body structure of the CT6 will be the world’s most advanced and will feature a mix of aluminum, high-strength steel and other lightweight materials. When it will hit the dealerships, the Cadillac CT6 will take on vehicles such as the Audi A8, BMW 7-Series and the Mercedes-Benz S-Class.

Compared to similar rivals like the BMW 5-Series and Audi A6, the 2016 Cadillac CT6 features a body-in-white structure that is lighter and stiffer. This body-in-white architecture serves as a strong foundation for CT6’s benchmark-setting agility, quietness and vault-like solidity.

This new body-in-white architecture employs a mixed-material structure as complemented by exterior body panels made from aluminum. The development of this architecture took engineers 50 million hours of computational analysis, including 200,000 structural simulations. Interestingly, its development resulted to 21 patents.

Travis Hester, executive chief engineer for the Cadillac CT6, remarked that every panel of the body-in-white has been optimized by employing with innovative joining techniques. He added that thanks to this uncompromising approach, they were able to deliver the best balance of strength, lightness and refinement.

Aside from reducing complexity, the 13 high-pressure aluminum die castings in the lower body construction also contribute to the low mass of the architecture. In fact, the CT6 weighs 218 lbs (99 kg) less than a comparable vehicle employing high-strength steel.

To fabricate the structure, Cadillac made use of GM's most advanced body manufacturing methods, like its proprietary aluminum spot welding technology, laser welding, self-piercing rivets and flow drill fasteners. In addition, the structure uses around 591 feet (180 meters) of advanced structural adhesives.

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