Cadillac Loses Its Only Hybrid Model

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As one hat joins the wardrobe, another leaves the closet for a trip to the goodwill store. Cadillac’s flagship CT6 appeared at dealers in early 2016 with a range of powerplants in tow, most notably a plug-in hybrid promising 31 miles of gas-free driving. Big, traditional, American luxury sedans needn’t be dinosaurs, Cadillac said of the lightweighted plug-in.

Well, an asteroid just fell on a new, green Detroit.

As it preps the new-for-2019 CT6-V and its twin-turbo 4.2-liter V8, Cadillac’s dispensing with the plug-in hybrid for the 2019 model year, GM Authority reports. The automaker confirmed the discontinuation for the American market in an email to the publication.

“Cadillac remains committed to electrified systems for our vehicles,” a Cadillac spokesperson wrote. “Although production of the CT6 PLUG-IN for North America is discontinuing for the 2019 model year, alternative fuel vehicles remain a part of our future product portfolio as we move deeper in to our 10-year plan.”

Previously, the plug-in variant showed up on the automaker’s VIN decoder documents, suggesting the discontinuation was a recent decision. What reason could GM have for this? Well, the CT6 Plug-in, unlike other CT6 models, takes a boat trip from China before it arrives in American dealerships. With that comes a 25 percent import tariff on Chinese-manufactured autos. Future electric Cadillacs will almost certainly roll out of domestic assembly plants, free of import tariffs.

While it wasn’t mentioned in Cadillac’s missive, it’s assumed the Plug-in will remain on sale in its country of origin.

The short-lived CT6 Plug-in paired a 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder (since axed from the bottom of the model range) with an electric motor, both driving the rear wheels. The powertrain’s output of 335 horsepower and 432 lb-ft of torque was good for a 0-60 run of 5.2 seconds, or a tenth of a second faster than the twin-turbo 3.0-liter model, which boasted 404 ho and 400  lb-ft. Indeed, Cadillac played up the variant’s sporting prowess.

There’s no need for that now, as the CTS-V (destined to become the only “V” model in the Caddy lineup for an unspecified amount of time), generates 550 hp and 627 lb-ft from GM’s new V8. That’s it in the photo above.

In terms of sales, the CT6 has suffered from the same illness afflicting other sedans from the high end to the bottom. After a promising start, four-figure monthly volumes quickly disappeared. The third quarter of 2018 was the model’s worst sales quarter to date, beating out Q4 2017 for the title.

[Images: General Motors]

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