PHOTO CAPTION: Cadillac CT6 will offer an electric hybrid, plug-in drive system.

Quartet of Foreign Carmakers Debut Plugins in Shanghai

Electric, plug-in hybrids from Cadillac, Volkswagen, BMW, and Volvo all debut during the 2015 Shanghai auto show.

Published: 21-Apr-2015

It's no secret that the central government in China is serious about promoting the shift from fossil-fuel powered motor vehicles to electric models, enacting a wide host of incentives from easier licensing to lucrative rebates. Anxious to cash in on the world's largest market, outside manufacturers are racing to offer electric-drive vehicles to the burgeoning middle class who are enamored by foreign products.

At this year's Shanghai auto show, at least four international automakers are exhibiting electric hybrid (plug-in) models. Here are those vehicles

Cadillac CT6 Electric Hybrid Concept

Depicted above, the CT6 will offer a combined rating of 335 hp delivering 432-foot-pounds of torque. Its 192 prismatic lithium-ion cell battery pack stores some 18.4kWh of energy. Unlike the Volt, the new pack will be housed between the back seat and trunk, enabling it to offer full five-passenger seating. While the EV-mode range wasn't disclosed, GM officials believe it will deliver up to 70 mpg equivalent. The battery can be charged at either 240 or 120 volts. Sales will commence in China first in 2016, followed by the US market in the 2017 timeframe.

Volkswagen C Coupe GTE Electric Hybrid

Volkswagen Sport Coupe Electric Hybrid Concept

Volkswagen's C Coupe GTE Electric Hybrid concept is rated at 242 hp and 369 foot-pounds of torque. Like the CT6, it too uses a four-cylinder engine, mated to an electric drive that offers zero-emission range up to 31 miles at a top speed of 81 mph. Hybrid and electric driving range are up to 497 miles. Top speed is 123 mph with zero-to-62 mph (100 km/h) acceleration of 8.6 seconds. CO2 emissions are rated at 55g/km, half that of the standard Toyota Prius.

Volvo XC90 Electric Hybrid

Volvo XC90 Electric Hybrid

While production of the Cadillac CT6 and VW C Coupe GTE PHEVs is some months away, Volvo reported is beginning production of the XC90 T8 Twin Engine electric hybrid this week. It will use a 314 bhp four-cylinder engine with 295 lb ft torque. Zero-to-100 km/h is 5.9 seconds. EV-mode range will be 24 miles. Autocar [ ] claims that during the Shanghai show, 'high-level sources' say the car will be rated at 49g/km of CO2, 10 grams less than previously announced. That should translate into a combined mpg rating equivalent to 167 mpg, the best of the group.

BMW X5 Electric Hybrid

BMW X5 electric hybrid

BMW's X5 xDrive40e will go on sale towards the end of the year, reports Auto Evolution. Like all the other PHEVs featured here, the X5 is powered by a 2-liter, 4-cylinder turbocharged gasoline engine. Despite having a combined output of 358 hp between its ICE and 113 hp e-motor, the drive system doesn't allow the maximum output of the two power plants at the same time. In EV-mode the car has top speed of 75 mph and range up to 19 miles per charge. Zero-to-62 mph is 6.8 seconds.

Prices on the vehicles were not revealed.

ADDENDUM: Audi Prologue Electric Hybrid Concept

Audi Prologue Electric Hybrid Concept

After publishing this article, we learned that Audi also displayed a monarwe 724 hp electric hybrid concept, the 4L, V8 Prologue Allroad. Here are its specs, according to EVO:

The electric motor’s 14.1 kWh lithium-ion battery can be charged wirelessly with induction technology, and is located under the boot floor to improve weight distribution.

In theory, the hybrid powertrain is capable of accelerating the Allroad from 0-62mph in 3.5sec, as well as producing a combined fuel consumption of 117.7mpg. It can also emit as little as 56g/km of CO2, and travel for 33.3 miles in full-electric mode.
The car is expected to hit showrooms in 2017.

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