While the Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid and the Chevy Malibu Hybrid rack up four-figure sales in most months, the third vehicle to use elements of that same drivetrain remains all but invisible in the U.S.
That's the 2017 Cadillac CT6 Plug-In Hybrid, a version of the CT6 large luxury sedan from GM's luxury brand.
The plug-in CT6 is the sole offering from Cadillac that comes with a plug following the sales failure of the small, expensive ELR range-extended electric coupe built on first-generation Volt underpinnings.
Cadillac has said it expects to sell fewer than 1,000 of the plug-in CT6 versions a year in the U.S.
Its main market is China, where it's built, and where the small number sold in the U.S. will be assembled.
And its only major sales market here is likely to be the state of California (and perhaps a handful of other states that have adopted its emission rules).
Still, a review of the plug-in hybrid CT6 has now emerged, courtesy of The Los Angeles Times.
Two weeks ago, Cadillac held a drive event for a few media outlets at a garage in Los Angeles, where it showed off its partially electric luxury sedan.
The 2017 Cadillac CT6 Plug-In Hybrid pairs a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine with essentially the same two-motor powertrain used in the current Chevy Volt.
While its battery pack is differently configured—it sits at the front end of the trunk, behind the rear seat, rather than in the tunnel and under the rear seat—it has the same energy capacity.
The EPA rates it at 31 miles of all-electric range, significantly lower than the Volt's 53 miles, though obviously in a larger, heavier, and more luxurious vehicle.
The LA Times said the car it tested "proved a real gas sipper on a Tuesday morning coastal drive."
The newspaper got 30 miles without any impact on the car's gasoline range, and called the plug-in CT6 "whisper quiet," while also complimenting its acceleration, quoted at 5.2 seconds to get from 0 to 60 mph.
The hybrid CT6 model carries over one appealing feature from the Volt and Bolt EV: a paddle behind the left-hand side of the steering wheel that lets the driver increase regenerative braking to slow the car.
Unlike the Volt, which stays entirely in electric mode under all but a few extreme circumstances or low temperatures, the CT6 plug-in model chooses its power source based on the driver's demands.
Light-footed drivers will keep the car entirely in electric mode, but foot-to-the-floor driving kicks in the gasoline engine, assisted by the substantial torque from the car's pair of electric motors.
Competitors for Cadillac's plug-in hybrid sedan are versions of various BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Volvo luxury sedans.
The company says, however, that despite a starting price of about $75,000, the CT6 Plug-In Hybrid is $20,000 to $40,000 less expensive than comparably equipped versions of those luxury sedans.
It also outstrips them significantly on range, rated at 20 miles or less on all of them so far.
Sales begin this spring in a limited set of states.