back to article GM plumps for long-distance hybrid Cadillac

General Motors (GM) has finally found a home for its dual-mode plug-in hybrid drivetrain, in the shape of a concept Cadillac. Cadillac_XTS_01 GM's Cadillac XTS Platinum will go from concept to production in 2012 Unveiled at the ongoing Detroit Motor Show, the Cadillac XTS Platinum will form the basis of a very similar …


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  1. Andy 97

    Didn't they watch the Top Gear special?

    Electric cars are all well and good, but maybe if they were built a bit lighter.....

    If the average car journey to work is usually made as a solo event, one would ponder why bother with 3 extra seats/doors etc.?

    'Hugo' or 'Giles' drive like maniacs along the M4 every day pulling their body weight, fuel, golf clubs and 3 unused seats, doors etc. Wouldn't the better plan be to make a luxury solo car for commuting? This would save weight and production costs.

    Just an idea.

    1. Hermes Conran


      S'called a motorcycle. Real men use'm.

    2. Bill Neal


      You must keep in mind that smart cars & segways are a rare sight in the states. With all the other large vehicles on the road, most people don't feel safe in something the size of a golf cart. And rightfully so. European & asian lightweight creations are utterly destroyed in even a minor accident at U.S. highway speeds.

      1. Bassey

        Re: Safety

        > European & asian lightweight creations are utterly destroyed in even a minor accident

        Yes. That's the point (something seemingly lost on the American car industry). They are designed to fall apart. The energy dissipated in that falling apart is what saves the people inside. If the lump of iron you are driving stays in one piece that means ALL of the energy was maintained resulting in a bigger bang for you. That feeling of safety is entirely false - just like the feeling of safety that comes from gun ownership.

        Anyway, in answer to the original question, there is a pretty good reason why we all drive cars with 4+ seats rather than 1 or 2. We occasionally need to carry more than 2 people. That means either owning a car with enough seats for your maximum usage requirement or keeping a bigger, more expensive car, sat idle on the drive for the occasions you need it. That's damned expensive and not very environmentally friendly either.

        It's just like the argument against wind power. Yes, wind power CAN provide X amount of energy. But, it doesn't meet your requirements ALL the time so you need to have backup sat idle which is very expensive and out weighs the benefits you were aiming for.

      2. Adam 10


        Are you sure about that Bill? Only EuroNCAP is seen as the crash safety standard not just in Europe but across the developed world.

        A great big Jeep Grand Cherokee has the same EuroNCAP rating as the MG TF, which is a tiny little open-top sports car.

        And the Hummer H3 was reported as a deathtrap in the US media, was it not?

        My experience of US cars is that they are built to a price. Whereas our cars are surprisingly expensive, partly because they have a lot of R&D put into the crash worthiness and partly because the build quality is that much better. Just a quick look at the weight of one of our tiny little cars might yield a surprise for you.

      3. MarkA

        "US highway speeds"

        Er, WTF? Have you been on I-95 lately? Have you driven in VA? Sit on I-76 between 6 and 10am or between 1 and 7pm and you'll think you're on the M25. Drive at a good lick on the New Jersey Turnpike and you're going to find a black Dodge Charger up your arse with a lot of natty flashing lights.

        US highway speeds indeed. Dick.

        Now, if you'd said that the Smartcar wouldn't stand a chance even if shunted by one of those unecessarily oversized trucks that the Goddamns drive then you'd be right. But you didn't.

    3. Anonymous Coward

      Luxury Solo Car?

      It's called a BMW K1300 GT. Not that it matters really. In line with European policy (Vision Zero*) it will become illegal to drive a powered two wheeled vehicle on the roads.

      The government have already made great in-roads into destroying motorcycling in the UK through prejudiced policing, the failure of the new multi-purpose test centres and making sure that "safety measures" are as lethal to motorcyclists as possible.

      *To quote Claes Tingvall "There is no room for motorcycles in Vision Zero."

      1. Captain TickTock
        Thumb Down

        Sounds like...

        Zero Vision...

    4. Mike Flugennock
      Thumb Up

      Hmm. That's a thought... I recall, Cadillac makes -- or maybe made -- a compact two-seater along the lines of all the other luxury two-seaters made by Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Volvo, Saab, Pontiac, Chrysler, nd everybody and their uncle these days. A hybrid/electric version of that, perhaps?

      Or, better yet... do you have "car pool" lanes over there?

  2. CC
    Thumb Down

    Missing the point

    This car only in Buick guise has been available only in China for two years now and now the "Hybrid" mode is becoming a performance mode that adds horsepower and performance while adding almost nothing to mileage and efficiency.

    I see Honda is following this same Performance Hybrid path as are many others as the world car makers would have us revert back to gas guzzlers.

  3. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    IF you buy one in the UK

    Just watch the value depreciate like a burnt out shuttle booter engine falling into the sea after a launch.

    All Yank cars over here drop like a rocket in value.

    Also, why do heavy?

    Ah! It's a caddy. That's all right then.

  4. Richard 115


    What oyu want then, is a battery-powered Honda Goldwing. Now there's the ticket. Lightweight, luxury, and designed for solo commuting, with optional extra passenger.

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      RE: Andy

      Goldwing Lighweight?

      How are you kidding. We used to call it the 'Lead Welly' as it was so heavy.

      There are plenty of lightweight performance bikes out there. Myself? I ride a Thruxton Bonnieville.

  5. FadeOut

    V6 Petrol??

    I can't help but be suspicious of any electric hybrid with an enormous petrol engine. Is there really any need for that kind of engine in anything any more? You can build a 150BHP diesel engine with 2-3 times the fuel economy. Even a more moderate petrol engine - say 2 Litre - is surely plenty.

    Why would you spend extra money on an electric hybrid to use next to no fuel for most of the week and then suddenly feel the need to make up the difference on a long journey at the weekend? I just don't understand the thinking.

    1. Bill Neal

      V6 Petrol!!

      That engine is actually quite small for a caddy, and as the story said, its about performance as much as economy. Americans should be making more euro style direct injected, turbo V6 engines like the one in the Ford Tarus SHO. ...also diesel fuel is more costly now in the states, and maintenance costs are higher as well.

  6. Tom 80

    It's the American car-buyer

    If it doesn't weigh at least a ton and look like a bull waiting to charge, then it's not a real car.

    1. CC

      It is and it is't the American car buyer...

      The American car companies say they know what the American buyer wants, that's why Imports are so popular in the US and many people like myself are fed up with the 70's supposed American mentality Bigger is Better, the Government sure seems to believe this but the majority of the people don't and are very frustrated as to why do they have the answers we as Americans want and need but overseas yet the Government and car companies (foreign included) refuse to bring it to our shores.

      And when CHINA gets it from an American car company years before it is even spoken of in the US, well that just plain SUCKS and we first and foremost WANT DIESELS!

      1. Mike Flugennock

        Diesels? You sure about that?

        I seem to recall about twenty-five or thirty years ago GM having diesel options for their pickup trucks, full-size sedans and station wagons, but they didn't go over all that well. Aside from maintenance issues -- iirc, you practically had to be an engineer just to start the thing -- there was the fact that the goddamn' things positively _stunk_. The exhaust was actually visible in the air as it came out of the tailpipe. You could cut it with a knife. Being behind one of those in traffic was like being behind a bus.

        About the same time, Mercedes-Benz had diesel versions of their sedans and wagons out in the US, and Volkswagen had a diesel Rabbit (aka Golf) available. Those were fairly popular among serious enthusiasts, but even those seemed to go over better in Europe, especially the M-B.

        (I remember seeing the manual for a friend's diesel Rabbit, around 1981 or '82. God damn, no wonder they didn't sell so many over here; it was like you had to RTFM just to start the engine.)

  7. Graham Bartlett

    "that can be charged from the mains"

    Although it will take the better part of 3 hours to charge. OK for overnight charging, or while you're parked at work, but not something that works for longer distances. Still, keeping it electric-only in towns is not a bad plan (at least provided the electric is coming from a renewable source, otherwise you might as well burn the petrol directly).

  8. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    smaller? Won't sell

    they've made smaller caddies and they don't sell. They don't gain enough mpgs for it to be worth it.

    so my curiosity, whats the mileage on this car? Plugins are a wank, gas is cheaper than electricity here, but some 50mpg caddy would beat out the current 25mpg highway ones.

  9. John Reid

    maybe weight is not that important

    for a hybrid, because of regenerative braking - you get back the extra energy required to accelerate.

    Not sure how 20 miles qualifies as "long distance".

    What you really need for long distance electric is super low drag.

    See Aptera

    or the tiny VW '1 litre':

    1. Mike Flugennock
      Thumb Up

      Whoa, Aptera looks extra-sweet

      Efficient, economical... _and_ it looks like it could be the Chick Magnet Of The Future. Of course, I don't know how much they cost, but maybe by the time I'm ready to buy a car again, they might be selling them where I am.

      The new VW design looks extra cool, too. 170mpg on diesel, plus it's not butt-ugly. I trust that being behind one in traffic won't be like being behind a 1981 Buick Diesel station wagon (which was, in turn, like being stuck behind a bus).

  10. David Kelly 2

    Long Distance?

    Article title touts, "Long Distance". Article text says "20 miles". Silly me for thinking even for a moment that someone was shooting for 500 miles. There are already several contenders over the 200 mile mark.

    Then again, how about reporting the cost of wear and tear on the battery? The battery costs more per mile than the electricity, an "inconvenient truth" to the EV True Believers.

  11. Sly


    I'd say that getting mid 30s in mpg in a full size sedan on the highway as the lowest mileage rating is a great improvement over the 22mpg my land yacht gets as it's highest rating. Of course, US mpg and UK mpg are different since there's no standard for what a gallon is apparently (US uses a smaller gallon than UK). so according to the charts... in the UK, my car would get about 26-ish mpg and the mid 30s mpg (say 35 spot on) would be 42mpg in the UK.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Ugly - By God it is

    Why do they make Cadillacs look so ugly? They even look ugly in America. I used to go to the States in the 70s and there were some pretty elegant Caddies around. There are now only two things uglier - anything by Dodge and the Audi Q7

    1. Mike Flugennock
      Thumb Up

      Bring back the tail fins, I say...

      Oh, I don't know; I think it looks pretty sleek.

      I rather like the trend these days toward revivals/replicas of classic designs on some of the newer American cars; looks like they've taken their cue from the "New Beetle" and the MiniCooper. The current model Ford Mustang is a modernized revival of the 1969/70 classic Mustang body style, the last couple of years' Ford Thunderbird models are based heavily on the '58 T'Bird style, the new Plymouth sport coupe is an updated replica of the '72 Barracuda, and the recently reintroduced Camaro is an updated revival of the old classic '69 Camaro style.

      I'm surprised that Cadillac doesn't have a two-door coupe out that's a "retro" reprise of the old tail-finned early '60s design.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The yanks dont watch

    topgear - because

    1) They would know all their cars are as ugly as a bulldog chewing a wasp, whilst getting beaten with the ugly stick, after dropping out of the ugly tree.

    2) They are crap to drive - there are no bends in America, so having soft suspension is ok, but as soon as they get here, its like drive a schooner in a gale.

    3) Cheap and nasty interior - nuff said.

    After having an American car, i would not go back there - EVER, i will stick with my VW golf.

  14. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    @Steve Davies 3

    "Also, why do heavy?"

    Well being American it has to weigh as much as its heaviest driver.

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