Different technology offers varied solutions
The lineup of Cadillac coupes and sedans available at Don Wheaton have undergone one of the most notable transformations over the last 10 years or so. Many of the newer models, especially the V-series models of the ATS and CTS, have made the leap into being track-ready, high-performance machines, without losing an ounce of luxury appeal. How does Cadillac balance performance with fuel-efficiency? It can’t afford to compromise on either. Clearly, with the kind of performance built into the ATS-V and its larger CTS-V sibling, Cadillac is targeting a specific type of driver/customer. Even though these coupes and sedans have impressive scores on the race track, each still must function as a competent daily driver.
As a member of the General Motors family, Cadillac is fortunate enough to be able to share technology across one of the most popular roster of vehicles in the world. Engineers from the luxury automaker borrowed from as many sister-makes as necessary to balance performance with fuel-efficiency. Turbocharging technology is one of the latest trends in the automotive community to add more power to a smaller and inherently efficient power plant.
Depending on the model of Cadillac coupe or sedan a customer drives home, they could be powered by a turbocharged four-cylinder or even a twin-turbocharged V-6 engine. However, this technology doesn’t scale as well once a design calls for a powerful V-8.
During some meeting, GM engineers had an epiphany. The best way to save fuel from being wasted was not to burn any when it wasn’t necessary. This led to the development of a couple of different fuel-saving technologies, Engine Start/Stop and Active Fuel Management. In the short time the Start/Stop feature has been used on GM vehicles, it has become more refined and capable. Early versions of this system were heavily taxing on the vehicle’s battery. 2016 Cadillac cars that use Engine Start/Stop now use what is called a voltage stabilization system.
Examples of Cadillac using Start/Stop
2016 Cadillac ATS-V
Basically, an outside power source contained within powertrain and electrical system to provide engine re-starts which are faster and smoother. Additionally, the more advanced system takes much of the stress off of existing electrical components.
The other major fuel-saving system, Active Fuel Management, also known as cylinder deactivation, came to prominence with the EcoTec3 family of engines used in Chevrolet and GMC pickup trucks. Cylinder deactivation takes a slightly different approach to the idea of not burning unnecessary fuel. Instead of turning off the whole engine, just some of the cylinders pushing the fuel/air mix are deactivated. Cadillac has employed this system in V-8-equipped models like the CTS-V as well as the venerable Cadillac Escalade. In fact, Cadillac’s engine builders have so perfected cylinder deactivation that is now being used on V-6 engines, like the twin-turbocharged V-6 used with the first-ever 2016 Cadillac CT6.
Examples of Cadillac using Active Fuel Management
2016 Cadillac Escalade
Because of the complexity of the task for Cadillac to balance performance with fuel-efficiency, each of the previously mentioned fuel-saving systems’ efforts would be wasted if a better way to transmit power from the engine to the wheels couldn’t be found. Enter the new eight-speed automatic transmission. Cadillac has built the new gear changer with specifically chosen shift points that maximize performance while managing engine speed for more efficient fuel use.
If you would like to see some excellent examples of Cadillac’s work to balance performance with fuel-efficiency, make an appointment with a Don Wheaton sales professional today to schedule a test drive.