Cadillac hybrid racing a ‘learning opportunity’ for road cars as EV gameplan unfolds
A new era of racing at the Rolex 24 at DAYTONA race this past weekend, with Acura, BMW, Cadillac, and Porsche all competing in a new hypercar category, known as the Grand Touring Prototype (GTP) class.
While Acura cars finished 1st and 2nd, and Cadillac grabbed the last podium spot, the big win here really was for all the cars actually being able to finish the grueling race. The new cars are powered by a high-output hybrid powertrain giving them added oomph on the racetrack — and also a few growing pains.
The innovative hybrid technology, one that sanctioning body IMSA calls “the most sustainable racing platform in North America,” is a powertrain that global brands are looking to embrace. Indeed, next year Lamborghini will join the competition, as well as Renault’s Alpine brand.
As For Cadillac (GM), Global VP Rory Harvey is bullish on the new racing format, and the tech.
“If you look at hybridization, and you look at the technology that's coming on to these cars, it really gives us a learning opportunity,” Harvey said to Yahoo Finance. “Many of the things that we do in terms of the racecars, do trickle down and filter into the products that we put out there for our customers on the road.”
While Cadillac is committed to going fully electric by 2030, the brand knows that it will be having gas-powered cars in the mix for some time, and possibly hybrid, or electrified powertrains. Cadillac’s competitors in the GTP class - Acura, BMW, and Porsche - all have hybrid offerings for the road.
Even Cadillac’s sister brand, Chevrolet, just announced the Corvette E-Ray that incorporates hybrid technology — with an electric motor powering the front axle — making it the first Corvette with all-wheel drive.
Cadillac is coming off a strong year of sales, with the new Escalade and SUV portfolio doing well. Among traditional luxury automakers, Cadillac was the fastest growing luxury brand in the U.S. with 13.9% growth year over year.
Cadillac’s 2023 is looking like a big one as well. In addition to its racing efforts, and potential bid to join Formula 1 that Harvey is also excited about, Harvey said the brand will have a new EV “announcement” coming in the first half of this year, and another one coming in the fall.
“We've got a pretty aggressive rollout in terms of battery electric vehicles [coming], but I'm not going to disclose all of it,” Harvey said with a smile.
Pras Subramanian is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. You can follow him on Twitter and on Instagram.
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