DETROIT – The new Cadillac XTS luxury sedan features many technologies that are noticed the instant the vehicle’s ignition button is pushed. But some advancements, like a new capless fuel filler assembly, hide literally behind closed doors.
“This new system has advantages for both the car and the driver,” said John Hamilton, Cadillac fuel fill systems design engineer. “It helps keep hands free of dirt and fuel, paint free of scratches caused by a swinging cap, and the engine running smoothly.”
Because fuel systems must be fully sealed, a loose cap can trigger a “check engine” light and lead to service visit.
The 2013 XTS doesn’t have a traditional twist-off cap hidden behind its fuel door. Because of this, the door itself doesn’t need to accommodate a hand and was designed to be smaller and less noticeable on the XTS’ sheet metal.
Despite having no cap, the system meets all fuel system sealing regulations. When a fuel nozzle is inserted, it pushes aside a set of two doors, each locking fuel in with a rubber seal around its edge. The two doors are designed to assure the system will remain air-tight through years of ownership.
“Some capless systems on the market have just a single door, making them vulnerable to leaks,” said Hamilton. “Unlike competitors, Cadillac’s system also has no internal drain, something that can also lead to inadvertent dripping.”
Moving beyond capped systems has further advantages for car owners. It eliminates the risk of leaving a gas station with a dangling cap, which can lead to paint damage and messy fuel dripping.
Because the XTS uses an advanced V-6 engine with direct-injection and lightweight innovations like exhaust manifolds integrated into the cylinder heads and a next-generation six-speed transmission, fuel stops will also be less frequent.
“We ignored no detail in making XTS the most advanced Cadillac sedan yet,” said chief engineer Sheri Hickok. “Even things taken for granted, like a fuel cap, deserved and received a full rethink.”