Since GM's emergence of a shameful bankruptcy, signs of innovation are afoot in Detroit. The latest novelty is from Cadillac for the 2013 XTS full-sized flagship and its capless fueling design.

Since GM's emergence of a shameful bankruptcy, signs of innovation are afoot in Detroit. The latest novelty is from Cadillac for the 2013 XTS full-sized flagship and its capless fueling design.

As the name suggests, Cadillac tossed the traditional twist-off fuel cap into the garbage bin and replaced it with two shutters or doors. When a fuel nozzle is inserted, it pushes aside these two shutters, each locking around the fuel filler nozzle with a rubber seal around its edge. The two doors enable the system to remain air-tight.

"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." Furthermore, because fuel systems must be fully sealed, a loose fuel cap can trigger a "check engine" light precipitating a service visit to turn it off.

Other benefits of the capless system is that the fuel door no longer has to accomodate a hand to access it, thus, allowing its design to be smaller and less noticeable on the exterior sheet metal. It also eliminates the risk of leaving a gas station with a dangling cap, which can lead to paint damage and fuel spilling.

"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."

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