• The capless fuel filler will eliminate gas smell on a driver's hands
  • The system is also designed to prevent paint damage to the sedan
  • Cadillac says the system will come standard on the XTS

A new feature that comes standard on Cadillac's upcoming 2013 XTS luxury sedan will make trips to the gas station more pleasant for the driver and the car. The sedan will include a capless fuel filler, which provides a host of benefits including the elimination of gas smell on a driver's hands and a reduced likelihood of exterior paint damage.

In the XTS, the capless filler includes two small flaps which replace the standard twist-off cap located behind the fuel door. According to Cadillac, the unit's location is also one of its key benefits, since the removal of the cumbersome fuel cap means the fuel door can be smaller and less noticeable on the sedan's sheetmetal.

But removing the twist-off fuel cap also includes several other benefits. For drivers, the most important advantage of the capless system is that they will no longer have to twist the cap after filling their tank, meaning gasoline odors are less likely to end up on their hands. The lack of a fuel cap dangling from the gas tank also reduces the chance of paint damage to the XTS and eliminates the embarrassing possibility of driving away from a gas station with the cap sticking out of the fuel door.

"This new system has advantages for both the car and the driver," said John Hamilton, Cadillac's 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."

While several other manufacturers are also beginning to adopt capless fuel fillers in their vehicles, the unit in the XTS is designed to offer a distinct advantage over the competition. Since Cadillac's system uses two flaps that retract when a fuel nozzle is inserted instead of the usual one, the automaker says the system is assured to remain airtight for the life of the vehicle. According to Cadillac, that means it's a virtual certainty that the XTS's fuel door will never trigger a check engine light, which could prompt an unnecessary and inconvenient service visit.

Cadillac says the XTS will feature a standard 3.6-liter direct-injection V6 mated to a six-speed automatic transmission when it goes on sale in May. The sedan will be priced from $44,995 including destination with standard rear-wheel drive, while all-wheel drive will be offered for an additional $1,995 on all trim levels.

What it means to you: Cadillac has put a lot of engineering effort into the XTS, and we're eager to see the finished product when it debuts later this spring.

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Jeffrey Archer is fortunate to have turned a passion for cars into a career. His wide-ranging automotive experience includes work for automakers and dealers in addition to covering the news. When not writing, he spends his time searching for unique cars on AutoTrader.com.

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