Cadillac unveiled the all-new 2014 ELR at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. This range-extended electric vehicle, the first for Cadillac, follows the example of Fisker in that it’s a luxury car first and a high-efficiency vehicle second.
Cadillac has wrapped the ELR in a sexy 2+2 body that’s based on the Converj concept from 2009. The car stands out with vertical headlamps and taillamps highlighting the sheet metal’s sharp-creased edges. Twenty-inch wheels and all-LED external lighting are attractive details. The interior is hand-wrapped in semi-aniline leather, and features premium materials from sueded microfiber cloth to real wood and carbon fiber. Cadillac’s CUE infotainment interface is also standard, and enables the ELR’s owner to program charging schedules and download energy efficiency reports.
Most of the cool tech toys from the ATS and XTS show up in the ELR, including lane-departure warning, the vibrating Safety Alert Seat, a rear cross-traffic alert and adaptive cruise control.
Putting luxury first hasn’t reduced the ELR’s efficiency. The T-shaped 16.5 kWh lithium-ion battery pack that forms the ELR’s “spine” is similar to that used in the Chevy Volt, and powers an electric motor with 295 pound-feet of torque available instantly. It’s good for about 35 miles of range, and a small gasoline engine kicks on to charge the battery when it gets low. Total range is about 300 miles.
Cadillac doesn’t plan to build very many ELRs, so you’ll want to order yours fast if you just have to have one when it goes on sale in early 2014.