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PREVIEW: Cadillac ELR coupe

Cadillac plugs Volt technology into new ELR coupe

Published: January 19, 2013, 12:00 AM
Updated: April 29, 2018, 12:23 PM

2014 Cadillac ELR

DETROIT, MI – Cadillac is getting a jolt of "Volt-age" as General Motors expands the application of its extended range electric vehicle (EREV) technology to a new two-plus-two luxury coupe, the Cadillac ELR.

This upscale 2014 model utilizes the powertrain technology introduced in the Chevrolet Volt – a T-shaped, 16.5-kwh lithium ion battery pack that forms the spine of the chassis, combined with a 1.4-litre gas-fuelled engine that acts as generator.

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The 1.6-metre, 198-kilogram battery pack, positioned between the front and rear wheels for better weight distribution, powers an electric motor that delivers 295 lb-ft of torque to the front wheels.

The total output of the system is rated at 207 horsepower.

Running on electricity alone, the ELR is reported to have a range of about 56 kilometres. Once the battery power is exhausted, the gasoline engine kicks in to extend the driving range to about 480 kilometres.

The EREV system has been specifically retuned for this newest member of the Cadillac family and features four selectable drive modes, including hold, which allows the driver to use the generator, thereby saving battery power for when it’s most efficient, such as in city driving.

The ELR’s system also has an exclusive feature: Regen on Demand. It enables the driver, using paddle shifters mounted on the steering wheel, to temporarily regenerate energy from the car’s momentum into electricity that can be stored in the battery pack.

The ELR’s battery can be charged using either a common 120-volt electrical outlet or a dedicated 240-volt charging station. Using the latter, the battery can be completely recharged in about 4.5 hours.

The recharging can be scheduled to either begin immediately after the car is plugged in or it can be delayed to a time when electricity rates are lower.

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This high-tech drivetrain is wrapped up in a beautiful coupe body that has been heavily influenced by the Converj concept car shown here in 2009.

Cadillac’s signature look is retained front and rear with the use of LED headlamps, daytime running lights and tail lights stacked vertically, plus the strong lines and sharp edges that have become a integral part of the brand’s design.

The interior is what you’d expect in a premium product, with generous use of leather, chrome and wood. Carbon fibre trim is an option, as is Opus semi-aniline leather seating.

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The headliner is covered in sueded microfibe, which is also combined with leather to wrap the steering wheel. LED lighting accents the instrument panel and doors and Cadillac’s CUE connectivity system with navigation is standard, utilizing an eight-inch, full-colour touch screen.

The ELR will be built at GM’s Hamtramck plant in Detroit, which also produces the Volt sedan. GM says production numbers for the ELR will be limited, but has not indicated specific numbers.

GM Canada is working hard to have an ELR available for the Canadian International Auto Show next month in Toronto, though nothing has been confirmed to date.