Thursday, October 17, 2013

2014 Cadillac ELR

A luxury coupe based on the Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid, the ELR will go on sale in January 2014 for $75,995. The electric range will be about 35 miles before the gas engine takes over .
The Cadillac ELR extended range electric luxury coupe will go on sale in January for $75,995, including destination charges.
Derived from the 2009 Converj concept car, the ELR will have a driving range of more 300 miles between the dual fuel powertrain of an electric motor and a gas generator. The electric-only range is 35 miles, General Motors says, but once the battery loses power the 1.4-liter gas generator takes over to power the electric motor.
If this sounds like the Chevy Volt, the other plug-in hybrid (PHEV) or extended range electric (EREV) produced by GM, it’s because the ELR is being produced in the same Detroit factory and on the same platform as the Chevy Volt.
Extended range electric vehicle (EREV)
2013 Chevy Volt
2014 Cadillac ELR
Gas generator
1.4-liter 4-cylinder Voltec
1.4-liter 4-cylinder Voltec
Electric motor output/battery size
111 kWh/16.5 kWh Li-ion
135 kWh/16.5 kWh Li-ion
Combined range/electric only
379/38 miles
300/35 miles
273 lb-ft
295 lb-ft
3,786 pounds
4,070 pounds
Top all-electric speed
100 mph
100+ mph
MPGe city/highway/combined
Charge time
4 hours at 240 volts
4.5 hours at 240 volts
Before we get into Cimarron-Cavalier mudslinging, let's note that the ELR looks like a Cadillac. The much-abused 1980s Cadillac Cimarron debased the Cadillac name by looking like a Chevy Cavalier. The ELR looks nothing like the Volt.
We haven't driven it, though we checked out the ELR at the 2013 Chicago Auto Show. It has 20-inch wheels, vertical headlights and taillights that look like boomerangs tapered into the front and rear corners, and aerodynamic considerations all over -- door handles tucked into recesses at the end of the doors, active shutters behind the grille, spoiler in back. The ELR is much more like the CTS-V in design. But the CTS-V, with its 6.2-liter supercharged V-8, looks more like a new age muscle car, the ELR is sportiness refined. 
The ELR impressed automotive journalists enough to earn the Best Production Vehicle title in the Eyes on Design awards for most exciting debuts at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show.
The interior features accented leather, microfiber elements, chrome finishes and distinctive Cadillac elegance.
Despite all its Cadillac ness, we can’t get over is the price tag. Even if you deduct the $7,500 tax credit and the $4,000 rebate in the state of Illinois (10 percent of purchase price up to $4,000 guarantees you’ll get the entire $4K), the base price ELR would start at $64,495, same as the CTS-V coupe.
Coupes are a hard sell at any price, and don’t let the 2+2 interior configuration of the ELR trick you into thinking this can fit four adults comfortably. That is not the forte of coupes.
But what is the ELR competing against?
The Audi A5 coupe starts at $40,000 and gets 26 mpg. A BMW 4 coupe can start at $40,000 and a BMW 6 coupe starts the same as the ELR. There are no electrified coupes at that price; the ELR seems to be a direct challenge to Tesla’s growing market share for luxury performance sedans. The Tesla Model S60 starts at about $72,000.
The Model S as a sedan is much more versatile. Still, we’re pleased the ELR is in production despite the price.
Not only did the ELR concept survive GM's bankruptcy but represents its commitment to the electrification of vehicles. By 2017, GM aims to build 500,000 cars annually with some form of electrification, Reuters reports.
GM announced in September it was developing a $30,000 electric car with a 200-mile range, putting it on par with Tesla’s base Model S60, which at 208 miles nearly triples the battery range of the most popular electric, the Nissan Leaf (EPA-estimated 75 miles).
This is all good news from the General. Can the Cadillac badge sell the ELR? Or can we expect a series of price drops? The Volt started just under $40,000 in 2010 and is now under $35,000. An additional $7,000 to $10,000 price drop is expected for the next Volt.