Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Cadillac ELR 'Priced Out Of Its League'

Consumer Reports may be shocked by the ELR's sticker price, but KBB finds it 'delivers a driving experience that's on par with other high-end luxury coupes.'
Based entirely on Cadillac's 2009 Converj Concept, the ELR is a plug-in hybrid sports coupe designed to compete with the likes of Tesla's all-electric Model S, the Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid, and to a lesser extent, the conventionally-powered BMW 6 Series. From the 1.4-liter gasoline engine, to the 16.5 kWh lithium-ion battery pack, to the 154 kW electric motor, the ELR shares the bulk of its powertrain with GM's mainstream plug-in, the Chevrolet Volt, though major suspension and chassis components have been specially tuned for the luxury-oriented Cadillac.
Seeing as the EREV propulsion system employs a gearless continuously variable transmission (CVT), the ELR's steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters serve as the regenerative braking controls. Dubbed Regen On Demand, the system allows the driver to supplement (or in some instances, bypass) the brakes by converting vehicle momentum into stored energy. During a 23-mile drive down the California coast, we called the brakes into action a mere three times. This liberal use of Regen On Demand also enabled us to achieve an impressive 39 miles of pure electric driving range, exceeding GM's estimate by three miles. Recharge times range from 4.5 hours using a 240V charging station to 10.5 hours on a standard 120V outlet. With a charged battery and a full tank of gas, the ELR delivers a maximum driving range of around 300 miles.
Seeing as the EREV propulsion system employs a gearless continuously variable transmission (CVT), the ELR's steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters serve as the regenerative braking controls. Dubbed Regen On Demand, the system allows the driver to supplement (or in some instances, bypass) the brakes by converting vehicle momentum into stored energy. During a 23-mile drive down the California coast, we called the brakes into action a mere three times. This liberal use of Regen On Demand also enabled us to achieve an impressive 39 miles of pure electric driving range, exceeding GM's estimate by three miles. Recharge times range from 4.5 hours using a 240V charging station to 10.5 hours on a standard 120V outlet. With a charged battery and a full tank of gas, the ELR delivers a maximum driving range of around 300 miles.