Nearly five years since its introduction as a concept car at the 2009 North American International Auto Show, the 2014 Cadillac ELR is finally slated to hit the streets at a starting price of $75,995.
The ELR will use the same lithium-ion battery and 1.4-liter engine as its cousin, the Chevy Volt, in bringing a plug-in powertrain to the luxury end of the auto market. It offers about 35 miles of all-electric driving and approximately 300 miles of total range when burning gasoline. Cadillac is emphasizing, however, that the higher-priced ELR is not an upscale Volt. “It has the battery and the engine in common, but that’s it,” Cadillac spokesman David Caldwell told Design News. “There’s not a single shared exterior panel and not a single shared interior (element).”
Click on the image below for an up-close and inside look at the Cadillac ELR
Cadillac’s ELR will hit the streets in January, starting at $75,995. A federal tax credit of $7,500 could bring the price as low as $68,495. (Source: Cadillac)
Scheduled to hit the road in January, the ELR is based on the highly publicized Cadillac Converj concept car, introduced at the Detroit Auto Show in 2009. Its aerodynamics, forward-leaning profile and sweeping body line are virtually identical to those of the Converj.
In breathing life into the vehicle, GM engineers maintained the Converj’s original performance-oriented concept. Torque tops out at 295 lb-ft and horsepower at 207 hp. Both of those numbers are higher than those of the Volt, despite their use of the same powertrain.
Like the Volt, the ELR employs a series hybrid drive configuration. In all-electric electric mode, its wheels are powered by a 135-kW electric drive motor, using energy from the lithium-ion battery. When the battery is depleted, the ELR employs the 1.4-liter inline four-cylinder engine to spin a generator-motor that recharges the battery. Owners can also recharge the car by plugging it in when it’s parked.
“Cadillac is definitely going after the technologist,” Thilo Koslowski, vice president and distinguished analyst for Gartner Inc., told Design News. “But they’re also aiming at the technologist who has a green conscience.”
The pricetag -- approximately twice that of the Volt’s -- could be a problem for Cadillac, Koslowski added. “To introduce it at more than $70,000 is difficult,” he told us. “The problem is that it looks too much like the kind of rebadging that Detroit became known for.”
To some degree, Cadillac sees the ELR coupe as a competitor of Tesla’s Model S sedan. One of the big differences, however, is its use of an internal combustion engine. “You don’t have to worry about, ‘Oh, I forgot to plug it in,’ ” Caldwell said. “You always have the convenience of the extended range.”
I realize this thread is dead but I thought I'd throw you a note.
Volt sales for October-2,022 down 32% from 2012. The industry was up 10% overall.
Little early to call a trend but I wonder if the August sales were a bubble with the lower price and reality is that demand is flagging.
I suspect that if the "pause" in global warming continues (17 years and counting) we will see EV's and wind/solar enthusiasm retreat a great deal. Double that if the planet enters a cooling cycle (solar & oceanic cycles indicate that this is a possibility).
We will see.
Take care my friend. Have a great, and thankful, Thanksgiving.
It's hard to say how the Volt is doing these days, Dennis. It set a record of 3,351 in August, then dropped sharply to 1,766 in September. Year-to-date sales are 17,760. Sounds to me like Chevy's looking at about 25,000 this year.
I don't know about the ELR project, Bunter, but a lot of automotive engineers are now talking about the optimistic times of 2008 and 2009, when electric car projects were viewed in a very different light. I suspect many of those projects would be curtailed or even dropped if automakers could do it over again.
One of my first thoughts is "would this project get the go ahead today?"
Keep in mind, like any new car, the go-ahead was several years ago.
IIRC, last month saw lower year-over-year sales for the Volt inspite of the $5k lower price. I have posted before that I suspect that the EV market is already saturating the demand for the current offerings price/range/capability combinations.
With Volt interest possibly flagging, I think the ELR will probably fail hard.
Yes, the Chevy Volt will have better fuel efficiency numbers, but Cadillac has acknowledged that it traded fuel efficiency for power in the ELR. I believe the Volt only has 149 HP. And the ELR offers 295 lb-ft of torque, compared to 273 for the Volt. Cadillac's belief is that their buyers aren't as interested in fuel efficiency, and I think that's a pretty fair bet.
Valid points, GTOlover. They've carried over the powertrain, which saves them some money. But as for the rest of it...we're seeing here what often happens in the luxury end of the market. In the rest of the vehicle (not the powertrain) Cadillac is bearing costs that aren't shared with the other divisions of GM. This is why many consumers like to wait for technology to trickle down -- trickledown means less cost.
Tesla Motors’ $35,000, 200-mile electric car may not revolutionize the auto industry by itself, but it could serve as a starting point for a long, steady climb to a day when half of the world’s vehicles will be plug-ins.
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