GM, perhaps feeling confident in Volt sales figures that saw a significant jump from 2011 to 2012, publicly unveiled a luxury sibling under the Cadillac moniker. Known as the Cadillac ELR, it is a similar extended range plug in hybrid design to the Volt that is targeting a set of Americans with more money to pony up for green technology under the hood.
The Cadillac ELR, showcased at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show, has been floating around for a bit in GM’s design channels. First unveiled several years ago as the production version of Cadillac’s Converj concept, the ELR enters a higher end green car market facing off against the likes of Tesla Motors and BMW, to name just a few.
The ELR, due to its range-extending generator powered by gas that is just like the Volt’s, will reportedly offer a full driving range exceeding 300 miles (480 km). It will be driven primarily by the electric drive and range-extender 1.4L generator capable of 154 kW (207 hp) of total system power. A 16.5 kWh lithium-ion battery pack located in the ELR supplies power to the electric motor, capable of 295 lb.-ft. of instant torque (400 Nm) and, when running under electric mode only, delivering a GM-estimated range of about 35 miles (56 km).
It is said by GM the ELR’s battery can be charged with a 120V electrical outlet or a dedicated 240V charging station. When using the latter option, it is estimated it can be fully recharged in around 4.5 hours. There’s been no mention yet of EPA-certified driving data, but the new Volt currently gets something around 98 MPGe, so expect it to have good numbers when they are unveiled.
Other technological aspects tied to the powertrain system include one of four driver-selectable driving mode choices; a dual-pinion, rack-mounted electric power steering system with ZF steering gear and an electro-hydraulic regenerative brake system that captures energy and sends it to the battery pack.
In keeping to its luxury brand roots, the ELR is outfitted accordingly. Its 2+2 layout, according to GM, is “a blend of carefully selected materials, including available carbon fiber and ultra-premium Opus semi-aniline leather seating.” Other features added into this higher end offering include eight-inch configurable instrument and driver information displays, offering four configurations ranging from “elegantly simple to technologically detailed information”; a power-assist covered storage/cup holder in the center console; fold-down rear seats to accommodate longer items such as skis and golf clubs and “choreographed” LED-powered accent lighting.
GM, which has yet to price the Cadillac ELR, said vehicle “production begins in the United States in late 2013 with sales starting in early 2014 in North America and expanding to global markets including China and Europe.” It will be built at the auto manufacturer’s Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Plant, noted as being the world’s only automotive manufacturing facility that mass-produces extended-range electric vehicles for global markets in 21 countries.