General Motors has unveiled the production version of the Cadillac ELR, which is based on the platform of the Chevrolet Cruze and Chevrolet Volt, but comes in a more luxurious, sexier and presumably much more expensive package.
The ELR is a 2-door coupe that continues the current design language with elements of the recently released ATS sport sedan as well as the XTS limousine. The vehicle updates the extended range technology that first debuted in the Volt, but employs a 207 hp electric motor instead of a 150 hp version in the Volt. A 16.5 kWh lithium-ion battery pack is good for a an estimated 35 mile driving range, after which a gasoline-powered combustion engine will kick in an charge the battery pack for "extended" driving range that is estimated at a total of about 300 miles, according to GM. The manufacturer claims that the ELR can be completely recharged in about 4.5 hours using a 240 V outlet.
Compared to the Volt, which broke with many of the traditions that we typically expect from an "affordable" Chevrolet, the ELR appears to fit seamlessly into the Cadillac product line with a design that emphasizes luxury over its electric power plant. While the Volt is a standout and always communicates to its driver that it is an electric vehicle, the ELR has a more conventional dashboard design. Of course, Cadillac pushes once more its touchscreen-based CUE entertainment system, which may make more sense in the ELR than in any other Cadillac vehicle to date.
GM said that the ELR will go into production in late 2013 and on sale in early 2014. There was no information on pricing, but given the fact that the Volt starts at about $40,000 and can reach about $45,000 with options, it is unlikely than GM would price the ELR in the same price range. We are told to expect a base price of just below $50,000 with fully equipped models reaching toward the $60,000 mark.