Cadillac Teases ELR Extended-Range Luxury Coupe

By · December 19, 2012

Cadillac ELR

The Cadillac ELR coupe takes the American luxury brand into the electric vehicle market for the first time ever. Sales begin in early 2014.

General Motors has released a teaser image of the ELR extended-range coupe, the Cadillac luxury brand’s first entry into the electric vehicle market. The ELR Coupe, shown for the first time in a single mysterious-looking profile shot, is built around the same platform and powertrain underpinning the current Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid. While the ELR’s exact technical features and pricing details remain secret, we know the ELR will include the Volt’s lithium-ion battery pack and electric motor that, in the 5-door and 4-passenger Chevy, deliver an electric driving range of 37 miles. Once battery power is depleted, a 1.4-liter gasoline-fed engine fires up to power an onboard generator that provides the Volt with an additional 300 miles of driving range.

The ELR Coupe officially debuts in a few weeks time, during the annual 2013 Detroit Auto Show, and sales are expected to begin sometime in early 2014. Production will take place at the same Detroit-Hamtramck factory where the Volt is assembled. The original idea for a plug-in hybrid Cadillac was first seen in concept form—and initially badged as the Cadillac Converj—during the Detroit Show back in 2009. At the time, the Converj was widely praised for its edgy exterior design, coupled to its eco-conscious pairing of an electric motor and gasoline engine. Now it remains to be seen whether Cadillac focuses on offering a performance advantage over the Chevy Volt, or if greater emphasis has been placed on boosting electric-only driving range.

From a design standpoint, at least, it appears Cadillac is staying very close to what was previewed with Converj concept car. From the side, the ELR has the same forward-thrusting greenhouse, along with an aggressive side character line extending from the doors to the rear taillights. With the Chevrolet Volt priced at approximately $39,000 (before factoring in state and Federal incentives), it seems likely the ELR will sticker in the region of $55,000 to $60,000. That should provide enough marketing wiggle room between the ELR and the ‘lesser’ Volt, while still undercutting the prices of electric rivals like the Tesla Model S and Fisker Karma.


· · 5 years ago

I had a hunch the production car would look very similar to the concept. The production Volt looked nothing like the concept car but mainly to due to aerodynamics. The Converj concept appears to be a low aero drag shape so less changes are necessary.

Having said that, I'm a lot more curious about the technical details of the ELR drivetrain than design. What all electric range (AER) will it have? How many seconds from zero to sixty? Will it use a direct injection Miller cycle turbo? Or at least a direct injection Atkinson cycle? Will it have a 6,600 Watt charger like the FFE? The good news is all our questions will be answered in a few weeks. I can't wait!

· · 5 years ago

Bravo GM!
If you execute well and come out with a good performing (smooth and strong), good looking PHEV, you might be able to save the Cadillac brand by making something appealing to younger people who have been brought up lusting for a BMW or 'Benz.
Please do for the sake of your good employees.

· · 5 years ago

Longer EV range? Interesting.
Perhaps a full size backseat? Almost required.

· · 5 years ago

Perhaps a full size backseat?
While I subscribe to your desire for a small micro-range extender, from this last statement, you apparently are missing at least one of the 2 major limitations of PHEVs -vs- pure BEVs:
1) Trying to put an ICE drivetrain and a large battery into a vehicle forces one to reduce the cargo and passenger space. The Volt solves this by sacrificing the middle rear seat to batteries while the PiP and CMax Energi sacrifice trunk space. The ICE drivetrain is a miserable, complex thing to try to shove into a vehicle. I agree that making it smaller may help a bit but you still have all of the exhaust and fuel systems along with the engine itself and there are severe limitations as to where these extremely dangerous systems must be placed as well.
2) There is the battery cycle life limitation on all batteries. The more times a battery is cycled, the faster it wears out. example: If a battery can tolerate 1000 cycles: If you only drive 30 miles on charge, it will wear out in 30,000 miles. If it can drive 100 miles on a charge, it will last 100,000 miles. Some chemistries are definitely better than others, however, the fundamental limitation exists with all of them. The Volt solves this by putting in a huge battery. I'm not sure how the PiP and CMax Energi are solving this.

· · 5 years ago

That is all the wonder of the AVL Wankel engine range extender, it only produces electricity and it comes in a small size packed at the back of the car where the exhaust pipe distance is small. In that way there is no high extra cost to have a range extension.
Placing the engine at the back also makes room for an extra battery place in the front where the small size of the motor(s) is not really taking up all the place available there. So there is place for the batteries on the floor and in the front, which allow both a full back seat and a long EV range while still having a compact range extender in the back.

· · 5 years ago

I'm not saying it can't be done and suspect, like you, that putting the motor in the back is probably a good place to start. The smaller motor may mean less cooling needed which is traditionally the shortcoming of rear-engine cars.
It is, however, a tough problem.

· Spec (not verified) · 5 years ago

I was hoping that it would be a bit more differentiated from the Volt. But the ELR is also going to be a 4-seater and thus will have the same T-shaped battery pack, so that is kinda disappointing and may limit sales. They need some different battery-pack shapes for their Voltec system. I realize that it is good re-use but the 4-seater arrangement seems to limit their market a bit.

· Modern Marvel Fan (not verified) · 5 years ago

Ex-EV1 driver wrote:
"The Volt solves this by sacrificing the middle rear seat to batteries while the PiP and CMax Energi sacrifice trunk space."

Actually PIP doesn't sacrifice trunk space. Its interior truck space is EXACTLY the same as a regular Prius. What it does sacrifice is weight which result in lower performance (even worse than the existing Prius), lower safety rating (4-star vs 5 star) and a fairly "limited" EV mode (useless when the heat is on or you desire some "normal" performance).


The 4-seater configuration actually makes more sense on the ELR since it is a coupe. It actually makes less sense on a 4 door sedan such as Volt. But most of the time, people don't drive with 5 people. (Most of the time people don't even have enough to qualfy for HOV lanes). If you truly need to carry 5 people, minivan is probably a better choice.

Cars used to carry 6 people (3 in the front and 3 in the back) but missing 1 person capacity hasn't really change the demand much since more passenger carrying requirements have been shifted to larger SUVs and Minivans...

· · 5 years ago

Humm , we will have to wait for mid January to find out more details, but I believe it was Bob Lutz's hope that not too many changes to the perfected Voltec drive train (much smoother operating than Ford's trys, for instance) would not be modified much on subsequent vehicles. Then here and on InsideEVs we hear that they are planning major modification for the 2014 volt, so If Lutz was still around he would rightly ask "How are we going to get volume up to get the needed design amortization?".

· PAT (not verified) · 5 years ago

Folks always complain about 5 seats...geez look at the stats 95% of people drive solo.. so if one need 5 seater then go buy van.

New to EVs? Start here

  1. Seven Things To Know About Buying a Plug-In Car
    A few simple tips before you visit the dealership.
  2. Incentives for Plug-in Hybrids and Electric Cars
    Take advantage of credits and rebates to reduce EV costs.
  3. Buying Your First Home EV Charger
    You'll want a home charger. Here's how to buy the right one.