Cadillac is working on a brand new model, and it should be available starting in 2014. Called a "future car" by the automobile company, it lives up to this description in more ways than just its arrival date. It’s the first Cadillac to feature a hybrid engine, and is not only distinguished by its environmental friendliness, but also its drivability and styling. If you’re looking for a car that will give you the luxury look and feel you seek, with the stability and handling of a sports coupe, while holding close to your green ideals, the ELR seeks to deliver all of that under a brand name that is respected and trusted.
Although the ELR won’t make its market debut until 2014, the engineers and manufacturers have been working for some time to bring a hybrid Cadillac to the marketplace. It will be all Cadillac, but the ELR shares many important traits with the Chevrolet Volt, which was introduced in 2010. Both vehicles will be made in the same facilities with the same powertrain. However, the Volt and the ELR part ways after that, and the ELR offers up many features that are all its own.
The prototype for the ELR coupe debuted at the North American International Auto Show this January, so car enthusiasts got a chance to see what Cadillac has planned. This new model is a wider vehicle than the Chevy Volt, plus it adds 10 inches in length. It does, however, have only two doors instead of four. Featuring a sportier profile than most Cadillacs, the swiftly slanted side windows, aggressively sculpted front, and newly designed LED lights give it an artful look, day or night. The door handles are hidden to help enhance the sleekness and aerodynamics of the ELR.
In fact, the team in charge of the ELR has taken great pains to ensure the components of the vehicle are more than just for show. Extensive testing for handling, braking, comfort, and safety took place in extreme locations and weather conditions, such as Michigan during a snowstorm, and Ontario at 40 degrees below zero, to ensure that the ELR was responsive, comfortable and performed well under all conditions. The test results allowed the engineers to get feedback and further tweak the design and engine to produce a worthy hybrid vehicle that was both efficient and reliable.
The ELR's powertrain, much like the Volt's, features a 16 KW lithium ion battery together with an electric motor and a 1.4 cylinder engine that acts as a generator. The difference between the Volt and ELR is that it weighs 300 pounds more than the Volt and is longer, so it is estimated to achieve 35 miles on electric compared to the Volt’s 38. The ELR will sit on 20-inch wheels and has an innovative regenerative brake system. Shift paddles mounted on the steering wheel will assist as the car decelerates, and help pass the momentum generated along to the battery to be stored. At this point in time, Cadillac estimates the ELR will get over 300 miles on the 9.3 gallon tank with a full battery charge, and they are even considering adding a 3-cylinder engine to assist in fuel mileage.
The lithium ion battery that is part of the ELR’s powertrain plugs into a 240-volt outlet and is estimated to reach a full charge in four and a half hours. The coupe will seat four people, although because of its favorable emissions rating, the ELR will be able to travel in CA carpool lanes with only one passenger. No matter which style of driving you or your location favor, the ELR has you covered with four distinct driving modes: tour, sport, mountain, and hold. Tour is the normal setting, sport adds a sharper response, mountain allows more power on hills and hold will give the driver the ability to switch to gas power on the highway and electric in the city.
The interior of the ELR will be as luxurious as a Cadillac should, with the latest technology, plus advanced comfort and safety features. A touchscreen powers the entertainment system that is anchored by a Bose system, plus the controls for most actions are done through touchscreen or smartphone-style navigation. The interior will feature suede, wood, chrome and leather. The driver’s seat is set up to alert when an obstacle is near the vehicle.
The Cadillac ELR is expected to become available in early 2014 for around $50,000 or higher depending on base model and package options. If you’ve been waiting for a hybrid that is classy, responsive and advanced, the Cadillac ELR is ready to wow you on all fronts.