The Electric Cadillac Is Coming in 2013

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Since green is “the new black,” and since Cadillac never goes out of style, General Motors has announced plans to build an all new extended-range electric Cadillac. The Cadillac ELR will be the first expansion of the Volt powertrain and platform available to U.S. customers. While GM is holding off on the official spec release until the 2013 Detroit Auto Show, here’s an exciting first look at what the 2014 Cadillac ELR has to offer.

2014 Cadillac ELR Specs
Don’t expected the ELR to lumber up next to a Volt or Prius-- this Cadillac has Fisker Karma and the Tesla Motors’ Model S in its cross-sights. The ELR first debuted as the Cadillac Converj concept at the 2009 Detroit Auto Show, but has taken some notes from the Chevy Volt on its way to the production line. The ELR features a T-shaped lithium-ion battery and will primarily run on electricity. In the event that the battery should discharge to 30%, a 4-cylinder gasoline-powered generator works to recharge the cells.

Anxious Cadillac-enthusiasts can rest assured that GM will not relinquish the ELR’s powertrain to a rebranded version of the Volt. Prominent speculation says that the ELR will use a “Generation 1.5” version of Voltec, a planetary gearset that couples power from two sources to the wheels. The ELR upgraded drive train will feature a 2 motor eCVT, known as the 4ET50 drive unit.

To make good on the promise of extended-range, Cadillac will need to increase the size of the internal combustion engine currently used in the Volt. As for performance, the Volt’s current sluggish 0-60 won’t do. Many are anticipating the announcement of a 2.0L turbo engine with up-sized and updated electric motors to match the power increase.

First Looks
Images on the Cadillac website bring relief to enthusiasts fearing that the ELR would be relinquished to the short, squatty lines and imp-ish charm of the Volt. While it's true that the new ELR will be about the same size as the Volt, the design stays true to Cadillac’s image of a martini-loving refinement. The lines through the door panels will arch like high cheekbones, just like all the other Cadillacs we know and love.

So far, GM hasn’t even released a proper look at the ELR in action. Promotional ads feature a stunning but sedentary ELR. It’s a bit like watching a statuesque lion lounge at the zoo when you know it’s meant for the open track. The Converj reached a top speed of 100 mph, so there’s hope.

Production will begin in late 2013. The delay is the result of the $35 million in upgrades GM will be fitting the Detroit-Hamtramck plant with. Bloomberg reported that GM plans to price the ELR "less than the $57,400 Tesla Model S”. Whether Cadillac can establish themselves in the high-end luxury electric-vehicle market will ultimately come down to how the ELR handles in the hands of consumers on the open road.