GM’s Cadillac brand debuted its all-new 2014-MY Cadillac ELR at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The ELR is based on GM’s Converj concept and integrates GM’s Extended Range Electric Vehicle (EREV) technology into a Cadillac platform. GM said it plans to begin ELR production in the United States in late 2013 and begin selling it in early 2014 in North America. The automaker plans to expand sales of this vehicle to global markets, including China and Europe.
The ELR comes with a 1.4L gasoline-powered electric generator capable of generating 207 hp of total system power. The ELR features a T-shaped 16.5 kW lithium-ion battery to an electric drive unit that can produce up to 295 lb.-ft. of instant torque. In an all-electric mode, GM estimates the vehicle has a range of about 35 miles, depending on driving conditions. The driver can activate an option called “Hold” to operate the vehicle in electric-only mode. The ELR’s battery can be completely recharged in 4.5 hours using a 240-volt outlet or charge via 120-volt outlet.
GM said the ELR’s battery is covered by an eight-year/100,000-mile warranty. The vehicle also features enhanced AT-PZEV emissions technology that meets California’s criteria for single-occupancy access to high occupancy vehicle lanes.
GM said users schedule charging either immediately or at set times and coordinate charging according to departure times or during off-peak electrical use hours. Owners also can manage and monitor the ELR online or with their smartphone and an OnStar-powerd RemoteLink app.
While operating, GM said it added a driver-activated feature that sounds a noise to alert pedestrians in an intersection. The automaker said it developed the alert in conjunction with the American Federation of the Blind.
Suspension and Handling
The ELR comes with a number of features designed to provide smooth, responsive handling. The ELR features Cadillac’s Continuous Damping Control, which adjusts damping every two milliseconds for a comfortable ride on different road surfaces. The ELR’s 20-inch wheels come with low-rolling-resistance tires designed to balance control and cornering capability with efficiency, GM said.
The vehicle features a body-frame-integral structure with main underbody rails running continuously from front to rear and advanced high-strength steels to add strength and conserve weight. Other features include a dual-pinion, rack-mounted electric power steering system with ZF steering gear designed to provide feedback while improving fuel efficiency; a HiPer Strut front suspension with lightweight forged aluminum components; hydraulic ride bushings in the front and rear suspensions; an electro-hydraulic regenerative brake system for capturing braking energy; and antilock brakes, traction control, and StabiliTrak electronic stability control.
The Cadilac ELR has a forward-leaning profile, according to GM, that introduces a new theme and proportion in Cadillac’s designs. The design of the windshield and back glass help improve the ELR’s aerodynamics and reduce its coefficient of drag to 0.305. Other design elements include vertical headlamp and taillamps and 20-inch wheels.
Inside the cabin, the ELR features a leather-trimmed interior, an eight-inch configurable instrument display (offering four configurations); an auto-glide power-assisted covered storage/cup holder in the center console; fold-down rear seat backs to fit longer items; LED-powered accent lighting; available Opus semi-aniline leather seating; chrome and wood interior accents and a microfiber headliner.
The ELR comes standard with Cadillac CUE with Navigation, accessible via the eight-inch, touchscreen in. It has displays that show driving efficiency, energy usage, charging options and more, plus different infotainment options. The motorized screen can pivot to show a hidden storage compartment with a USB port.