Would they or wouldn’t they? That was the question regarding whether or not General Motors would give the green light to producing a car based on the seductive Cadillac Converj concept. As you can probably guess, that answer is a resounding “Yes.”
Enter the 2014 Cadillac ELR. The production-ready model you see here doesn’t actually look that much different than the Converj show car, which debuted at the 2009 Detroit Auto Show. Even what’s under the sloping hood isn’t changed much.
Its underpinnings are basically those of a Chevrolet Volt. It has the same 1.4-liter 4-cylinder internal-combustion engine that serves as a generator for the 16.5 kWh lithium-ion battery pack. Power gets to the ground via the Volt’s single-speed transmission. GM projects the ELR will offer 35 miles of all-electric driving range and more than 300 miles of total range when you factor in the gas engine. Owners can charge the battery from a standard household outlet or a 240-volt charging station. Using the latter, Cadillac claims a charging time of about 4.5 hours for a fully depleted battery. The included OnStar RemoteLink app for smartphones allows owners near-complete control over the charging process.
Inside, the ELR includes Cadillac’s CUE infotainment system with navigation and an energy usage meter. The instrument panel can be customized to show a variety of information, much like that of the premium-compact Cadillac ATS. A folding rear seat back is standard, which is unusual for a non-hatchback gas/electric car. Cadillac claims ELR can hold “multiple sets of golf clubs.”
Production for the 2014 Cadillac ELR is scheduled to begin in late-calendar 2013. Pricing will be available at that time.
CG Says: General Motors might have done the impossible, and that is to create a car that looks better than the Cadillac CTS Coupe. The ELR is absolutely stunning inside and out. If you remember the “Fernando” character portrayed by Billy Crystal on Saturday Night Live, one of his famous catch phrases was “It is better to look good than to feel good.” We think Fernando should spend some time behind the wheel of an ELR.