2014 Cadillac ELR
2014 Cadillac ELR. Click image to enlarge
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Cadillac Canada

Preview by Mike Schlee, Photos by Mike Schlee and courtesy of General Motors

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2014 Cadillac ELR

Despite the naysayers who deemed the Volt would never reach production, and who have been predicting its eminent demise ever since, it is still here. It is no secret that the Volt’s initial development costs were high, and the vehicle itself is expensive to produce. To help recoup some of the money invested in the Voltec platform, GM has always said there would be more range-extended electric vehicles in the future; and here they come.

First up will be the 2014 Cadillac ELR. The ELR is a 2+2 coupe that Cadillac claims is “guided by the core values incorporated into all Cadillac designs.” Or, in other words, their Art and Science design philosophy. Like the recently introduced Cadillac ATS, the ELR is tasked with taking the Cadillac brand even further globally. GM wants Cadillac to compete with the best of the best in the luxury market in not just North America but also places like Europe and Asia.

So, as part of this strategy, Cadillac has created what they call the first extended-range vehicle from a full line luxury automobile manufacturer. Like its platform-mate, the Chevrolet Volt, the ELR is a front-wheel-drive vehicle featuring two distinct power sources. One is an electric motor that is the primary power source for the ELR, while the other is a gasoline engine that works as a generator to recharge the battery pack that powers the electric motor.

2014 Cadillac ELR2014 Cadillac ELR
2014 Cadillac ELR. Click image to enlarge

The range-extending gasoline engine is the same 84-hp 1.4L four-cylinder Ecotec engine found in the Volt. The electric motor on the other hand is far more powerful than the one found in the Cadillac’s Chevrolet brethren. The drive motor is a 117-135 kW electric engine producing 207 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. This makes it 53 hp and 23 lb-ft more powerful than Volt’s 111 kW motor. Sending power to the electric motor is a 198-kg lithium-ion battery pack that Cadillac claims will allow for an estimated mixed driving range of 56 km on battery power only. Like the Volt, once the battery is depleted the gasoline generator will kick in to allow for a total range of 480 km. Expect it to take roughly 12 hours for the battery to recharge on a regular 120V outlet or 4.5 hours to recharge on a 240V stage two charger.

Even at 1,846 kg, Cadillac wants the ELR to offer a sporting drive and not be another boring to drive ‘green car’. To accomplish this, the ELR offers four driving modes; Sport, Tour, Mountain and Hold. Sport mode delivers quicker applications of torque to the front wheels as well as revised steering and suspension settings; the latter thanks to the HiPer front suspension setup. Tour mode is the default ‘normal’ setting while Mountain mode will not allow the battery to get completely depleted, allowing there to be a little extra boost in reserve if needed when climbing steep grades.

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