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Cadillac goes electric with new ELR

By Frederick Olson, Automotive Contributor
Published On: Dec 31 2013 02:58:34 PM CST
Updated On: Jan 16 2013 09:58:30 AM CST

Image: Cadillac

DETROIT -

General Motors is expanding its lineup of electric/hybrid vehicles with the new Cadillac ELR that was revealed Tuesday at the 2013 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

The new 2014 coupe is basically an electric car with a small (1.4-liter 4-cylinder) engine to help charge the batteries on long trips.  The setup is a modified version of the hybrid system currently found in the Chevrolet Volt.

However, while the Volt is geared toward economy, the ELR’s emphasis is performance.  The electric motors crank out a healthy 295 pound-feet of torque, which is the get-up-and-go number you feel when you hit the gas pedal.

Outside, the ELR echoes the bold Cadillac styling we have seen for the last few years.  The angular headlights and taillights are all LEDs.  Meanwhile, the lower part of the grille has little shutters that can close at high speeds to improve aerodynamics.

Inside, all four seats are covered in leather, and there are plenty of leather, chrome and wood accents throughout.  Carbon fiber trim pieces are an option.

Charging the car can be handled through a smartphone app, in which you can program exactly when the charging should happen.

“ELR marks a fresh, even surprising new dimension of Cadillac,” said Bob Ferguson, Cadillac global vice president.  “An additional aspect of ELR’s appeal to will be exclusivity. It will be a specialized offering produced in limited numbers.”

The ELR will be built alongside the Volt at GM’s Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Plant.

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