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by Jay Traugott
Cadillac has unveiled its anticipated ELR, a striking luxury coupe that contains the Chevy Volt's guts wrapped in a package that's pure Caddy.
It was back in 2009 when Cadillac unveiled the Converj Concept, a stylish two-door coupe based on the same architecture and plug-in hybrid technology as the Chevy Volt. Fast forward to this year's Detroit Auto Show and the production version has finally arrived. Called the ELR, Cadillac clearly kept the concept's striking design intact. The 2014 ELR coupe is powered by a lithium-ion battery pack that's actually a bit lighter than the Volt's and is powered by the same 1.4-liter gasoline engine for range-extending purposes.
All told, this combo produces 207 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. Cadillac claims the ELR can travel up to 35 miles on electric power alone. Charging the battery takes about 4.5 hours using a 240V charging station. Also new is something called "Regan on Demand," a system activated via steering-wheel paddles that allows the driver to temporarily regenerate energy from the car's driving momentum into electricity and which is then stored in the battery pack for later use. Riding on a set of massive 20-inch wheels, the ELR features the latest evolution of Cadillac's highly successful "Art and Science" styling language.
With its fastback design, signature egg crate grille and sharply angled headlights and taillamps, the ELR has an aggressive stance that's further augmented by LED-only exterior lighting (including the side mirror indicators) and plenty of chrome trim. The interior is equally striking with even more LED lighting and a dramatic dash layout. Along with plenty of cowhide covering the seats and other bits, there's a decent helping of wood trim throughout the dash and on the doors. Occupants will also enjoy the use of Cadillac's CUE system, an in-cabin navigation system with voice recognition technology.
Additional features will include several advanced safety systems such as forward collision and lane departure warning, blind spot alert and full-speed range adaptive cruise control. There's even an industry-first "power-assisted" cup holder cover. Pricing hasn't been revealed just yet, but we're guessing it'll cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $55-60,000. Production will start at the end of this year and we can expect the ELR to appear in showrooms early 2014.