Voltec technology comes to Cadillac.
The Cadillac ELR, a four-passenger electrified coupe, will make its formal debut at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit this January. This vehicle, based on a modified version of the platform that powers the Chevrolet Volt, will be built at Detroit-Hamtramck with production expected to begin in late 2013. GM made its announcement today and sent out a shadowy teaser photo for public consumption.
The ELR is an extended-range electric vehicle with a backup gasoline engine. Its body, however, may be its most notable feature as it is based on the concept Converj, a model first showcased at the 2009 NAIAS. The vehicle was green-lighted, canceled and resurrected as GM worked through bankruptcy and its reorganization, with GM giving this car its go ahead in 2011. In October, the automaker announced that it would invest $35 million in the plant to ready it for ELR production.
Bringing the ELR to the market comes as GM ramps up Cadillac visibility in North America and abroad. In 2012, Cadillac was given two new models the larger XTS sedan and its all-new ATS compact sedan. The Cadillac ATS has been welcomed with critical acclaim, evoking comparisons with the segment leading and benchmark-setting BMW 3 Series.
New Cadillac products in the pipeline besides the ELR are the next generation Escalade, an updated CTS sedan and possibly several new body styles based on the ATS. Cadillac may also bring to the market a smaller SUV to slot below the Escalade.
Bringing the ELR to the market presents a significant risk to GM, but it does allow the company to spread out its EV engineering costs across more model lines. The Chevrolet Volt built alongside the Opel/Vauxhall Ampera for European markets and the Holden Volt for Australia. Sales of the Chevrolet Volt this year are running at a pace that is more than double what GM sold in 2011.
Unlike the Volt and Ampera, the ELR will target a different buyer as its price point will likely begin north of $60,000. That’s about $20,000 more than the Volt for a vehicle that seeks to establish footing in the luxury segment. Then again, in this segment price is rarely a chief factor for car shoppers.
Auto Trends will have more information about the 2014 Cadillac ELR following its Jan. 15 press debut as well as other General Motors news.
Source: General Motors Company