The 2014 Cadillac ELR hybrid made its debut in Detroit today. Its design is all Cadillac, with the brand's signature taut lines and sharp creases, but its extended-range electric drivetrain comes from Chevy's Volt.
There are some notable mechanical differences with the ELR, however. The Caddy's electric motor is more powerful, producing 295 foot-pounds of torque, versus the Volt's 273. The additional torque is necessary because the ELR weighs in at 4,070 pounds (1,846 kilograms) which is 321 pounds heavier than the Volt.
The Caddy is heavier than the Volt due to its additional features and content, key among them is the inclusion of Cadillac's excellent CUE infotainment system as standard equipment.
Keeping in line with the Converj concept, the production ELR rides on twenty inch wheels, which are undoubtedly attractive, but those large diameter wheels weigh more than the Volt's more humble wheels and certainly has a negative impact on driving range. As well, the 245-millimetre wide tires are great for roadholding, but hurt the ELR's aerodynamic performance.
According to Cadillac, the ELR's electric range is approximately 56 kilometres with a total of about 480 kilometres electric and extended range combined.
The ELR eschews the Volt's Sport driving mode and leaves just Tour, Mountain and Hold to suit varied driving conditions. The suspension's sophisticated shocks can adjust damping in as little as two milliseconds.
This is Cadillac's first two door since the CTS Coupe went into production in 2010. In -V trim, Caddy showed us it knows how to make a striking, entertaining coupe. Let's hope it doesn't get lost in the transition to hybrid drivetrain.