Cadillac Officially Debuts the ELR, GM Says It Will Be A “Limited” Offering (Video)

JAN 15 2013 BY JAY COLE 30

2014 Cadillac ELR From Rear

Today at the NAIAS in Detroit, Cadillac has revealed the highly anticipated ELR couple, and what it calls the “first application of Extended Range Electric Vehicle technology by a full-line luxury automotive brand”.

Cadillac Rolls Out The 2014 ELR At The NAIAS (photo via

“ELR is an unprecedented combination of luxury, advanced engineering and progressive design in a coupe that is both sporty and environmentally friendly,” said Bob Ferguson, Cadillac global vice president. “This is a pivotal moment in Cadillac’s history, as we continue our product-driven expansion.

Cadillac says that the ELR will get a combined (more than) 300 miles of range between plug-in electricity and its internal combustion engine.  Interestingly the 2013 Chevrolet Volt (which shares the Caddy’s platform and powertrain) achieves an officially rated range of 380 miles by the EPA (38 miles electric, 342 ICE).

The ELR is rated at 207 horsepower (154 kW) and 295 lb-ft of torque, while weighing in at 4,070lbs.   The vehicle uses the same 1.4-liter gasoline engine as the Volt as a range-extender, as well as the same 16.5 kWh lithium battery.  Total electric-only range for the car is estimated at 35 miles.


Update:  All the specifications attached below article

As well, no pricing has yet been offered.  However, it appears the car will be priced at the extreme high end of expectations, as GM is specifically noting the car as a limited run.

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

The Cadillac ELR Uses The Same Electric Vehicle Tech As The Chevrolet Volt


2014 Cadillac ELR Interior 2

Additional vehicle highlights include:

  • Enhanced AT-PZEV emissions meet California’s criteria for single-occupancy access to high occupancy vehicle lanes

  • Light-emitting diode (LED) headlamps, daytime running lamps and taillamps, as well as signature front and rear lighting elements
  • Twenty-inch wheels paired with tires designed to balance responsive handling and a comfortable ride with efficiency
  • Interior design featuring cut-and-sew accented leather  incorporating sueded microfiber, chrome, wood and available carbon fiber finishes throughout
  • Cadillac CUE with Navigation is standard. CUE is Cadillac’s breakthrough system for connectivity and control, using Natural Voice Recognition, capacitive touch and hand gestures used on smart phones and tablets
  • Programmable charging schedules and downloadable energy efficiency reports available online and through smartphone notification charging alerts

  • Cadillac’s advanced active safety features, including Safety Alert Seat, Forward Collision Alert and Lane Departure Warning, along with available Side Blind Zone Alert with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert and full-speed-range adaptive cruise control
  • Advanced chassis and suspension systems, including HiPer Strut front suspension, compound-crank with Watts link rear suspension and Continuous Damping Control, which adjusts damping every two milliseconds for optimal ride and handling in all conditions
  • Standard premium Bose 10-channel audio system with active noise cancellation.

2014 Cadillac ELR

Some features highlighted by Cadillac:

  • Eight-inch configurable instrument and driver information displays, offering four configurations ranging from elegantly simple to technologically enhanced information
  • Auto-glide/power-assisted covered storage/cup holder in the center console
  • Fold-down rear seat backs accommodate longer items, including multiple sets of golf clubs
  • LED-powered accent lighting in the instrument panel and doors
  • Available Opus semi-aniline leather seating.

Driving Experience:

  • Wide front and rear tracks – 62.1 inches (1,578 mm) in front  and 62.4 inches (1,585 mm) in the rear – along with a long wheelbase (106.1 inches / 2,695 mm) and a low center of gravity
  • 20″ wheelts
  • HiPer Strut front suspension featuring lightweight forged aluminum components for reduced weight and more nimble, responsive action
  • Dual-pinion, rack-mounted electric power steering system with premium ZF steering gear designed to provide excellent feedback while helping to save fuel
  • A semi-independent rear compound-crank suspension with Watts link that incorporates weight-optimized trailing arms to absorb lateral forces, allowing the suspension to be tuned to handle vertical, forward and rearward motions
  • Hydraulic ride bushings in the front and rear suspensions
  • An electro-hydraulic regenerative brake system that captures energy and sends it to the battery pack
  • Standard chassis control systems include antilock brakes, traction control and StabiliTrak electronic stability control.

General Motors will being production of the Cadillac ELR at their Hamtramck facility (where the Volt is currently assembled) in late 2013, with deliveries beginning in early 2014.

More photos can be found here, or read GM’s official press release here.


Model:2014 Cadillac ELR
Body style / driveline:front-wheel-drive, two-door coupe extended-range electric vehicle
Construction:single body-frame-integral (unibody) with front and rear crumple zones; galvanized steel front fenders; roof, door panels; aluminum hood; one-piece bodyside outer panel; thermal plastic olefin (TPO) bumper fascias
EPA vehicle class:compact car
Manufacturing location:Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly, Hamtramck, Mich.
Battery manufacturing location:Brownstown Township , Mich.


Battery system

Type:rechargeable energy storage system comprising multiple linked modules
Size/case:5.5-foot-long T-shaped; glass-filled polyester structural composite with aluminum thermal radiation shield and steel tray
Mass (lb / kg):435 / 198
Battery chemistry:lithium-ion
Thermal system:liquid active thermal control
Cells:288 prismatic
Combined electric/extended driving range (miles / km):More than300 / 480
Warranty:eight years / 100,000 miles


Onboard gas-powered electric generator

Type:1.4L DOHC I-4
Displacement (cu in / cc):85.3 / 1398
Bore & stroke (in / mm):2.89 x 3.25 / 73.4 x 82.6
Block material:cast iron
Cylinder head material:cast aluminum
Valvetrain:overhead camshafts; four valves per cylinder, continuously variable intake and exhaust cam phaser
Ignition system:Individual coil-on-plug – cassette type
Fuel delivery:sequential multi-port fuel injectors with electronic throttle control
Compression ratio:10.5:1
Output (kW / hp @ rpm):63 / 84 @ 4800
Max engine speed (rpm):4800
Emissions controls:close-coupled catalytic converters; 58x ignition system; returnless fuel rail; fast light-off O2 sensor
Fuel type:premium required
EPA-estimated fuel economy:TBD


Electric drive

Type:electric, two-wheel, front-drive
Motors (two);drive motor, 117-135 kW; generator motor, 55 kW
Transaxle:Voltec electric drive system
Power (kW / hp):154 / 207 (total system power)
Torque: (lb-ft / Nm):295 / 400


Charging times

120 V (travel charger):about 12hours (actual charge times may vary)
240 V (charging station):about 4.5 hours (actual charge times may vary)



0-60 mph:TBA
Top speed (mph):100
EV range (combined city/hwy):about 35 miles (56 km)
EV / Extended range:More than 300 miles / 480 km, including EV on fully charged battery and full tank of fuel (est.)


Chassis /Suspension

Front:HiPer Strut with continuously variable real-time damping and driver-selectable modes, specially tuned coil springs with side load compensation, direct-acting hollow stabilizer bar, hydraulic ride bushings
Rear:specially adapted compound crank (torsion beam) with Watts link; double-walled, U-shaped profile at the rear; specifically tuned coil springs, hydraulic bushings; shocks with continuously variable real-time damping and driver-selectable modes
Chassis control:four-channel ABS; all-speed traction control; StabiliTrak; drag control
Steering type:rack-mounted electric power steering with ZF steering gear
Steering wheel turns, lock-to-lock:2.5
Turning circle, curb-to-curb (ft / m):38.4 / 11.7
Steering ratio:15.36



Type:power four-wheel vented disc with ABS; electro-hydraulic; fully regenerative to maximize energy capture; dynamic rear brake proportioning
Brake rotor diameter front (in / mm):12.6 / 321; vented, single 60mm front / rear piston w/ steel body caliper
Brake rotor diameter rear (in / mm):12 / 292; solid; steel body caliper with single 38mm piston
Total swept area (cu cm):front: 523rear: 325


Wheels / Tires

Wheel size and type:20 x 8.5-inch cast aluminum
Tires:245/40R20 all-season


Dimensions – Exterior

Wheelbase (in / mm):106.1 / 2695
Overall length (in / mm):186 / 4724
Overall width (in / mm):72.7 / 1847
Track width front (in / mm):62.1 / 1578
Track width rear (in / mm):62.4 / 1585
Height (in / mm):55.9 / 1420


Dimensions – Interior

Seating capacity (front / rear):2 / 2
Headroom (in / mm):front: 36.9 / 938rear: 34.7 / 882
Shoulder room (in / mm):front: 55.2 / 1403rear: 49.9 / 1268
Hip room (in / mm):front: 52.9 / 1344rear: 48.6 / 1234
Legroom (in / mm):front: 42.2 / 1071rear: 33.6 / 853
Cargo volume (cu ft / L):9 / 255 (est.)



Curb weight (lb / kg);4070 / 1846
Generator cooling (qt / L):7.7 / 7.3
Battery pack cooling (qt / L):6.2 / 5.8
Power electronics cooling (qt / L):3 / 2.8
Fuel tank (gal / L):9.3 / 35.2
Engine oil w/ filter (qt / L):3.7 / 3.5
Drive unit fluid (qt / L):8.93 / 8.45

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30 Comments on "Cadillac Officially Debuts the ELR, GM Says It Will Be A “Limited” Offering (Video)"

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Hey Jay, weren’t there some inside sources previously that essentially assured us there was a new engine in this ELR versus the Volt? Any thoughts or speculations on how that didn’t happen?

I’m disappointed that this is a limited offering, and am still wishing that GM would offer another Voltec platform for the masses, namely an SUV.

Sure was. I am not sure what happened, it may not have been ready/pushed back to the full generational update in a couple years. Not sure it matters now, as it appears the ELR is being build more as a flagship than a viable, stand alone product.

Just on a personal note, I am a little bummed. I was really looking forward to a year from now having an Cadillac ELR and a Infiniti LE in the driveway as opposed to a Volt/LEAF…but I’m not prepared to spend north of 50K on either one unless there is some substantial advancements in the meantime.

Yeah, I’d love to see a sub $50k ELR, a reduced price Volt (in similar magnitude as the Leaf’s price was reduced), and a new SUV with a current Volt-like price.

But if I keep talking like that as these announcements continue to point to the contrary, someone’s going to admit me into a padded room.

I wonder if the rumor of this getting put on hold a year or so ago is the reason why this ended up being a “limited run” without a real drive-train improvement.

Not really sure what the purpose of building this is. It doesn’t look like much of a flagship, in terms of luxury or tech, parked next to a Model S. I am with Clarkson, they should have canned this and built the Voltec SUV.

The ELR seems more of a Karma competitor rather than Model S. As a limited run EREV with costs double that of the Volt with a drivetrain that is now 4 years old it leads to a very disappointing, some would consider it a disheartening conclusion.

GM is not serious about plug-in vehicles.

With the Karma as its competition, “success” is very likely for the ELR, considering they don’t even build Karmas now or in the foreseeable future.

The car does look good, but they really missed a chance to charge extra for some new technology that could later be rolled into the Volt and other cheaper options.

Voltec 2.0 is where the major changes will appear: range-extender and chassis.

RIght now, the ELR appears to be perfect for the Cali market though.

I think the Tesla Model S is perfect for the California market. Certainly amongst my friends, Tesla has the momentum for luxury electric vehicles. And it looks like the ELR will be about the same price as a Tesla, although with less utility and performance. The ELR is a beautiful car, but I was expecting it to have better performance and efficiency. I’m a little sad.

I’m thrilled that GM is going to make this car and it looks stunning. But I thought there was to be a “Voltec version 1.5” drivetrain, i.e. better performing battery tech, and as mentioned above, different range extender engine. Not to shed this otherwise good news in a negative light but, this really is a Cadillac Volt for all intents and purposes. Am I wrong in saying that?

Quite Right. See my post below.

I do think the regen on demand paddles are interesting, well, if they can provide more regen than the Volt’s “L” shifter setting. The smartphone-style tap/swipe center screen is pretty awesome too.

I think this is a great option for people who want a Cadillac versus a Chevrolet, and it has some cool features to go with that Cadillac badge. The disappoint spot, in my opinion, is this whole “Limited Offering” chatter, right out of the gate, from GM.

I was really hoping they’d take the momentum (and investment) from the Volt and introduce a Voltec for each major vehicle segment, to truly give all car buyers the option of driving electric regardless of their vehicle style/function preference.

What a joke GM, spent all this time and you give us this? No progress over the Volt at all! Seems like all the people at GM who had a clue have left.

The powertrain certainly changed. Whole lot of wishful/dreaming thinking going on. Makes sense that they used the R&D money and design they had for this generation. They did great I think.

ELR : 207 hp (154 kW) and 295 lb-ft (400 N-m) of torque and weighs 4,070 lbs
Volt: 149 hp (111 kW) and 273 lb-ft (370 N-m) of torque and weighs 3,781 lbs

There are a ton of features on this car. It competes with the likes of the Atlantic not the Karma.

The only apparent power train difference is the bigger electric motor.

While I welcome the increased performance, it will still seem anemic compared to any Tesla. I wonder if torque-steer will be a problem. I was hoping for Tesla-level performance from a second electric motor (or two) at the rear wheels.

Other articles indicate this about how (google some of the words to find it):
“But thanks to revised software and calibration, as well as a new Sport driving mode, GM has managed to eke more performance from the electric system: The electric motor system delivers a bit more: 207 hp (154 kW), with 295 foot-pounds of instant torque, and 0-60 times are expected to be eight seconds, or possibly even a bit better than that.”

Thanks for the correction. Didn’t realize that.

IMHO, an 8 second 0-60 time isn’t much to brag about, especially for a Caddy that costs almost as much as a Model S. According to GM, 8 seconds is slightly slower than a Chevy Spark EV.

ELR : 207 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque
Volt: 149 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque
Spark EV: 134 hp and 400lb-ft of torque

I don’t get how the ELR can have slightly more torque than the Volt but still much less than the less powerful Spark EV. Anybody know where they measure the torque and at what RPM? Thanks.

Horse power is just torque @ 5250 rpm. I would be interested to see what the torque curve looks like. It would seem that frictional losses would be about the only thing affecting the curve, but I don’t honestly know.

Is that true for electric motors too? I would just expect the maximum torque on the curve (i.e. from a dead stop)

So since the ELR seems to be so similar to the Volt, here is the more practical question for Volt owners:

Will we be able to have our Volts serviced in an “ELR-certified” Cadillac dealership?

What service? My Volt is perfection. Maybe a tire rotation some day.

Well, I’m due for my first annual oil change, second tire rotation and balance, maybe wiper blades, and the state inspection. All routine maintenance and inspection. It will be nice if the near-by Caddy dealership is willing to do it.

Looks to me as if there are software changes only, in other words, the exact same Synergy Drive, with the exception that now motors 1 AND 2 can develop power at the same time, giving the horsepower increase (110 kw and 55 kw). Anyone else concur? Otherwise, I’d say its a 2 door volt with nice seats. About what I expected. I can’t really say I’m disappointed other than to say I’ve Blogged that I don’t understand why GM is changing the powertrain all around since they haven’t amortized the cost of the original voltec design as of yet. The released car proves they haven’t really changed anything so I can’t complain. Same motors, same planetary gear box, same clutches, just that now 2 motors can run instead of just one. That would also mean this “high performance” is only to be available while the battery ‘buffer zone’ holds old since ALL of the juice for the high performance must come from the battery since the engine wont be able to assist at the same time, unless they clutch in the engine also during heavy accelleration. A stare and compare with the volt would be instructive. But again, I bet… Read more »

Two motor were already available in the Volt in the “Electric High-Speed” Mode (1 of 4). Not clear if they are keeping the two working more in the ELR than the Volt. saghost on gmvolt points out that for highspeed throttle like passing it would switch back to one motor.

From the designnews website article.
Electronics Boost Chevy Volt’s Efficiency
Charles J. Murray, Senior Technical Editor, Electronics 11/16/2010
“Electric High-Speed: The Volt typically hits this mode at about 70 mph. Then, the supervisory controller splits the power between the large traction motor and a smaller 54-kW generator-motor (which is still operated by the battery). The planetary gear set blends the power from the two motors and sends it to the drive axle. Even as it switches to this mode, however, the Volt still isn’t employing its internal combustion engine – and therefore still isn’t burning any gasoline. “

Small correction: Pretty sure you meant Voltec,not Synergy Drive.

If both electric motors are the same as the Volt, then they’re either using both for motive power, or they’re engaging the engine’s power as well. In the Volt, the engine only engages to the transmission at highway speeds after the battery range has been depleted. I suppose the Caddy could also engage it for more launch power as well. That’s just a guess.

No, I meant Synergy drive since both Toyota and GM have the same partially Toyota-owned Japanese supplier. The synergy drive is the only major part of my Volt that came from Japan. I’m making the easy assumption that this was a contracted-out design, (both design and manufacture).

To save costs both then and now, its interesting how the advance material said everything was changing when in reality nothing was changed hardware wise.

Hey Guys,

I am here at 2013 NAIAS, going to have dinner with the cadillac team tonight including Chris Thomason the lead engineer. If you have any questions you want answered, please post them on this thread and I’ll try to get them answered.

I’m leaving in an hour so let me know!

Patrick Wang
Volt #10

I posted this there but it is waiting on moderation:
Please find out what these numbers mean. What is 117 to 135?
What is then the 154?

Motors (two); drive motor, 117-135 kW; generator motor, 55 kW
Power (kW / hp): 154 / 207 (total system power)
Torque: (lb-ft / Nm): 295 / 400

Interesting how the ELR drivetrain is/probably/almost the same as the Volt. What does this mean for the Volt? This would sharpen up the Volt quite a bit.

The ELR is a heavier car with greater drag (CD & A?). Given the Volt on occasions falls back to ‘performance degraded mode’ (or words to that effect) and this is most noticeable owing to the driving situation at the time. For charge sustain mode the ELR uses the same 55kW generator. So can we expect the ELR to be more susceptible to the performance degraded mode?

Can anyone explain how it is that GM specifies the power of the drive motor as 117-135 kW? How can max power be a range? Short boost durations only?

My 2002 Lexus GS400 (V-8) got about 360 miles to a tank of gas on a cross-country drive (24 mpg)… so the cross-country range on this is about the same. Besides, it’s nice to stop and get something to eat and stretch every five hours or so… So I’m happy with the electric+ICE range on this for interstate trips.