Cadillac To Be Single Production Run Priced From Mid $60,000?

JAN 21 2013 BY JAY COLE 30

2014 Cadillac ELR Debuts At The NAIAS

General Motors recently debuted the long awaited Cadillac ELR, a performance luxury vehicle based on the Chevrolet Volt, that achieves approximately 35 miles of range before switching to normal gas operating mode.

This Generation Of The ELR Sure To Be Exclusive...And Probably Pretty Expensive

It had been assumed for some time that not only was the ELR coming, but that it might prove to be long-term competition for other high end plug-in vehicles, like the Fisker Karma and the Tesla Model S, as well as other conventional high end luxury offerings from the likes of BMW and Mercedes.

And while normally our suggestion that the Cadillac may be a “one and done” production run at GM’s Hamtramck facility in the fall (with units to go on sale in the first quarter of 2014), would be backed up with a tidbit of information from here, a random quote from there, and some other speculation to piece the rumor together.  That is not the case today.

This week we had 5,000 auto journalists vs. a handful of Cadillac execs at the NAIAS, along with one amazingly positive ‘pocket‘ reveal given by Caddy to Car & Driver (amazing what advertising dollars can do), with everyone wanting a quote and a scoop for themselves along the way.

So, for today, lets just copy and paste all their quotes (with a couple of our own), and you can make up your own mind.

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

“The ELR is scheduled for production at the end of 2013 calendar year and those units will be on sale the beginning of 2014″ – Darin Geese, ELR product manager to Car & Driver

ELR Pricing "Certainly Not In The Realm Of Your Conventional Car" - Darin Geese, ELR Product Manager


Quote to Mike Colisa at AN (sub req’d):

“Cadillac ought to have an air of exclusivity,” Cadillac brand head Bob Ferguson told me. “The manufacturing for this vehicle will be limited. We’re saying, ‘Get in fast and buy it. We’re only going to make so many, and for so long.'”


On the price estimates starting from mid 60K, we have the original “go to” statement from the man that knows, Bob Lutz (father of Volt, and former GM Vice-Chairman) to our own Lyle Dennis when the Cadillac ELR was being developed:

He (Lutz) also noted the car would cost ‘about two Volts’

A sentiment that was backed up by Car & Driver’s Csaba Csere, who got a ‘pocket’ exclusive from Cadillac (video of which below – starting from 6:25):

“…the pricing is really not finalized for the vehicle” said Darin Geese, ELR product manager, “but we can kinda tell you that its not in the realm of the supercar, and certainly not in the realm of your conventional car.  We are truly a Cadillac, truly a luxury vehicle.  Probably somewhere in between what you see as a Fisker (Karma – from $102,00) and what you see as a Volt (from $39,995)”

Then in Car & Driver’s video, they flash this graphic that puts the price starting at $67,500 (up to $82,500 loaded), before government incentives.

And while we realize this is an estimate for the car, we also realize that this is from the same ‘pocket’ exclusive (that is basically a 12 minute infomercial for the ELR) and that GM does a lot of advertising with Car & Driver.  One would could reasonably assume there is some insider ball-parking happening here that is not being publicly verbalized by Cadillac at the moment.

Car & Driver Puts An Estimated Price Tag On The Cadillac ELR After Netting An Exclusive.

We checked in ourselves with Brian Corbett at Cadillac Communications, but outside the pressure of the show, or under televised interview lights we got a more polished answer that could be translated really anyway the reader wants it to:

“Bob (in reference to the first quote above) was merely trying to state that ELR is luxury, and luxury is not about high volume, mass appeal. Luxury by its nature is exclusive…Right now we’re focused on a successful launch of the ELR and delivering the highest quality, performance and customer service standards for consumers and not speculation regarding future product decisions.”

So, what is the ELR going to be?  A limited production run from the mid 60s, or a ongoing vehicle priced in the sweet spot to sell?

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30 Comments on "Cadillac To Be Single Production Run Priced From Mid $60,000?"

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Good video. I posted that screen capture on a few sites in the last couple days.
Lotta dough but lot of cool options.. Wish it has a little more performance to match.

Seems a very similar to price to the mid 60 kWh Tesla Model S. Article:

Table pic:

Jay Quote:

“So, what is the ELR going to be? A limited production run from the mid 60s, or a ongoing vehicle priced in the sweet spot to sell?”

Beats me. I thought we would see low 6’s for a 0-60 time. and I am disappointed about that so I would say I’ll be disappointed about the price also. I see mid 60’s and up with options.

I’m out. Not in the realm for me. I’d go for the base model Tesla S.

I probably should have added that info somewhere too. The car’s fantastic image and a 0-60 time of 8 seconds really don’t seem to mesh all that well…if that is what the end product is actually timed at.

The ability to get higher torque and hp seems to be related to the size of the battery per the mycadillacelr sites tidbits from a GM dinner conversations. Still I think practically (realistically) 0-60 is just for bragging as it seems you really care about 30-50 for suburbia driving and 60-80 for highway driving. Seems the ELR will handle those nicely. I’d probably be thrilled with the ELR myself in reality once I got over the price.

I think they should put these same improvements into a Volt SS model. That way we wouldn’t have to eat the 6% weight increase. After all they did say that traction motor HP had increased to 135 kw from 110. Also even though the torque increase was squat perhaps they can shorten up the lag time some. We could maybe see a Volt SS with around a 7 second 0-60 time.

Bring on the Volt SUV….. Voltinox….


Voltinox… I like that!

Electrinox CUV? Could be a big seller. If anything like the Volvo Blue Cross (6-7 seater just recently shown), that could be a fine place to embed the Voltec.

“A successful launch” for the ELR seems to me to mean that the car actually sells and doesn’t just sit on the sales floor. That further seems inconsistent with pricing much above the mid $50,000 range as a base. Sure, the ELR interior is a step up from the Volt, but the Volt is pretty darn nice (We have Volt #679, loaded), and pricing for buyer exclusivity means pricing directly against the 6 series BMW and other European icons of real performance.

I am cross-shopping the ELR vs the new i3 (with the range extender), and I cannot accept that the i3, even with the range extender is going to total much more than $60,000. The ELR does not present any real “new technology,” but is simply a tweaked Volt, IMHO, and though I would be willing to entertain pricing with options coming in around $60,000, anything more than that and the i3 will be the only vehicle I consider in late 2013.

what George said..

These GM engineers talk all day and say nothing. Maybe Car & Driver is worried about losing its advertising revenue to hold GM’s statements to the fire, or is preventing them from asking a detailed question, like , “Specificaly, How is the synergy drive (oops shouldn’t say that!) used differently specifically in the ELR?” I can guess but I’d like to hear the official answer. He answered about 30% of the question, which we knew already, that they are loading the battery an additional 10%. One big Peeve is that GM seems to treat every piqcanune detail as if it were a State Secret.

I’m not buying all that talk about the battery. The Volts battery has a very conservative C rate. What I think they are hiding is that they just didn’t want to make changes to the power electronics…….or even worse that the 4ET50 transaxle won’t handle much more power.

Hmmm … how exactly is the Volt battery have a conservative C rating ? It is between 10 & 15.

Ok, I’m lost. I thought that the C rate George was talking about referred to the charge rate. In that case, given the 16kWh battery, a 10-15C rating implies the battery is discharged at 160-240kW? The motor is only rated at about 100kW peak, and I don’t see what else could be drawing another 60+kW. Am I missing something? Are you talking about something completely different?

C rate usually means discharge.. but that also implies fast recharge, even more so since the Volts battery is force cooled.

Volt has a 111kW motor, ELR 120kW plus a 16.kWh pack means a C rate of 6.7 and 7.3.. fairly tame

Max dump under full acceleration is what, about 7-8C? The cells could easily go 15C if allowed or if powering a bigger electric motor. Most hobby-grade RC lithium packs now are sustained 40C and peak 80C or higher.

You know that Toyota did not invent that two motor architecture right?

True, but “Synergy Drive” is a Toyota term.

Maybe not, but the prius is the foremost application of that planetary gear box, and that Japanese company suppling both Toyota and GM is partially owned by Toyota.

Plus, when I look at the videos GM has put out on the thing, and that “Head Engineer” talks about “Reactionary Forces” (all the other engineering types within view subsequently cringe, hehehe), then Its not too hard to surmise this was a “Specification And Design” Contract – Out Job.

Thomas Edison didn’t invent the light bulb either, but he’s given most of the credit since his worked the longest and made the most of them at the time.

It’s sure a great looking car. But when you combine the extreme price with the mediocre performance, it becomes difficult to recommend an ELR over a Chevy Volt or a Tesla Model-S. Hope I’m wrong, but I suspect car reviewers are not going to be kind to the ELR.

I’m with you…… First they tell us the ELR is going to be totally different, have a Volt 2.0 powertrain, (whatever the heck that is), say the volt is “going to have a different engine for 2014, etc….One thing for sure, they just plain lied to us.

The thing is essentially a Volt with nice seats, and maybe, so they say, a more expensive suspension. If they are going to double the price, I would doubt they are going to sell many.

So where are the other manufacturers coming out with competing products? I’d like to see Kia come out with a Cadenza based PHEV. But they don’t seem to be able to make up their minds either. Via motors info currently is very sketchy….. But if they came out with an escallade glider and put their stuff into it (402 hp motor, 24 kwh battery, 231 cu inch engine) and sold it for a reasonable price, they’d sell tons of ’em.,

That appears to be bit of histrionics, Bill. GM did not lie to potential customers of the ELR. What you’ve cited were rumors of what the ELR would have (and not even the actual rumors).

Oh C’mon…… No histrionics here. GM has been lying from the start. First they told their dealers and unbelievably their head service techs that the GENSET (their words) never directly drives the vehicle. Only motortrend and FORBES (big bankers can never be lied to) got accurate information. The head mechanic at my local chevy dealer gave me the corporate spiel, “I Went to School For a Week on This!!”, and so then I said , OK, what is the third clutch for? He said, after a pregnant pause, “You Know, They Never Did tell us What that was For”. As far as Cadillac goes, I can only go by what I’ve read on here, hybrid kingdom, and PlugInCars. If the writer states that its official information, I have no real way of easily disputing that. But GM feels no moral compunction against lying. GM is gradually transitioning from Government Motors to Brazil-China Motors. All the big money is going there, whatever crumbs of investment they still do here. All with My Money. Yes they’ve paid some of it back, but Whitigger lied about that too at the time. A checkered history to say the least. By the way, I’m basically… Read more »

Have to agree on all of your statements. A PHEV AND a BEV is the perfect mix in this decade. Lots of great choices and tough to mix the apples and oranges (PHEVs and BEVs) but if the money is equal it is hard not to go with the Tesla Model S. I have been ruined ever since I drove one. The head room is a little short in the back seat but other than that it is the perfect EV luxury sedan competitive and superior to any luxury ICE sedan in its class. I still like the 40kWh option. This base level has more range than all other BEVs in the market does it not? Why all of a sudden is it an inferior amount of range for a luxury EV or any BEV for that matter?

Prediction: Not many people will care a fig for the ELR

It is beyond absurd to give a tax subsidy on this car.

Why so? It has the same power-train (pretty much) as the Volt, so it should qualify IMHO.

I think most of the buyers will be “well above” the wealth curve of Volt buyers. Meaning – giving them a tax credit is not going to change their financial position.

I don’t see why that matters.

IRS statistics show that the rich pay a majority of the US income taxes. Therefore it seems like they should be at least equally entitled to any available tax credits.

It depends what the tax-credit’s true purpose is.

If the purpose is to jump-start the EV industry, then it should apply equally to anyone. If its purpose is also to redistribute income, then some means testing would also make sense.

It’s going to be hard to justify subsidies for to anyone who can afford one of these luxe Volts. But then, Telsa S buyers get the tax credit or cash and I’m betting the incentives don’t have much impact on their purchase decisions. Just more going from everyone to the (at least modestly) wealthy.

it is hard to means-test a tax credit. But you could get some philanthropic people who are net millionaires who feel that not taking the tax credit is good for the country. They are few and far between…