2016 Cadillac ELR & ELR Sport (via EPA)

2016 Cadillac ELR & ELR Sport (via EPA)

Cadillac ELR

Cadillac ELR

With the recent announced demise of the current iteration of the Cadillac ELR, we decided to go back and have another look at the latest updated version for 2016, and found something interesting via the range and official trim levels of the Caddy.

When perusing the EPA's worksheet database, we noticed that the ELR is listed as both the 2016 Cadillac ELR and the 2016 Cadillac ELR Sport.

The standard ELR has all-electric range listed at 40 miles combined (3 miles more than in 2015), whereas the "Sport" version only gets 36 miles combined. The "Sport" version returns lower composite MPG too.

Cadillac's original "New For 2016" press release on the ELR includes mentions of a "redesigned electric drive system, boosting horsepower by 29 percent and torque by 26 percent," as well as lots of other changes, but nowhere do we find Cadillac explaining the ELR "Sport" specifically as a separate model, nor do we see any indication from Cadillac that "Sport" results in reduced all electric range.

Some additional digging confirmed that "Sport" is actually an option package, as shown below:

Optional Performance Package Equals

Optional Performance Package Equals "Sport"

However, there's no mention that we could find on the page that states electric range will be reduced with the addition of the performance package.

Our guess is that the performance summer tires (likely not low-rolling resistance) contribute significantly to the reduced range (and lower MPG ratings) of the ELR Sport.

Just something to keep in mind if you decide on the Sport version of the ELR.

Quick comparison of the 2016 Cadillac ELR (<em>still using the 1st generation Voltec platform</em>) and 2016 Chevrolet Volt

Quick comparison of the 2016 Cadillac ELR (still using the 1st generation Voltec platform) and 2016 Chevrolet Volt

For Reference: 2015 Cadillac ELR Electric Range Listed At 37 Miles, With 2015 Stats on the Volt, BMW i3, and BMW i8

For Reference: 2015 Cadillac ELR Electric Range Listed At 37 Miles, With 2015 Stats on the Volt, BMW i3, and BMW i8

Press release from Cadillac on the 2016 edition below:

NEW FOR 2016 Redesigned electric drive system, boosting horsepower by 29 percent and torque by 26 percent Enhanced handling, steering and braking Cadillac CUE with Apple CarPlay capability OnStar with 4G LTE connectivity and Wi-Fi hotspot Available performance equipment package


With improved acceleration, more powerful performance components and the latest in connectivity, the 2016 Cadillac ELR is driving the luxury segment with upgrades that challenge the preconceptions of extended-range electric vehicles.

Extensive upgrades to the new model include a revised electric drive system, which increases horsepower and torque by more than 25 percent with an improved acceleration time. More responsive brakes also contribute greater performance, while retuned chassis and steering combine for better handling.

A new Performance Package available on the ELR also improves handling and braking with 20-inch summer-only performance tires on new sport wheels, front Brembo four-piston brake calipers, specific calibrations for the continuous damping control and electric power steering systems and a sport steering wheel with a thicker rim.

2016 Cadillac ELR

2016 Cadillac ELR

On the exterior, an updated grille and Cadillac crest add to the sleek and aerodynamic design of the vehicle. Inside, connectivity through the Cadillac CUE system reaches new heights with phone integration technology through Apple CarPlay, as well as OnStar 4G LTE connectivity and Wi-Fi hotspot, which technology provides a mobile hub for drivers and passengers to stay connected wherever and whenever they like. The hotspot is on whenever the vehicle is on and comes with a three-month/three gigabyte data trial.

ELR propulsion and drive technology

All 2016 ELRs contain both battery control software and drive system hardware upgrades that improve power and acceleration, with EV range growing on the base model.

Additionally, the 2016 ELR has a modified Sport mode that enables the propulsion system to combine engine and electric motor power to take the ELR from 0-60 in 6.4 seconds. ELR continues to offer Regen on Demand, recipient of Green Car Journal’s 2014 Green Car Technology Award. Enhanced for the 2016 model to improve deceleration, Regen on Demand allows the driver to temporarily regenerate energy from the ELR’s momentum into electricity and store in the battery pack for later use.

Regen on Demand is useful when decelerating for turning, at a stop sign or at a traffic light, reclaiming energy that is stored in the battery. Regen on Demand is engaged via steering-wheel paddles adapted from traditional performance cars.

2016 Cadillac ELR

2016 Cadillac ELR

The ELR offers a full driving range of up to 340 miles (550 km), combining pure electric driving and an efficient, range-extending 1.4L gasoline-powered engine-generator. It’s a combination that means most daily commutes will require zero gasoline with zero tailpipe emissions. Longer trips are free from electric-vehicle range anxiety because the ELR’s technology enables the long-distance travel similar to vehicles powered only by gasoline.

The T-shaped battery pack is located along the centerline of the vehicle, between the front and rear wheels, for optimal weight distribution. The 5.5-foot-long (1.6 m), 435-pound (198 kg) pack supplies energy to an advanced electric drive unit capable of 373 lb-ft of instant torque (506 Nm) to propel the vehicle.

Using only the energy stored in the battery, the ELR will deliver an estimated range of about 39 miles (60 km) of pure electric driving, depending on terrain, driving techniques and temperature. The optional Performance Package includes 20-inch summer-only tires, which offer additional handling grip. Consequently, the EV range is reduced to 36 miles.

ELR’s battery can be charged using either a 120- or 240-volt charger. The vehicle can be completely recharged in about five hours using 240V charging, depending on the outside temperature. The battery is covered by an eight-year/100,000-mile warranty or 10 years/150,000 miles in states following Air Resource Board guidelines.

2016 Cadillac ELR Interior

2016 Cadillac ELR Interior

Phone integration technology

Apple CarPlay phone integration technology puts iPhone features (iPhone 5 and later) on the display in a smart, simple manner. Many features can be controlled via voice commands through a steering wheel button, helping drivers spend more time with their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel.

Apple CarPlay takes the iPhone features most owners want to access while driving and puts them on the vehicle’s display to allow drivers to make calls, send and receive messages and listen to music right from the touchscreen or by voice via Siri. Apple CarPlay-supported apps include Phone, Messages, Maps, Music and compatible third-party apps. A full list of those apps can be found at Apple.com/ios/carplay.

Android Auto compatibility will be available later in the 2016 model year.

2016 Cadillac ELR Tech

2016 Cadillac ELR Tech

Staying connected

New and enhanced technologies are making their way into every facet of customers’ lives so the addition of OnStar 4G LTE with standard built-in Wi-Fi hotspot is a welcome feature on the new ELR. A mobile hub designed for drivers and passengers to stay connected, the hotspot is always on when the vehicle is on. It comes with a three-month/three-gigabyte data trial, whichever comes first. 4G LTE is the most current and fastest mobile data network and the Wi-Fi hotspot supports up to seven connected devices.

ELR drivers and passengers can also recharge their enabled phones wirelessly with a new magnetic inductive charge spot on the instrument panel. There is no need to plug the phone in for charging, leaving the ELR’s USB ports free for other devices.

Also enhancing connectivity and convenience for 2016, a new Text Messaging Alerts feature connects smartphone users with their Bluetooth profile (M.A.P.), to reads incoming texts through the vehicle’s speakers. Additionally, Siri Eyes Free for iPhone iOS 6 and iOS 7 users enhances convenience by enabling voice-controlled connectivity, to help keep phones safely stored and hands on the wheel.

Cadillac’s CUE with Navigation is another integral component of the ELR’s driving experience, displaying energy usage and charging options in addition to the standard infotainment options, such as phone contacts and song information.

2016 Cadillac ELR

2016 Cadillac ELR

Driving experience

The Cadillac ELR provides an engaging driving experience, supported by the EREV propulsion system calibrated for uncompromising performance. Acceleration in the city and on the highway, including merging and passing, is achieved with reassuring power on demand.

The ELR’s Sport mode features steering calibration and suspension setting revisions that contribute to a more responsive driving experience. It is one of four driver-selectable choices that help make the most of the ELR’s driving experience for a variety of driving styles and conditions. The others are:

Tour mode: The default setting on the ELR is expected to be used most often and provides the greatest driving comfort and efficiency. Mountain mode: Mountain mode automatically adjusts the system to provide needed power in mountainous environments when vehicle performance could otherwise be compromised. Mountain mode allows the ELR to sustain a sufficient state of charge so supplemental power is available from the battery if needed. Hold mode: Hold mode allows owners to direct when the ELR uses its gas-powered electric generator, reserving the remaining battery charge for later use. This feature helps enhance efficiency because owners who mix city and highway driving can save the battery charge for city travel.

Driving confidence is further enhanced by advanced suspension and damping systems, including Continuous Damping Control – which adjusts damping every two milliseconds – to help maintain optimal vehicle ride control over varying road surfaces and profiles. The ELR rolls on 20-inch wheels with specially engineered low-rolling-resistance tires designed to balance excellent control and cornering capability with efficiency.

A solid, stable foundation underpins the ELR, featuring a body-frame-integral structure with main underbody rails running continuously from front to rear. Advanced, high-strength steels add strength and conserve weight.

Additional contributors to the ELR’s driving experience include:

2016 Cadillac ELR

2016 Cadillac ELR

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 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 anti-lock brakes, traction control and StabiliTrak electronic stability control. For 2016, the ELR’s handling, steering and braking performance is enhanced with comprehensive changes designed to improve handling precision while maintaining excellent driving comfort. The enhancements include:

New bushings for the lower control arms, cradle mounts and Watts link (rear suspension) Enhanced front HiPer strut calibration Increased front spring rates and a stiffer rear axle The addition of a front damper rebound spring Revised CDC hardware calibrations New steering calibration tuned to match revised chassis Improved braking feel comes from revised hardware and system calibration. Because the ELR operates so quietly in all-electric mode, a driver-activated feature sounds a noise to alert pedestrians, particularly those with impaired vision, in an intersection. The alert was developed in conjunction with the American Federation of the Blind.

Interior features

Luxury appointments, great proportions and a flowing and ergonomic cockpit incorporating the latest technology interface were top priorities for the ELR interior design team. A continuous feature line from the instrument panel through the doors to the back glass creates a complete and harmonious cockpit environment.

ELR’s 2+2 layout features a blend of carefully selected materials, including available carbon fiber and ultra-premium semi-aniline leather seating. The front seats feature standard heat – including auto heat with programmable automatic activation – and an eight-way power adjustment. (Ten-way power adjustment is optional.) They’re complemented by a heated, leather wrapped/microfiber-accented steering wheel.

For 2016, the ELR comes with standard Driver Assistance active safety systems, including Side Blind Zone Alert, Rear Cross Traffic Alert and IntelliBeam headlamps. Lane Change Alert and a new vehicle security system are also standard. Adaptive cruise control with Front Automatic Braking is available.

Additional interior features include:

Cut-and-sew interior Available semi-aniline full leather seating Sueded microfiber headliner and supporting trim Eight-inch configurable instrument and driver information displays, offering four configurations ranging from elegantly simple to technologically detailed information Three USB ports Power-assist covered storage/cup holder in the center console Fold-down rear seatbacks to accommodate longer items such as skis and golf clubs Choreographed LED-powered accent lighting Bose® 10-speaker premium sound system, including subwoofer Active noise cancellation Full-speed range adaptive cruise control is available Standard keyless access, keyless starting (push-button start) and remote starter Standard rear-vision camera system Standard power-tilting/telescoping steering column Interior colors: Cashmere, Jet Black and Kona/Black Semi Aniline Leather. Exterior highlights

The Cadillac ELR has a provocative, forward-leaning profile that represents a progressive theme and proportion in Cadillac’s design evolution. Its overall shape is reinforced by a prominent, sweeping body line accented by 20-inch wheels pushed to the edges of the body.

Vertical headlamp and taillamp elements create Cadillac’s signature for the ELR, day or night and from the front or rear – a brand tradition since 1948. The 2016 model is instantly identifiable, too, wearing the new Cadillac crest prominently on the grille and in other places throughout the vehicle.

Aerodynamics play a crucial role in the ELR’s design, as airflow is managed to help the vehicle slip through the air with minimal drag. A flush front fascia and grille – with active shutters behind the grille opening – as well as tapered fascia corners, enable air to move easily around the car to reduce drag. In the rear, sharp edges and an artfully designed spoiler also manage airflow. An aggressive rake on the windshield and back glass help reduce turbulence and drag and contribute to ELR’s 0.31 coefficient of drag.

Additional exterior details include:

Door handles hidden in recesses behind the doors The charge port is located on the driver’s side front fender for convenient access Lights on the side mirrors pulse green while the battery charges and go dark when charging is complete Exterior colors: Crystal White Tricoat (premium charge), Black Raven, Radiant Silver Metallic, Graphite Metallic and Crystal Red Tintcoat (premium charge). Manufacturing

The Cadillac ELR is manufactured at General Motors’ Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Plant, the world’s only automotive manufacturing facility that mass-produces extended-range electric vehicles for global markets in 21 countries. It is also home to Southeast Michigan’s largest photovoltaic solar array. The 264,000-square-foot feature generates up to 516 kilowatts of electricity – enough to charge 150 ELRs per day.

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