The folks at GM Inside News have confirmation from someone familiar with the development of the new Cadillac ELR that the electric vehicle with a range extending gasoline engine will arrive in dealerships in late 2013 as a 2014 model year vehicle. At first, the Cadillac ELR will only be available for the North American market but with the booming popularity of highly efficient models and luxury models in regions like China; we can expect that the Cadillac ELR will arrive in other markets after the American debut.
While General Motors has confirmed the future existence of the electric hybrid luxury model, it has been unclear as to what type of drivetrain the production version of the Converj would feature but according to GMI; the 2014 Cadillac ELR will call on the exact same Voltec drivetrain as the 2014 Chevy Volt. Changes are expected to come for the Volt drivetrain for the 2014 model year but those changes are unclear right now. Rumors suggest that the 2014 version of the Voltec drivetrain will offer a greater electric-only range that will work to increase the overall range and efficiency levels of the Volt.
The 2014 Cadillac ELR will only be offered as a coupe at first and while it is unclear as to what chassis the ELR will be based on, this 2-door luxury car could be lighter than the current Chevy Volt. If the ELR can drop some weight (compared to the Volt) and call upon the 2014 Volt’s electric drivetrain with more range – the sharp new American electric coupe could become one of the most efficient vehicles available in the American auto industry. Even if the 2014 ELR “only” achieves the fuel economy figures of the current Chevrolet Volt – it could very easily be the most efficient luxury car in the world.
In addition to offering Cadillac level luxury with the super efficient Voltec drivetrain, the 2014 ELR could also help GM obtain profitability with their electric vehicle program. Due to the high cost of the technology in the Voltec drivetrain, GM is allegedly losing money on every unit sold even though some critics of the Volt already question the $41k+ price tag (before the various government tax credits) so raising the price of the Volt is out of the question. However, with the average price point of a new Cadillac being so high, General Motors can charge substantially more for the ELR than they do for the Volt – allowing them to make money while offering one of the very few super-efficient luxury vehicles on the market.
Above on the right is the 2009 Cadillac Converj Concept that debuted at the 2009 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. There is no indication as to how much the production 2014 Cadillac ELR will look like the Converj Concept but considering how similar the styling of that aging concept is to the modern production Cadillac lineup – the 2014 ELR hitting showrooms could look a great deal like the Converj Concept.
Right now, a new car shopper who wants a luxury vehicle that offers significant electric-only mileage and a range-extending gasoline engine can really only turn to the Fisker Karma; which carries a price tag north of $100,000. There are lots of hybrid luxury models on the market but there are no electric luxury vehicles with a range-extending engine other than the six-figure Karma sedan so even if the Cadillac ELR carries a price tag north of $60k – it would still be the most efficient and most cost effective luxury car in the North American market.
Source: GM Inside News