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GM teases the Chevy Volt based Cadillac ELR ahead of Detroit debut

The 2013 North American International Auto Show in Detroit next January will bring about the debut of the Cadillac ELR – a luxury electric vehicle based on the drivetrain and chassis architecture of the Chevrolet Volt – and with about a month until the big debut, General Motors has offered up the first teaser shot of the new electric Caddy.

The first official company teaser of the Cadillac ELR is a shadowy profile shot that shows us the top line of the new electric coupe and little else. However, when we adjust some of the parameters of the picture, some new aspects of the ELR including the head lights and tail lights become visible. No real information was included with this first image shy of the fact that the design of the Cadillac ELR will be based on the 2009 Cadillac Converj Concept from the Detroit Auto Show and that it will be an extended range electric vehicle – both of which were no surprise.

Based on this first teaser image, the 2014 Cadillac ELR will look a great deal like the 2009 Converj Concept in terms of exterior design. It appears as though the production ELR will have a top line (hood, roof, rear glass), side glass and side body lines that are nearly identical to the Converj. It even looks as though the ELR will sport the inset door handles from the Converj along with both head lights and tail lights that are molded up into the fenders and rear quarter panels – very much like the 2009 electric Caddy concept. The most noticeable difference between the two is the addition of the production friendly side mirrors in place of the high tech rear view cameras mounted on the sides of the Converj.

When General Motors announced in October that they would be producing the 2014 Cadillac ELR powered by an extended range electric drivetrain, they referenced the 2009 Converj Concept. Now that we have this first teaser shot of what GM claims is the production ELR, it looks as though the electric coupe headed to Cadillac dealerships around the country could look almost identical to the Converj Concept. This is a good thing, as the Converj looked great when it made its debut at the 2009 Detroit show, drawing positive praise from the media and the viewing public. We haven’t gotten a look at the ELR front end yet but considering how much the 2009 Converj Concept looked like the current Caddy lineup across the front end – the ELR could continue its close following of the Converj when we see its face.

Like 2014 Cadillac ELR will be built on the Chevrolet Volt chassis which means that this 2-door luxury EV should have room to seat four people and maybe even comfortably seat four adults. The fast roofline of the ELR could cut down on rear head room a bit but if the dimensions of the production Caddy EV are similar to that of the Volt, we expect that the ELR could offer a fair amount of seating space for rear riding passengers. Of course, the ELR will be powered by the same Voltec drivetrain found in the Chevy Volt which means that this new electric Cadillac should offer an all electric range around 40 miles while also providing enough power to make the ELR exciting to drive. The Volt offers better acceleration and top speed capabilities than many hybrid and electric vehicles on the market so the same should be true of the Cadillac ELR when it arrives early next year.

The gallery on the right side (click any thumbnail for a closer look at the images) shows the enhanced version of the 2014 Cadillac ELR teaser along with a few shots of the 2009 Cadillac Converj Concept.