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2014 Cadillac ELR Electrifies the Luxury Coupe Segment

2014 Cadillac ELR Electrifies the Luxury Coupe Segment

By Jeff Youngs, January 29, 2013
Calling its new extended-range electric vehicle (eREV) a pivot point for the brand, Cadillac debuted the 2014 ELR at the 2013 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The 2-door coupe with 2+2 seating is based on the Cadillac Converj concept vehicle the company displayed in 2009, and the automaker claims that the production ELR is essentially the same vehicle on the outside.

Exterior design highlights include LED headlights, LED taillights, active grille shutters, and 20-inch aluminum wheels with P245/40R20 low-rolling-resistance tires. The ELR slips through the atmosphere with a 0.305 coefficient of drag, Cadillac says.

Inside, the 2014 ELR is said to represent a new direction for future Cadillac interiors, employing premium cut-and-sewn leather upholstery, wood trim, chrome accents, suede microfiber, and LED cabin lighting. The car is a 2+2, meaning it has small rear seats that fold to expand the trunk's cargo capacity beyond 9 cubic feet.

The new 2014 Cadillac ELR is equipped with an 8-inch reconfigurable instrument cluster and an 8-inch Cadillac User Experience (CUE) in-dash display, the latter modeled after popular smartphones and tablets and equipped with gesture-recognition technology. Below the CUE display are capacitive touch controls for the premium sound system and climate control system.

Safety features for the 2014 ELR include an adaptive cruise control system with forward-collision alert, side blind-zone alert system, lane-departure warning system, rear cross-traffic alert system, and a Safety Alert Seat. Cadillac says that semi-aniline leather and real carbon fiber interior trim are also offered for the new ELR model.

What defines the new Cadillac ELR more than anything is its extended-range electric vehicle (eREV) powertrain. This model is built on the same platform as the Chevrolet Volt, and is equipped with the Volt's 16 kWh Lithium-ion battery, electric drive motor, and 1.4-liter gasoline engine. The ELR generates 200 horsepower and 295 lb.-ft. of torque.

It takes about 12 hours to recharge the battery using a standard 110-volt household power outlet. By using a quick charger connected to a 240-volt outlet, the ELR can be recharged in 4.5 hours, Cadillac says. With a full battery charge, the Cadillac ELR provides 35 miles of electric driving, and the driver decides when that type of driving occurs. When the ELR is not operated in EV mode, the 1.4-liter gasoline engine acts as an onboard generator, its power output converted to electricity to power the Cadillac's electric drive motor. Under rare circumstances, power from the gasoline engine may be used to directly power the wheels.

Total driving range is estimated to be 300 miles. After that, the driver must visit a gas station or an electrical outlet. The benefit of an eREV powertrain is that it can be refueled at a gas station and the vehicle can be driven across country without recharging the battery. Another benefit is that the vehicle is rated as an AT-PZEV vehicle, qualifying it for carpool lanes in some states.

Additional mechanical features of the 2014 Cadillac ELR include a Continuous Damping Control suspension, premium electric steering, and a Sport mode that adjusts throttle response, steering feel, and suspension accordingly. A Regen on Demand feature is activated using the transmission's paddle shifters to help recharge the battery while the car is being driven, and the driver can elect to have the ELR emit an alert sound at low speeds to help make sure that pedestrians, cyclists, and the sight-impaired know that the ELR is approaching.

2014 Cadillac ELR Preview

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