2014 Cadillac ELR Preview

Jeff Youngs | Jan 17, 2013
  • Derived from Cadillac Converj Concept vehicle
  • Extended Range Electric Vehicle powertrain similar to Chevrolet Volt
  • 300-mile driving range between visits to gas station
  • AT-PZEV emission rating
  • Showcases future of Cadillac interior design
  • Produced in limited quantities
  • Built in Detroit
  • Offered to consumers in the United States, Europe and China
  • On sale in early 2014


The 2014 Cadillac ELR is a 2-door, 4-passenger luxury coupe equipped with an Extended Range Electric Vehicle (EREV) powertrain similar to that of the Chevrolet Volt. It operates as an electric vehicle for up to 35 miles and when the driver decides electric operation would be most advantageous. When the rechargeable battery pack reaches a minimum state of charge, a gasoline engine engages to provide power to the EV drivetrain and, in certain rare instances, to assist in powering the ELR's front wheels.

During its introduction at the 2013 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Cadillac referred to the ELR as a "pivot point" for the luxury automaker, one that will help define the next generation of Cadillac models.

Exterior Features

The 2014 Cadillac ELR is a production version of the 2009 Cadillac Converj Concept, and the automaker claims that few changes were made to the coupe's exterior design in the translation to an assembly line. Highlights include signature vertical LED headlights and LED taillights, 20-inch aluminum wheels with P245/40R20 low-rolling-resistance tires, and active grille shutters to help improve aerodynamics. Cadillac says the new ELR possesses a 0.305 coefficient of drag.

"The ELR represents a new dimension of Art & Science, the guiding philosophy of Cadillac," said Mark Adams, Cadillac Design Director. "Cadillac's DNA is innovation, with dramatic and provocative design. ELR delivers this in a luxury coupe that stands alone among major luxury brands globally."

Interior Features

A 4-passenger vehicle, the 2014 Cadillac ELR offers a 2+2 seating arrangement, with folding rear seatbacks that expand cargo capacity to 9 cubic feet.

Cut-and-sewn leather is standard, as well as a suede microfiber headliner and a steering wheel wrapped in a combination of these materials. Wood trim, chrome accents and LED cabin lighting are standard, and the ELR is equipped with an 8-inch reconfigurable instrumentation display, 10-speaker premium audio system, and Cadillac User Experience (CUE) with a navigation system, 8-inch color touch-screen display with gesture recognition, and capacitive touch controls for the climate and stereo systems.

Cadillac says the ELR's cabin showcases the approach the automaker will take with future models.

Optional Features

The 2014 Cadillac ELR comes well equipped, but will be offered with optional semi-aniline premium leather and carbon fiber interior trim. Additional options will be announced closer to the car's on-sale date.

Under the Hood

The 2014 Cadillac ELR is powered by an Extended Range Electric Vehicle (EREV) powertrain that combines an electric vehicle (EV) powertrain with a gasoline engine that serves as a range-extending generator. This unique design allows the ELR to be driven across town on electricity, or across the country on gasoline.

A T-shaped 16.5 kWh Lithium-ion battery supplies 35 miles of EV range, and the driver can select when the ELR operates purely on electricity, enabling potential customers in Europe to use the vehicle in designated "Green Zones." Using a standard 120-volt household power outlet in the United States, the battery recharges in about 12 hours. With a 240-volt power outlet, the time it takes to top off the battery falls to 4.5 hours.

When the battery reaches its minimum state of charge, the auxiliary 1.4-liter 4-cylinder gasoline engine starts and supplies power to the EV drivetrain, providing a total driving range of 300 miles before requiring a visit to a gas station or a power outlet. On rare occasions, such as when driving on steep grades, the gasoline engine may directly assist with driving the ELR's front wheels.

Together, the EREV powertrain generates 207 horsepower and 295 lb.-ft. of torque, the latter available the moment the driver steps on the accelerator. The 2014 ELR provides exclusive driver-selected driving modes, including a Sport mode that adjusts throttle response, suspension, and steering feel accordingly. An exclusive Regen on Demand feature is engaged using the standard paddle shifters, enhancing the EREV's ability to capture otherwise lost energy to help recharge the battery while the vehicle is being driven.

The 2014 Cadillac ELR is equipped with a HiPer Strut front suspension with forged aluminum components, semi-independent rear suspension, and Continuous Damping Control that automatically adjusts ride and handling quality. Premium electric steering is also standard.


Because the 2014 ELR operates silently at low speeds when the vehicle is in EV mode, a standard driver-activated alert sound is emitted to warn pedestrian, cyclists and the vision-impaired of the Cadillac's approach. The feature, according to Cadillac, was developed in conjunction with the American Federation of the Blind.

Additional safety features for the Cadillac ELR include a Safety Alert Seat, forward-collision alert system, lane-departure warning system, side blind-zone alert system, rear cross-traffic alert system, and an adaptive cruise control system. Cadillac has not specified whether these items are standard or optional as this preview is written.


Every 2014 Cadillac ELR will have CUE with navigation as standard equipment. The system, modeled after smartphones and tablets, includes natural voice-recognition technology, capacitive touch controls, and gesture-recognition technology.

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