After several teasing concepts over the last few years, the production-ready 2014 Cadillac ELR debuted this week and instantly became the best-looking hybrid vehicle ever.
Cadillac unveiled the ELR this morning, to an excited throng of eco-friendly buyers who have been waiting for the technology to expand to more attractive and luxurious vehicles. Based on the technology found in the Chevrolet Volt, the ELR uses the same Electric Vehicle Extended Range system and 1.4L gasoline engine, but with a body that demands attention. In a very, very good way.
The ELR will maintain its two-door shape, incorporating the Art & Science design philosophy that Cadillac has been using to shape recent award-winning cars like the CTS and ATS sedans. The big, bold front grille leads the way, flanked by high-intensity LED headlights and fog lamps that are wrapped in seductive sharp angles.
A muscular hood leads into a lean profile and low waistline, with character lines that angle up into shapely hips punctuated by wrap-around tail lights. With the wide stance, coupe proportions and 20-inch wheels, the Cadillac ELR looks more like an electric CTS Coupe than a more dramatic Volt.
Like the Volt, you can own an ELR without ever filling up the gas tank, if you’d like – all respect due to the 16.5 kWh lithium-ion battery pack strapped through the center of the car. The battery’s 435-lb. weight means the ELR will be far from spritely, but Cadillac promises inspired driving ability.
The car is charged through 120V or 240V charging ports, and can travel strictly on electric power for about 35 miles. After that, the 1.4L four-cylinder engine will kick in, for an overall range around 300 miles.
Cadillac expects the ELR to be available later this summer.
Now, about that ELR-V…
Stay tuned for much more coverage from the NAIAS in Detroit.