Cadillac has confirmed that its ELR extended-range electric car will be built at General Motors' Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly plant in southeast Michigan. The automaker will invest $35 million to ready the facility for Cadillac ELR production to begin in late 2013.
The announcement is hardly a surprise given what we already know about the Cadillac ELR. The new two-door electric will be based on the Chevrolet Volt, which (along with the European Opel Ampera derivative) already is built at Detroit-Hamtramck. And as with the Volt, the Cadillac's T-shaped lithium-ion battery pack will be assembled at a GM facility in Brownstown, Michigan. The ELR will also have a four-cylinder gasoline engine that produces extra energy once the battery has been drained -- again, just like the Volt.
"The ELR will be in a class by itself," GM North America president Mark Reuss said in announcing the production investment. "People will instantly recognize it as a Cadillac by its distinctive, signature look, and true-to-concept exterior design."
As our spy photos (pictured) have revealed, the production Cadillac ELR will stay remarkable true to the 2009 Cadillac Converj concept car. The two-door looks a lot like a scaled-down Cadillac CTS coupe, with the rear windshield falling swiftly into a short deck. The front end has a stubby, slightly rounded nose that bears a strong resemblance to the Chevrolet Volt -- for obvious aerodynamic reasons. On the inside, the center stack adopts the CUE (Cadillac User Experience) touchscreen interface, while the instrument cluster combines a real analog speedometer with color LCD screens showing battery charge and power usage. Expect the ELR to offer more luxury touches than the Volt, including more leather trim and the possibility of safety systems like lane-departure and blind-spot warnings.
The production-spec 2014 Cadillac ELR will most likely make its debut at a major auto show some time next year and will go on sale toward the end of 2013.