Cadillac has confirmed that the 2014 ELR, a plug-in-electric luxury coupe based on the Chevrolet Volt, will debut at the Detroit auto show on January 15.The Cadillac ELR is set to begin production at the same factory as the Volt in late 2013.
Cadillac first previewed the 2014 ELR with the 2009 Converj concept, and confirmed in fall 2011 that the car would go into production. This fall, Cadillac revealed that the 2014 ELR will be built at the General Motors plant in Hamtramck, Michigan, that also assembles the Chevrolet Volt and its European derivative, the Opel Ampera.
The reason for the common assembly plant is simple -- the 2014 ELR is heavily based on the Volt. The Cadillac will also use a T-shaped lithium-ion battery pack and an electric motor to provide electric-only propulsion, while a small four-cylinder gasoline engine serves as backup for longer journeys. The main difference between the two is styling: despite similar front and rear shapes, the ELR diverges from the Volt with a chopped roofline and two-door design.
Our spy photos reveal that the 2014 ELR will have the same face as other Cadillacs, with a broad three-bar grille, giant circular badge, and LED running lights. There's a large rear windshield on the sloping roof, leading into a small decklid with an integrated spoiler. The turbine-style seven-spoke wheels from the Converj concept also appear on the production car. Inside, the center stack adopts the CUE touch-sensitive controls and touchscreen that debuted in the Cadillac XTS sedan. An LCD instrument cluster has a large center speedometer flanked by gauges measuring driving range, battery charge, and other information.
"The ELR will be in a class by itself," GM North America president Mark Reuss said in October. "People will instantly recognize it as a Cadillac by its distinctive, signature look and true-to-concept exterior design."
When the 2014 Cadillac ELR makes its debut at the Detroit show next month, we'll find out whether it has any mechanical changes compared to the Chevrolet Volt. Earlier reports suggested the new model may ditch the Chevrolet's 1.4-liter inline-four range-extending engine in favor of a new 2.0-liter unit.