Cadillac pulled the wraps off of its 2014 ELR range-extended electric vehicle today, and we're impressed with how well Cadillac's designers managed to meld eco-friendly aerodynamics with the brand's sharp-edged art and science language.
In pictures, the ELR looks as though the designers acquiesced to the aero engineers to achieve maximum range. Images make the new two-door look bubbly and overly rounded, almost like a squished and shortened Honda Fit.
However, in person, the detailing becomes clear. While the nose may be softly curved to reduce drag, everything from the A-pillar back is pure Cadillac. A sharp character line ascends from just below the side view mirror to the taillights, becoming a flat plane across the rear haunches. The effect is stunning, especially when viewed from the rear. Exaggerated hips give the small Caddy the same kind of swagger and presence as the larger CTS coupe; although, they make the greenhouse look small relative to the overall width of the car. Inside, the ELR doesn't feel as dark and cave-like as the CTS coupe.
The rear end is capped with yet another rendition of the LED light pipe tailfins. The trunk lid is unnecessarily angular, creating too much visual clutter in an otherwise clean package.
The 2014 ELR is quite striking in person, and has the potential to be the next "it car" in Hollywood. It combines eco-friendly credentials with eye-catching design (and just enough flash). I hope so, since the ubiquitous Toyota Prius is nowhere near as pretty as the Cadillac.