It's fitting that the 2014 Cadillac ELR should debut at the Detroit Auto Show, as it was this same venue that played host to our first glimpse of an electrified Cadillac future, back in 2009. Then, it was the Converj Concept. But amid a tepid economy and the initial lukewarm reaction to the Chevrolet Volt hybrid-- on which the electric Converj/ELR is based--Caddy took its time. But more recently, the Volt has gained traction, and the all-electric Tesla Model S was even named the 2012 Motor Trend Car of the Year.
The 2014 Cadillac ELR will offer extended-range electrical driving, the luxury buyers have come to expect from Cadillac, and a range of in-cabin technology like we've recently seen on the new Cadillac XTS.
Who It's For
Automakers haven't quite figured out the electric vehicle market, but there are signs of progress. Tesla's recent fanfare should help bring recognition to the segment. Chief among buyer concerns, is electric range--how many miles can you go on a charge? Tesla has introduced larger, pricier battery packs that can extend range beyond 200 miles. For the Converj to be successful, it will have to address this issue. But current Cadillac and luxury vehicle owners looking for a sporty looking, eco-friendly ride, may be tempted to give the ELR a go.
Cadillac's luxury cues aren't all that separate the ELR from its Chevrolet brother.
- Bold styling. This electric vehicle keeps the Cadillac aesthetic found on the CTS and ATS.
- Extended range. Engineers were able to extend the electrical range of the Volt for the ELR.
- In-cabin technology. Cadillac's CUE is user friendly and has tablet-like traits
What We Think
Luxury buyers represent a small share of the overall sales in the U.S., and electric vehicles are still a niche, put them together… But the 2014 Cadillac ELR has a few things going for it: it looks good, has the seasoned Cadillac luxury name behind it, and it can justify its price with its "luxury" tag better than say, the Volt plug-in hybrid. But is the market ready? We'll have to wait and see.
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