When people think of Cadillacs, there’s still a good chunk of who think of tail fins, chrome, and ginormous V-8 engines, for better or worse. The truth is that the luxury brand hasn’t made vehicles like that in decades. The land yacht-buying clientele has largely given way to younger, more innovative buyers. Escalades and rappers. Five hundred fifty-six horsepower CTS-V coupes, sedans, and station wagons for those who want German supercar performance without the German supercar price.
And now here comes yet another paradigm shift, as Cadillac will unveil the production-ready version of its 2014 ELR plug-in hybrid car at the 2013 North American International Auto Show. Based on the same T-cell lithium-ion battery setup as the Chevrolet Volt, the Cadillac ELR will be the brand’s first plug-in car, ushering in a new era of technology at Cadillac.
The idea for the 2014 Cadillac ELR came from the 2009 Cadillac Converj concept car and subsequent ELR renaming in 2011 with a slightly updated concept car. According to a 2011 Bloomberg report, the car will be priced above the $40,000 to $45,000 Chevrolet Volt, yet undercut the $57,400 Tesla Model S that is likely to cater to the same sort of tech-savvy shopper.
We were told at the launch for the 2013 Buick Encore launch earlier this month by a person familiar with the project that the ELR would look nearly identical to the above concept car, perhaps even a little better, per the source, with subtle tweaks to its bumpers and mirrors. The interior will change, however, grounded for a more conventional look that will be reminiscent of the Cadillac ATS compact sports sedan and XTS large luxury sedan. It will pack the new CUE infotainment system as well as a digital instrument panel that will function similarly to the Volt’s.
The 2014 Cadillac ELR will go into production at GM’s Detroit-Hamtramck plant in late 2013, joining the Chevrolet Volt and its overseas variants in what has become a $561 million investment in the plant since 2009. We’ll keep you up to speed as we find out more about the 2014 Cadillac ELR in the days leading up to the Detroit Auto Show.