The Chevrolet Volt was never meant to be a single vehicle. A similar, re-nosed version is already on sale in Europe under GM’s Opel brand name, known as the Opel Ampera (Amp Era…get it?). However, this is literally the same vehicle as the Volt, just with a different (and more fetching) front end.
But GM isn’t stopping with these two vehicles, and the next division to get a version of the Volt will be Cadillac. Previewed at the 2009 Detroit Auto Show as the Cadillac Converj concept, the name has since been changed to ELR to better fit with Cadillac’s three-letter nomenclature. We’ve already seen spy photos of the new Cadillac coupe’s exterior just last month, and it seems to be aping the Converj’s styling as well as one can hope. Now, we’re finally getting a good look at the ELR’s interior.
The Volt’s interior is either a technological masterpiece, or too cheap for the Chevy’s $40,000 price tag, depending on whom you talk to. Regardless, Cadillac is establishing its own aesthetic that goes well beyond Chevrolet’s, and it looks like the ELR will carry that on. Most obvious is the Cadillac CUE system in the center dash. We’ve driven the Cadillac ATS and Cadillac XTS, and the CUE infotainment system is a highlight in both. Immediately below the system is the same touch-sensitive panel as in the ATS and XTS for audio and climate controls.
What’s definitely different is the ELR’s gauge cluster. While it’s a little difficult to tell from the photo’s angle, it appears to be an all-LCD screen, with no physical gauges at all (it’s possible that the speedometer is an actual needle). This wouldn’t be terribly surprising. LCD screens are slowly taking over the dash anyhow, and Mercedes-Benz and other high-end manufacturers have been using them for years instead of actual needles and dials. It would also fit in with the “art and science” theme that Cadillac has cultivated; we’re assuming that the panel would be driver-configurable for a variety of functions.
Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait a while to see the production version of the ELR, as Cadillac has already said it won’t debut the car until next year’s Pebble Beach concours. Until then, though, we’re sure to see a continuous slow drip of spy photos and other leaked information. Stay tuned.