Cadillac ELR is the Volt’s sexy, cashed up sibling

Underneath the sexy body and beneath the luxury-lined cabin of the Cadillac ELR is extended range electric vehicle (EREV) Voltec drivetrain of the Chevrolet/Holden Volt.


The specification of the drivetrain is identical to that of the current model Volt. Under the hood there’s a 400Nm (295lb-ft) electric motor exclusively powering the front wheels. This is fed by a 16.5kWh lithium-ion battery pack that runs in a T-shape down the spine of the car. Fully charged this battery pack will deliver an official 56km (35mi) of petrol-free motoring. After that the 1.4-litre turbocharged engine kicks in to recharge the batteries and keep the electric motor ticking over. With a full battery and tank the ELR is capable of a combined range of 480km (300mi).

Despite the ELR’s eco car ambitions it rides on massive 20-inch alloy wheels, which no doubt improve the car’s looks and drag down efficiency in equal measure. Complementing the ELR’s sharp lines are energy efficient (and cool) LED headlights, driving lights and tail-lights.

On the inside there’s 2+2 seating and a cabin trimmed in leather, suede microfibre, chrome and wood, while carbon fibre is an option. Like the Volt, the ELR’s dashboard controls are largely capacitive, while the CUE entertainment and nav system features a large touchscreen, voice recognition, gesture recognition and 10-speaker Bose sound system with active noise cancellation. Safety tech includes lane departure warning, forward collision alert, blind spot monitoring and adaptive cruise control.

The ELR goes into production at the tail end of 2013, with sales in North America to commence in 2014. China and Europe will also be graced by the ELR, but Australia will miss out.

Derek Fung

Derek Fung

Derek has a lifelong love for all things automotive, from the dullest Camry to record shattering Bugattis. Prior to starting up Between the Axles he was a reviewer for CNET Australia and the founding editor of its Car Technology channel. [Read more]