Why the 2014 Cadillac ELR Matters:
The 2014 Cadillac ELR represents the first ‘dedicated hybrid’ for the domestic luxury brand, a vehicle which takes the same basic underpinnings used by the Chevrolet Volt and adapts them to the expectations of premium buyers. The ELR gives Cadillac a weapon against Lexus and its entry-level compacy hybrid cars, but it also allows General Motors to recoup their investment in the extended-range electric car technology that so far has been employed almost exclusively in the Volt. The Cadillac ELR is a majr statement from the automaker, and one that will be watched closely to see how it resonates with the car-buying public.
- All-new model
- First extended-range hybrid design from Cadillac
New 2014 Cadillac ELR: Styling and Design
The Cadillac ELR goes a long way to visually distinguish itself from the Volt despite sharing similar dimenstions. The ELR makes extensive use of the styling cues that first debuted several years ago on the Cadillac Converj concept car, which means that the compact coupe features bold lines, plenty of Art & Science influence, and a large front grille that gives it a firm family resemblance to the current Cadillac stable. Wider than the Volt, the ELR’s two-door design is also unique in the world of small premium hybrids. High end leather, microfiber fabrics, an eight-inch TFT display, active noise cancellation (unusual in a hybrid, but present to take care of any vibrations from the vehicle’s gas generator), and the Cadillac CUE interface are some of the highlights that can be found inside the Cadillac ELR’s passenger compartment.
New 2014 Cadillac ELR: What’s Under the Hood
As we mentioned in the introduction, the 2014 Cadillac ELR borrows its drivetrain from the Volt, but numerous changes have been made to the gasoline / electric setup in order to provide more power for the small coupe. The battery-powered motor has been tuned to offer 154 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque (which is a boost of six ponies and 22 lb-ft over the Volt), with a range penalty that lowers the ELR’s pure electric driving range slightly to 35 miles. Another 300 or so miles of cruising are made available by the 1.4-liter four-cylinder gas generator that resides under the Cadillac’s hood. Cadillac has also installed a pair of shift paddles on the ELR’s steering wheel in order to appeal to enthusiasts more interested in performance than range. The coupe should be able to hit 60-mph from a standing start in roughly eight seconds.
New 2014 Cadillac ELR: Features and Technology
The 2014 Cadillac ELR has been gifted with a number of chassis upgrades in order to provide the premium ride and handling that luxury buyers expect. A crossbrace that connects the lower control arms is supplemented by GM’s HiPer front struts so as to enhance handling and road-holding, while wider tires and adaptive shock absorbers help the car make the most of road conditions. The vehicle’s rear suspension system has been improved compared to that which sits under the Volt, and drivers can select either Sport or Tour settings to adjust throttle response and steering speed. The ELR is additionally available with the option of adaptive cruise control, and the CUE feature, which offers haptic feedback for its touch controls, makes linking a mobile device to the coupe’s communications system a cinch – it can even read text messages out loud and respond to them via voice commands.
New 2014 Cadillac ELR: What Autobytel Thinks
The 2014 Cadillac ELR looks great, and with more power than the Volt with very little price to pay in terms of overall battery range impact it should also deliver a driving experience to match. It’s important for Cadillac to make a play not only for compact hybrid customers, but also for the hearts and minds of luxury shoppers looking to be impressed by the brand’s enthusiasm for eco-conscious motoring and investment in technology. The ELR is in many ways the halo car that Cadillac simply doesn’t have right now, and the fact that it’s coming in compact form should not be overlooked.