It will come as no surprise to learn that the all-new 2014 Cadillac ELR will be fitted with paddle shifters when it reaches the market early next year, since they’ve become de rigueur for just about any automatically transmissioned vehicle aimed at the premium marketplace. Of course, in this case, that feature—much like the car itself—represents a technological breakthrough that delivers an unprecedented advantage: When drivers of the striking extended-range electric coupe operate the paddles, they don't actually "shift" anything; it activates unique Regen on Demand technology that helps recapture and store braking energy for the vehicle’s advanced lithium-ion battery pack.
The result is something like the engine-braking functionality that occurs when downshifting a manual transmission.
This provides drivers with new levels of control for the ELR’s innovative powertrain, which will deliver approximately 35 miles of all-electric, zero-emissions driving range, backed by an onboard gas-powered generator for hundreds of more miles of travel. Another benefit touted by Chris Thomason, chief engineer for the 2014 Cadillac ELR: “Pulling back on the paddle to slow down allows the ELR driver to keep their foot close to the throttle, ready to accelerate. It provides a more engaged, satisfying driving experience, and when you consider the added benefit of re-capturing energy, it’s also a smart thing to do.”
The 2014 Cadillac ELR relies on regenerative braking under “normal” driving scenarios as well, with a blended stopping system that optimizes deceleration and energy recapture based on vehicle needs.
Needless to say, folks can expect more information about the 2014 Cadillac ELR as the model moves closer to production.