2014 Cadillac ELR: Up Close

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There is little lost in the transition from the Cadillac Converj concept car to the Cadillac ELR production car under the auto-show lights. It's a successful testimony to the efforts of GM's design and engineering staffs, who were told to basically reproduce the concept as-is.

More 2013 Detroit Auto Show Coverage

They have done so, and the result is striking — a low-slung, swoopy, angular coupe more reminiscent of the Lamborghini Gallardo from some angles than the Volt. LED headlamps rise into the fender that sweeps back in a wedge to muscular rear flanks housing LED taillamps, which also stretch into the fender. The look is extremely distinctive; it honestly looks like a show car for the street.

Inside, things are even more impressive.

This is perhaps the nicest, most upscale interior Cadillac has crafted in decades. Premium materials cover everything from the instrument panel to the center console. The doors are wrapped in high-quality leather, wood, carbon fiber or metal. The optional Opus semi-aniline leather seats feel better than most expensive leather furniture.ElrUCdoor

An updated gauge cluster takes the Volt's customizability to the next level, with more choices for displays and more options for information configuration. It's definitely tighter inside than the Volt, with smaller rear seats and a narrower width even though the ELR is a larger car than the Volt; the ELR's length, width and wheelbase are all bigger than Volt.

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The only potential issue is that the CUE system is standard. It's an imperfect touch-screen and voice-controlled system that has given some of our testers fits in the past in certain models while pleasing some editors in different vehicles. The increasingly common use of touch-sensitive panels instead of switches and knobs also shows up here, which is something we're not necessarily fond of in practical use.

No word on pricing, but we expect not to like this part either. If the Volt is already $40,000 and change, the ELR's price is going to have to be well above that. Still, if this is a stunning coupe — regardless of its green credentials — and if it's half as much fun to drive as it is to look at, it's going to be a significant halo vehicle for the Cadillac brand.
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Comments 

Ken L.

If GM wants Cadillac and other luxury folks to get into the whole plug in hybrid game, they'd better priced the ELR correctly right out of the gate (maybe 45k?). I think it's better to have a lower starting price to increase awareness/interest and then go up from there. This way, you can capture the early adopters and those willing to give Cadillac a chance. Just my .02

sheth

the voice control of CUE has been widely praised. Many have downplayed the voice controls because they have issues with the capacitive touch center stack. At this stage it should be expected that any new Cadillac will have CUE, it's not going away.

By design, Yours Truly captured the essence of the "Standard of the World" and "Baseball, Apple Pie and Chevrolet" on paper and created the images used on the 1977 to 1990 model year downsized fullsize rear wheel drive Cadillac DeVille/Broughams and Chevrolet Impala/Caprice's.

After my design themes had run their course Cadillac lost it's groove as the "Standard of the World" and Chevrolet was forced to share the "Apple Pie" with Japanese imports.

My designs were, for the most part, conceived and originally drawn from a Prison cell behind the Walls of the Worlds Largest Penitentiary in the early to mid 1970's. Officially, General Motors atributes those designs and others (Buicks and Oldsmobiles) to the "Anonymous Designer" (and that would be me).

Domestic Auto Makers got caught with their gas mileage down in the Oil embargo during the 70's which brought Chrysler to it's knees and crippled Ford . General Motors however found my drawings in the kick of time and sucessfully competed during the late 70's relying on the acceptance value and curb appeal of their Brands against more gas effeicent and relieable competition..

pat

Have been waiting for this but pricing will be key. Price it at $43K with standard options and it will sell. Much aboove this will be a hard sell to the consumer. Didn't the Volt run into a battery production problem?

jones felvey

please don't make me take the brown leather when I want light tan.

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