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Cadillac prices the 2014 ELR plug-in hybrid from $76,000

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October 15, 2013

The ELR debuted at the 2013 North American International Auto Show

The ELR debuted at the 2013 North American International Auto Show

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A journey that began in 2009 with the Converj concept will reach its peak this upcoming January. That's when Cadillac plans to launch the ELR plug-in hybrid in major cities around the US. The luxury Volt will cost well more than expected, with a base price just under US$76,000.

The Cadillac ELR, which was introduced at NAIAS 2013, is essentially a luxury body built atop the Chevy Volt plug-in platform. It has a few notable upgrades in performance, including a more powerful drive motor with 295 lb-ft of torque, but essentially this is a reskinned, retuned Volt.

It's rather surprising, therefore, that GM chose to price the 2014 ELR at $75,995, including destination, more than double the base price of the 2014 Volt and about $30K more than another recently introduced green luxury car: the BMW i3 (with optional range extending engine). The ELR's base price is also higher than any 2013 Cadillac model, with the $74,425 Escalade Hybrid coming the closest.

Prior to last week's announcement, media reports had predicted pricing between $50,000 to $60,000. Chevy recently dropped the price of the 2014 Volt by $5,000, making the ELR's price even more surprising. Cadillac clearly believes that the ELR has enough juice to take on the likes of the four-door Tesla Model S, which starts at just under $70,000.

"The ELR is a very unique, luxury car," Brian Corbett, Cadillac Communications, explains in response to our email inquiry about the pricing. "It’s a 2+2 coupe with provocative design, progressive technology and pure electric drive and extended range for unlimited driving. So there’s really nothing like it. There are only five options, so there is not a de-contented or “base” ELR. This is a fully contented vehicle.

"Our CTS Vsport starts at $70,000 and Escalade Platinum starts at $68,000, so there are other Cadillacs in this range. We’ve talked about the Cadillac luxury brand expanding and elevating, and ELR is another example of that. The ELR will deliver the performance and ride and handling requirements expected of a Cadillac in a very unique, uber luxury electrified coupe.”

In the end, customers will decide whether or not the ELR elevates things enough to justify its $76,000 price tag.

Though its powertrain is based on the Volt, the ELR does add upgraded equipment from there. Enhancements such as HiPer Strut front suspension, 20-inch wheels and a Watts Z-link in the rear suspension are claimed to deliver a tight, quiet, comfortable ride. The driver can manage battery and engine-generator output through four driving modes and activate a paddle-shift Regen On Demand feature that slows the vehicle and captures energy for battery charging.

The interior includes Opus semi-aniline leather and wood trim

The ELR interior wraps its four occupants in elegance with materials like Opus semi-aniline leather, wood and chrome. An 8-inch touchscreen-based CUE infotainment system comes standard.

Of course, all those luxury amenities don't come without their costs – and not just in terms of doubling the base price. Due in part to the added weight, the Cadillac's range and fuel economy is down from the Volt's. The EPA has yet to test the ELR, but Cadillac estimates that it will travel about 35 miles (56 km) on electric power, averaging around 82 mpg-e, and 300 miles (483 km) on a tank of gas + full charge. The Volt, on the other hand, travels 38 all-electric miles (61 km) while averaging around 98 mpg-e and drives for 380 total miles (612 km). The ELR's gas fuel economy will certainly drop from the Volt's 37 mpg combined, as well.

The Cadillac ELR starts at $75,995 (Photo: GM)

The ELR's price could drop as low as $68,495 with the maximum $7,500 federal tax credit. Cadillac is putting dealers through special ELR training and certification and offering every buyer his or her own ELR Concierge Representative. ELR owners will be able to contact the concierge to ask questions and receive updates. As is the case with all Cadillacs, the ELR also comes standard with the Cadillac Shield program, which includes Remote Vehicle Diagnostics, a Premium Care Maintenance program and 24/7 roadside assistance.

Source: General Motors

About the Author
C.C. Weiss Upon graduating college with a poli sci degree, Chris toiled in the political world for several years. Realizing he was better off making cynical comments from afar than actually getting involved in all that mess, he turned away from matters of government and news to cover the things that really matter: outdoor recreation, cool cars, technology, wild gadgets and all forms of other toys. He's happily following the wisdom of his father who told him that if you find something you love to do, it won't really be work.   All articles by C.C. Weiss
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5 Comments

" provocative design"? Well, this car will certainly provoke laughter!

Jerry Peavy
16th October, 2013 @ 11:03 am PDT

Once again GM makes an exasperating mistake. If this doesn't prove that the car guys moved on long ago (and have been replaced by the accountants and "efficiency" experts), nothing does.

Why would anyone pay 80 grand for a Chevy volt with a Cadillac overlay? Too small, and despite their best efforts to make it a luxury machine, it looks compressed, particularly next to the already successful Tesla.

I have a question for the complimentary Onstar concierge: When will GM grow a set?

Mirmillion
16th October, 2013 @ 11:35 am PDT

How easy it is for you guys to make snide remarks and think you speak for everyone (or anyone for that matter). This ELR happens to be the first car I've wanted for quite some time. I was already sold on the Volt but couldn't get past it's looks. I'm not usually swayed by looks but this one did it.

2VT
16th October, 2013 @ 01:49 pm PDT

Simon Cox designed the Converj, it was magnificent and Simon left GM/Vauxhall for Infinity.

Subsequently the magnificent design got watered down with unsightly little touches.

Sticking the Corvette Door handles on is outrageously whacked... Simon designed similar but apropriate answer.

So if some aftermarket wheel manufacturer comes up with a 1 or 2" larger version of the rear wheel and you can find a great body shop to fix the door handle, you will have something closer to the original design and be proud as a peacock.

The design should have been on the road at least 2 years ago.

Writing for altenergy.com at the Automotive X-Prize I pointed out to the Consumer's reports reporter what Bill Allison told me some years ago when I said I liked the Mog. 3 wheeled vehicles are very unstable and dangerous. The brake tests proved it when the Aptera spun out every time. Bill knew what he was talking about.

Now the ads running in the current issue of Time Mag indicate that the Tesla was most highly rated by Consumers Reports.

Apparently the vehicle has not been subjected to severe lateral impact collision testing.

That battery approach is amateur and dangerous.

Consumer Reports has not done a proper Job.

The Volt and the weakened great design of the Converj are vastly superior and illustrate the advantage of seasoned and experienced engineering.

Bill

Lewis M. Dickens III
17th October, 2013 @ 06:54 am PDT

Expensive volt even with the tax subsidy

Franco Bluto
22nd October, 2013 @ 05:36 pm PDT
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