General Motors is trying to take the Chevrolet Volt’s electric technology upscale with a new Cadillac.
The company on Tuesday introduced the ELR, which has the same battery and gas-powered generator as the Chevy version.
The new car has angular lights and fenders like other new Cadillacs, but it also has a more sloped, forward-leaning aerodynamic look. It also has a plush new interior that differentiates it from the Volt and sets the tone for future Cadillacs.
Don Butler, vice president of marketing for Cadillac, said GM isn’t expecting huge sales, but that’s not needed to make a luxury car a success.
“With luxury it’s not necessary to reach a lot of people. Luxury buyers want something that’s special, that’s unique, that’s different from everything else on the road,” he said.
Production starts late this year, and the car will hit showrooms early in 2014 in North America. GM promises to produce a limited number to make the car unique on the roads. The car will be exported to China and Europe.
The ELR has a 5.5-foot-long, 435-pound T-shaped battery that can take the car about 35 miles on electricity. A 1.4-liter onboard gasoline generator kicks in after the battery runs down. The system has the equivalent of a gasoline engine’s 207 horsepower. Just like the Volt, GM is putting an 8-year warranty on the battery. The generator runs on premium gas.
Like the Volt, it is designed to use braking energy to help recharge the battery, especially in city driving.
Fuel economy was not released, but the Volt gets an estimated 98 mpg, or equivalent.
Price also was not released, but it will be more than the Volt, which starts at $31,645 including a $7,500 federal electric car tax credit. The car will be manufactured at the Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant.
Vice president of marketing for Cadillac