UPDATE: Cadillac ELR Revealed at NAIAS

Sections: Fuel Economy, Powertrain

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The 2014 Cadillac ELR Extended Range Electric Vehicle

Cadillac unveiled this, its 2014 ELR Extended Range Electric Vehicle, at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, MI this week. (Cadillac photo courtesy General Motors.)

We told you about the Cadillac ELR when the luxury arm of General Motors teased it last month. This week at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit, it was officially unveiled.

According to a Cadillac press release, the ELR’s exterior design is “practically unchanged” from the Converj concept car that inspired it.

Mark Adams, executive director of Global Cadillac Design said, “No other luxury car maker with a broad portfolio has a vehicle like ELR. The Cadillac brand has been building momentum for the past 10 years, and it is uniquely positioned to push to the next level by bringing this level of technology to market in a relevant and compelling way.”

Designed as a traditional 2+2 coupe, the ELR uses the drivetrain components from the Chevrolet Volt sedan, but places them within a Standard of the World-style wrapper with sharp creases and 20-inch rims on the outside and available leather seating and the Linux-based CUE infotainment system on the inside.

The ELR should be good for a total combined electric/gasoline range of more than 300 miles, according to a preliminary spec sheet. Its batteries, warranted for eight years or 100,000 miles, are backed by a 1.4-liter dual-overhead cam four-cylinder gasoline engine that operates as a generator. Though the gas engine makes only 84 horsepower, when combined with the power of the electric motor, the car makes a healthy 207 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. It should be capable of traveling about 35 miles on electricity only, according to Cadillac.

The exterior features some tricks, including hidden door handles, an electric charge port in the driver’s side front fender, and lights on the side mirrors that pulse green while the car is charging and then go dark when charging is complete.

Inside, the car has eight-inch configurable instrument and driver information displays, with four different display modes. The interior also features choreographed (!) LED accent lighting, fold-down rear seats, and what is sure to be a favorite party trick, a power-assist covered storage receptacle/cup holder in the center console.

The CUE infotainment screen has the ability to recognize multi-touch gestures just like your smartphone, including tap, flick, swipe, and spread. Buttons displayed on-screen make use of haptic feedback, pulsing to acknowledge a button-press so that the driver may keep his eyes on the road and not the screen. It can sense the proximity of the driver’s hand and will load up driver-customized command buttons on-screen when the driver’s hand draws near.

Best of all for tech nerds like us here at In-Car Tech Tell, the CUE system is Linux-based, leaving the door open for future open-source development. I want to see a port of Linux Mint running in a Caddy soon. What better car for the Mint programming gurus to start toying with than the tech-savvy ELR?

We hope to get our hands on an ELR for testing once they become available to the press. In the meantime, we’re pining for some quality time with CUE.

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