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Cadillac ELR to be Unveiled at NAIAS

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The Cadillac ELR is previewed

This silhouette previews the Cadillac ELR extended-range electric vehicle that will be unveiled to the world at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, MI January 15.

It’s happenin’ times at Cadillac. First, the “Standard of the World” released an all-new compact luxury contender in the ATS, and now it will make its entry into the extended-range electric vehicle fray with the ELR luxury coupe set to debut at the North American International Auto Show January 15.

According to a Cadillac press release, the model is based on the Converj concept car first seen in 2009 and is the world’s “first glimpse at the Cadillac of extended-range vehicles.”

General Motors North America President Mark Reuss said, “The ELR will be in a class by itself, further proof of our commitment to electric vehicles and advanced technology. People will instantly recognize it as a Cadillac by its distinctive, signature look and true-to-concept exterior design.”

Much like the Chevrolet Volt, the ELR reportedly will feature a T-shaped Litium Ion battery pack along its middle, an electric drive unit, and a four-cylinder gasoline-powered generator that will kick in when the batteries’ juice runs low. No surprise, then, that the ELR will hail from the same plant that makes the Volt and its Opel-branded sister, the Ampera, in Hamtramck, MI. Its batteries will come from the same plant that makes Volt batteries in Brownstown, MI.

The Converj concept looked like a last-generation Eldorado luxury coupe’s space-aged grandkid, with Cadillac’s now signature angular design and steeply sloped front and rear glass promising sleek aerodynamics. Fitting, then, that the 1999 Eldorado was the last two-door to be built in Hamtramck. While the silhouette of the ELR previewed by GM (see image above in this post) shows what may be some slight softening of the design that would surprise nobody who remembers the difference between the Chevy Volt concept car and the production version we eventually got, it appears to retain much more of its concept’s character than its Volt cousin did.

No official word from Cadillac yet on expected electric driving range or fuel economy when the gasoline generator engine is running. We’ll be sure to report back when that info becomes available.

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