2014 Cadillac ELR – Quick Takes
2014 Cadillac ELR – TestDriveNow.com Quick Takes:
The 2014 Cadillac ELR luxury coupe blends dramatic design and industry-leading extended-range technology to deliver a driving experience that is sporty and environmentally friendly. It represents the first application of Extended Range Electric Vehicle technology by a full-line luxury automotive brand.
The ELR delivers on the promise of the Converj Concept on which it is based. The exterior establishes a new, progressive proportion for the brand while the interior introduces a new design theme that will define future Cadillac models, emphasizing modern elegance, technology and precisely crafted details.
Industry-leading Extended Range Electric Vehicle (EREV) technology provides a full driving range of 340 miles (545 km), combining pure electric driving and an efficient, range-extending generator.
ELR’s confident and responsive EREV driving technology is enhanced with exclusive Regen on Demand and selectable drive modes that enhance driving and make the most of efficiency. Regen on Demand allows the driver to temporarily regenerate energy from the ELR’s momentum into electricity that can be stored in the battery pack for later use. It is engaged via steering-wheel paddles adapted from traditional performance cars.
The proven EREV technology is uniquely tuned for Cadillac in the ELR. Most daily commutes will require zero gasoline with zero emissions. Longer trips are free from electric-vehicle range anxiety because EREV technology enables the same long-distance freedom as a conventional car.
Additional vehicle highlights include:
- Enhanced AT-PZEV emissions meet California’s criteria for single-occupancy access to high occupancy vehicle lanes
- Light-emitting diode (LED) headlamps, daytime running lamps and taillamps, as well as signature front and rear lighting elements
- Twenty-inch wheels paired with tires designed to balance responsive handling and a comfortable ride with efficiency
- Interior design featuring cut-and-sewn accented leather incorporating sueded microfiber, chrome, wood and available carbon fiber finishes throughout
- Cadillac CUE with Navigation is standard. CUE is Cadillac’s breakthrough system for connectivity and control, using Natural Voice Recognition, capacitive touch and hand gestures used on smart phones and tablets
- Programmable charging schedules and energy efficiency reports available online and through smartphone notification charging alerts
- Cadillac’s advanced active safety features, including Safety Alert Seat, Forward Collision Alert and Lane Departure Warning, along with available Side Blind Zone Alert with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert and full-speed-range adaptive cruise control
- Advanced chassis and suspension systems, including HiPer Strut front suspension, compound-crank with Watts link rear suspension and Continuous Damping Control, which adjusts damping every two milliseconds for optimal ride and handling in all conditions
- Standard premium Bose 10-channel audio system with active noise cancellation.
The Cadillac ELR has an aggressive, forward-leaning profile that introduces a new, progressive theme and proportion in Cadillac’s design evolution. It carries over almost unchanged from the 2009 Converj concept that inspired it. The overall shape is reinforced by a prominent, sweeping body line accented by 20-inch wheels pushed to the edges of the body.
“The ELR represents a new dimension of Art & Science, the guiding philosophy of Cadillac,” said Mark Adams, Cadillac design director. “Cadillac’s DNA is innovation, with dramatic and provocative design. ELR delivers this in a luxury coupe that stands alone among major luxury brands globally.”
Vertical headlamp and taillamp elements create Cadillac’s signature for the ELR, day or night and from the front or rear – a brand tradition since 1948.
Aerodynamics play a crucial role in the design as airflow is managed to help the vehicle slip through the air with minimal drag. A flush front fascia and grille – with active shutters behind the grille opening – as well as tapered fascia corners, enable air to move easily around the car to reduce drag. In the rear, sharp edges and a carefully designed spoiler also manage airflow. An aggressive rake on the windshield and back glass help reduce turbulence and drag and contribute to ELR’s 0.305 coefficient of drag.
Additional exterior details include:
- Door handles hidden in recesses behind the doors
- The charge port is located on the driver’s side front fender
- Lights on the side mirrors pulse green while the battery charges and go dark when charging is complete.
Exterior colors include Black Raven, Radiant Silver Metallic, Graphite Metallic and Crystal Red.
Luxury appointments, great proportions and a flowing and ergonomic cockpit incorporating the latest technology interface were top priorities for the ELR interior design team. A continuous feature line from the instrument panel through the doors to the back glass creates a complete and harmonious cockpit environment.
“The ELR interior is a convergence of expressive forms and premium materials that create the optimal balance of sport and luxury,” said Keith Fisher, interior design manager. “No expense was spared in bringing authentic material selections and the latest technology interface into the car.”
ELR’s 2+2 layout features a blend of carefully selected materials, including available carbon fiber and ultra-premium Opus semi-aniline leather seating. Additional features include:
- Eight-inch configurable instrument and driver information displays, offering four configurations ranging from elegantly simple to technologically detailed information
- Power-assist covered storage/cup holder in the center console
- Fold-down rear seatbacks to accommodate longer items such as skis and golf clubs
- Choreographed LED-powered accent lighting.
Medium Cashmere and Jet Black are included in the interior color palette.
ELR and CUE
Cadillac CUE with Navigation is an integral component of the ELR’s driving experience, displaying energy usage and charging options in addition to the standard infotainment options, such as phone contacts and song information.
CUE pairs entertainment and information data from up to 10 Bluetooth-enabled mobile devices, USBs, SD cards and MP3 players with a vehicle infotainment system that reduces complexity through customized information, natural voice commands, fewer buttons and larger icons. It is designed to be unique for each consumer, from the “simple user” to the fully connected “super user.”
The face of CUE in the ELR is an eight-inch (203 mm) LCD touch screen integrated in the top of the central instrument panel. Its features include:
- Proximity sensing: As the user’s hand approaches the LCD screen, command icons appear. Icons can be customized and arranged by consumers to improve ease of use
- Haptic feedback: Buttons on the fully capacitive faceplate pulse when pressed to acknowledge the driver’s commands, helping the driver keep eyes on the road
- Multi-touch hand gestures: Interactive motions (tap, flick, swipe and spread) popularized by smartphones and tablets allow easy scrolling of lists, zooming maps and searching favorites on the LCD screen.
- Natural speech recognition: Enables consumers to use fewer specific commands to recall stored media or input navigation destinations. CUE’s text-to-speech feature also allows users to receive text messages by system voice and to send recorded text messages in return
- Linux operating system, ‘open’ software platform and ARM 11 three-core processor: Each operates at 400 million instructions per second and the hardware setup offers 3.5 times more processing power than current infotainment systems. It also allows developers to write applications to CUE that can be downloaded by users.
A motorized faceplate for CUE pivots upward at the touch of button, revealing a concealed storage compartment with a USB that accommodates smartphones and other electronic devices and personal items.
CUE’s LCD screen features the driver’s five most frequently used functions stored along the top of the screen. At the bottom of the screen, users can select up to 60 favorites – from music to points of interest, addresses, maps for weather or directions, phone numbers or system commands, such as “tag song.” Favorites can also be re-ordered and named to be easily recallable.
The steering wheel includes a five-way controller to navigate the cluster display, volume control, cycle through favorites, voice recognition, phone hang-up and more.
The Cadillac ELR’s dramatic design is matched with an engaging driving experience, supported by the EREV propulsion system calibrated for uncompromising performance. With 295 lb.-ft. of torque (400 Nm) – about 12 percent more than the 3.6L V-6 in the SRX – acceleration in the city and on the highway, including merging and passing, is achieved with reassuring power on demand.
The ELR’s Sport driving mode also contributes to its responsive driving experience, automatically reconfiguring the accelerator pedal response to provide quicker torque application and more sensitive feedback to driver inputs through altered suspension and steering settings.
Sport mode is one of four driver-selectable choices that help make the most of the ELR’s driving experience for a variety of driving styles and conditions. The others are:
- Tour mode: The default setting on the ELR is expected to be used most often and provides the greatest driving comfort and efficiency.
- Mountain mode: Mountain mode automatically adjusts the system to provide needed power in mountainous environments when vehicle performance could otherwise be compromised. Mountain mode allows ELR to sustain a sufficient state of charge so supplemental power is available from the battery if needed.
- Hold mode: Hold mode allows owners to direct when the ELR uses its gas-powered electric generator, reserving the remaining battery charge for later use. This feature helps enhance efficiency because owners who mix city and highway driving can save the battery charge for city travel, where the ELR EV mode operates most efficiently.
Driving confidence is further enhanced by advanced suspension and damping systems, including Continuous Damping Control – which adjusts damping every two milliseconds – to maintain optimal vehicle ride control over varying road surfaces and profiles. The ELR rolls on 20-inch wheels with specially engineered low-rolling-resistance tires designed to balance excellent control and cornering capability with efficiency.
A solid, stable foundation underpins the ELR, featuring a body-frame-integral structure with main underbody rails running continuously from front to rear. Advanced, high-strength steels add strength and conserve weight. Additional contributors to the ELR’s driving experience include:
- Wide front and rear tracks – 62.1 inches (1,578 mm) in front and 62.4 inches (1,585 mm) in the rear – along with a long wheelbase (106.1 inches / 2,695 mm) and a low center of gravity
- HiPer Strut front suspension featuring lightweight forged aluminum components for reduced weight and more nimble, responsive action
- Dual-pinion, rack-mounted electric power steering system with premium ZF steering gear designed to provide excellent feedback while helping to save fuel
- A semi-independent rear compound-crank suspension with Watts link that incorporates weight-optimized trailing arms to absorb lateral forces, allowing the suspension to be tuned to handle vertical, forward and rearward motions
- Hydraulic ride bushings in the front and rear suspensions
- An electro-hydraulic regenerative brake system that captures energy and sends it to the battery pack
- Standard chassis control systems include anti-lock brakes, traction control and StabiliTrak electronic stability control.
Because the ELR operates so quietly in all-electric mode, a driver-activated feature sounds a noise to alert pedestrians, particularly those with impaired vision, in an intersection. The alert was developed in conjunction with the American Federation of the Blind.
Propulsion and charging technology
The ELR is powered by GM EREV technology, combining pure electric drive and an efficient, range-extending 1.4L gasoline-powered electric generator capable of 162 kW (217 hp) of total system power.
The ELR’s battery is a T-shaped, 16.5 kWh lithium-ion battery pack. It is located along the centerline of the vehicle, between the front and rear wheels for optimal weight distribution. The 5.5-foot-long (1.6 m), 435-pound (198 kg) pack supplies energy to an advanced electric drive unit capable of 295 lb.-ft. of instant torque (400 Nm) to propel the vehicle. Using only the energy stored in the battery, the ELR will deliver a GM-estimated range of about 37 miles (60 km) of pure electric driving, depending on terrain, driving techniques and temperature.
A driver-selectable Hold mode directs when the ELR uses its electric generator. This feature helps optimize the electric-driving experience, allowing owners who mix city and highway driving to save the battery charge for city travel, where the ELR EV mode operates most efficiently.
Charging the ELR’s battery can be done with a 120V electrical outlet or a dedicated 240V charging station. The vehicle can be completely recharged in about 5 hours using a 240V charging station, depending on the outside temperature.
Once the vehicle is plugged in, owners can schedule either immediate or delayed charges, even coordinating charging according to departure time or when electricity rates are lower. Owners also can manage and monitor the ELR online or with their smartphone and RemoteLink, a mobile app powered by OnStar.
The ELR’s battery is covered by an eight-year/100,000-mile warranty.
The Cadillac ELR is manufactured at General Motors’ Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Plant, the world’s only automotive manufacturing facility that mass-produces extended-range electric vehicles for global markets in 21 countries. It is also home to Southeast Michigan’s largest photovoltaic solar array. The 264,000-square-foot feature generates up to 516 kilowatts of electricity – enough to charge 150 ELRs per day.
2014 Cadillac ELR as shown: Standard Vehicle Price $75,000.00.
Full-Speed Range Adaptive Cruise Control with Auto Collision Preparation and Intelligent Brake Assist $1,995.00
Luxury Package $1,695.00
Crystal Red Tint Coat $995.00.
Total Vehicle Price as shown $80,680.00