A previously expected refresh for the Cadillac ELR was canceled last month in Geneva but today the automaker announced the 2016 model will be quicker and cost less.
Base pricing was lopped a full $10,000 to $65,995 before incentives and this includes delivery fees.
The ELR now boasts a 0-60 time of as low as 6.4 seconds – that’s 1.5-seconds quicker than the old model making the ELR now decidedly more peppy than the Volt upon which it is based. Top speed has been slightly elevated to 106 mph.
Base models see range from their 17.1-kwh battery boosted to 39 miles – a figure HybridCars.com reported July 2014 as likely when the ELR got the 17.1-kwh battery at the production line changeover last year but EPA certification for the 16.5 was 37 miles range.
Astute readers will note the ELR’s powertrain remains based upon the generation-one Volt’s system with 1.4-liter range extender, and without the new 1.5-liter regular-gas-compatible unit in the Volt or the new 18.4-kwh battery that lets the 2016 Volt travel 50 e-miles.
The ELR’s 0-60 time comes courtesy of new software that adds in the gas engine to blend with the electric drive in a 174 kilowatt Sport mode max drive feature.
Maximum torque is stated at 373 pounds-feet, and the plush vehicle rides on a superior suspension which GM has upgraded as well.
Up front is GM’s HiPer Strut dampers with continuously variable real-time damping and driver-selectable modes. Upgraded specially tuned coil springs with side load compensation are part of the package along with direct-acting hollow stabilizer bar, hydraulic ride bushings.
In back is a specially adapted compound crank with Watts link. Specifically tuned coil springs, hydraulic bushings; shocks with continuously variable real-time damping and driver-selectable modes round out the setup.
In short, the extended-range Caddy is sporty, nice, with many opulent touches like cut and sewn leather, other fine materials and workmanship, as well as and OnStar with 4G LTE and standard built-in Wi-Fi hotspot.
“ELR’s combination of leading technology with stunningly attractive design is unlike any other coupe in the luxury segment,” said Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen. “The upgraded ELR offers enhanced driving performance for buyers seeking uncompromising luxury and exquisite craftsmanship with electrification technology. It is unique in the luxury category, in that it completely eliminates conventional concerns over driving range, which has been the Achilles’ heel of other competitors in the luxury segment.”
The compact luxury coupe was all new in 2014, so is now being refreshed, not overhauled as some had suspected could be possible given the new Volt is perceived as a lower line car, and does now have the latest extended-range electric powertrain.
Actually, it’s not expected to ever be overhauled as de Nysschen said there will be no second generation.
In fact, there also was no 2015 model year, but rather the 2014 has carried through and only now is Cadillac announcing a 2016.
The upgrades and price cut could help, as dealers have already been discounting the ELR heavily – more than $10,000.
GM caught heat when in 2013 it prepared to launch the ELR at $76,000 and Internet commenters more often settled on a fair price being in the $55,000-$65,000 range, if not less. Savvy buyers have gotten them in this range with all incentives and discounts they could find.
But the car was never painted as a volume seller and on that prediction, it did not disappoint. In all of 2014, one full selling year, Cadillac moved 1,310 units. Chevrolet sold 18,805 Volts in an off year as the 2016 is pending. Tesla sold over 16,550 and even Porsche sold 879 Panamera S E-Hybrids, another niche car that starts at $99,000 and rapidly gets more pricey with upscale German-style option pricing strategy.
As it is, the ELR is now in the price zone of what some thought was fairer, and is refreshed, more of what it could have been from the start.