Yesterday at an evening gala event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and as part of the ongoing EDTA conference, Cadillac gave ELR demonstration rides to dozens of attendees at the famous racing venue.
This Sunday the Indy 500 race takes place, and it was a great place for Cadillac to get some prime exposure with four of its plug-in extended-range EVs.
Show goers stood in line for upwards of a half an hour to get a several-minute drive – with a minder sitting in the passenger seat – in the infield and on service roads of the Indy 500 grounds.
Unfortunately the ELRs were not turned loose on the big track, but speeds of perhaps up to 80 mph were possible at one point, and tests of the regen paddles and experience of the feel of the car were made available.
Also, in getting the guests to the “Night at the Track,” the Indianapolis Motor Police had stopped traffic for a convoy of tour buses for the several mile trip from the convention center to the speedway.
The police rode on three Harley Davidson police motorcycles and took turns racing ahead of the buses, crossing over yellow lines in the face of oncoming traffic at some brief points, and at one section, driving up the wrong side of a multi-lane intersection, stopping all other vehicles, and routing the tour buses through.
Some attendees commented this was great fun, but it was unclear why traffic needed to be stopped to get a bunch of convention goers to a party and back. It was a nice perk though, and we heard no complaints.
The ELR drive was therefore just one highlight, with the entire gala event being the primary attraction in the infield of the speedway.
Some attendees opted to skip the line for the Caddy test drive, and chose the line for an open bar – at which point a person with scissors would cut their “Cadillac” drive permission bracelet so as to prevent them from later getting in the car sample line.
The Cadillac ELR starts at $76,000, and relies on architecture from the Chevy Volt. It is a high-line “halo” product and able to sample it first hand were electric drive industry stakeholders from across the U.S. and abroad.
Its quick and sporty nature were tested as much as could be but no doubt some might have preferred to get out on the big track, but such was not to be this day.