General Motors’ 2014 Cadillac ELR built largely around the Chevy Volt’s plug-in powertrain is being touted as a tech halo, and as such GM is promising excellent driving dynamics, and cutting-edge suspension and steering systems.
“ELR’s methodical use of advanced suspension and steering technologies front and rear has resulted in the quiet cabin, agile handling and superior ride that Cadillac customers have come to expect,” said Chris Thomason, ELR vehicle chief engineer. “ELR will redefine for many people what the electric car driving experience is all about. Not only does it make smart use of energy, it makes energy-efficient driving fun and luxurious.”
Specifically, the ELR will include front HiPer Strut suspension, rear compound crank with Watt’s link suspension, a ZF electric power steering system and ZF-Sachs continuous damping control.
The idea behind the HiPer Strut front suspension will be to help prevent torque steer the 295-pound-feet of front-wheel-drive instant torque from the electric motor.
Precise, linear steering feel is also being touted for a smoother ride and control.
In back, the Watts link is said to increase lateral stiffness resulting in more positive vehicle response to steering inputs. It also is said to improve rear suspension alignment relative to the front suspension.
Even the power steering is said to be “premium,” and GM says it’s designed to provide excellent feedback while saving fuel. The rack-mounted, dual-pinion system – one for steering and one for power assist – consumes energy only when the vehicle is actively steered.
Steering angle is monitored by a combined electric motor and sensing unit to deliver assist as needed to the steering gear as well as to correct for crowned road surfaces and cross-winds.
GM says this helps reduce driver fatigue, and of course, the bottom line is the company wants to create a rarified electric car ride fitting for the showpiece wearing the Cadillac name and representing its pinnacle Voltec technology.
The ELR has not been officially priced yet, is now in the final stages of engineering prior to hitting showrooms early in 2014.