GM announces Volt-based Cadillac ELR

General Motors verified previous rumors on Wednesday that the 2009 Cadillac Converj concept will go into production as the Cadillac ELR.

The luxury car based on a Chevy Volt’s “Voltec” powertrain debuted at the 2009 Detroit Auto Show, and GM was noncommittal for quite some time as to whether it would build it, even though enthusiasts immediately praised the Converj concept.

“The concept generated instant enthusiasm,” Vice President-Cadillac Marketing Don Butler said to CNN Money. “Like other milestone Cadillac models of the past, the ELR will offer something not otherwise present – the combination of electric propulsion with striking design and the fun of luxury coupe driving.”

The Volt is practically edging into Cadillac territory in some respects already, so this new vehicle is likely to be a very special car.

Cadillac said it chose to call the new vehicle the “ELR” to indicate the car’s electric propulsion technology and to stay consistent with the brand’s 3-letter international model naming convention.

Recent rumors have said the previously un-named development upon the Converj concept will use a Volt 1.5 generation powertrain sporting more gasoline and electric power, as well as all amenities one would expect from a premium car.

But General Motors has not announced its specifications, price, or when it will be built. The company said it will do so “later,” but otherwise is drumming up the enthusiasm for its pending encore to the Volt and Opel/Vauxhall Ampera.

“There’s no mistaking it for anything but a Cadillac. An aggressive, forward-leaning profile and proportion showcases a uniquely shaped, modern vision of a personal luxury 2+2,” GM (GM, Fortune 500) Vice President of Global Design Ed Welburn said.

As a “2+2,” the ELR will, like the Volt and Ampera, fit two people up front, and two in the rear seats. It will be about the same dimensions as a Volt/Ampera.

Although GM is not saying, Bloomberg added to the rumors by reporting “a person familiar with the plans” has said GM will price the ELR below the $57,400 Tesla Model S. Performance was estimated by this same reported insider as being at least as fast as the Volt, with more all-electric range.

Considering a fully spec’d 2012 Volt will cost north of $45,000, what will this mean if the estimated mid-50s price for the ELR is true? Would GM retroactively decrease the Volt’s price to keep the Cadillac from cannibalizing its sales? Or do you think a $10,000 or so spread between the Cadillac and Chevrolet will be enough?

And speaking of more luxurious, how closely spec’d do you think the production ELR will be to the beautifully appointed Converj which had wool-blend carpets, silk headliner, synthetic suede, genuine leather, wood and aluminum trim, highly sophisticated electronics, and more?

CNN Money, Bloomberg

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  • Anonymous

    Lets hope they price it affordably.

    Please bring the Cadillac ULC as well to compete with BMWs i3.

  • Shines

    If the ELR is a 2 seater then there could be more room for a larger battery, electric motor, and fuel tank which would give it better performance and greater electric and overall range. This should be a big winner for GM.

  • MrEnergyCzar

    They could put it in many different choices. There’s no hybrid minivan yet….


  • Steve Kline

    This car is BEAUTIFUL. Please make it. I’d like to see it in Cherry Red and Navy Blue…

    I’m sure you will make performance a mandatory feature. All the rest is a given (world class luxury)!


  • Wanima Hoover

    This is a smooth,luxurious, and hi tech looking car!! I love this cadi!! I want one for me.

  • Chuck

    It’s 4 or 5 seater. You can see rear head rest at 0:07

  • Baltimore Prius Owner

    Let’s see, GM invested approximately one billion dollars to get the Volt on the road, and they are selling an average of 140/month…….yeah it’s time to introduce another version. Good God folks, where’s the ROI? It’s simple, NEVER!!!!!

    Want to see GM turnaround, fire Bob Lutz.

  • Check Your Facts

    The reason they’ve sold so few the last few months is because that is all that’s currently available…

    There is a waiting list to purchase the Volt in several states. It’s being rolled out a few states at a time and GM expects only ~10,000 units to be produced this year. The demand for the Volt is much higher than the current supply; it’s not the other way around.

    In fact, the demand is so high that there are several dealerships (price gouging) marking up the sticker price in excess of $20,000 and still moving them.

  • Martha Munoz

    Nice! But too expensive for me! Love Cadillac’s…..CTS!


    GM is building this car because of CAFE numbers and how one plug-in hybrid nixes two Escalades; but while the ELR will share many of the same components found in the Volt, Cadillac can surprise some like instead of a small gas generator, Cadillac can increase the size of generator which allows for a larger electric motor and/or Cadillac can make this a gas-hybrid by adding a gas motor capable of driving the wheels directly like the turbocharged 270hp 2.0L DI Ecotec 4-cyl planned for the ATS as this would give the ELR very good performance and fuel mileage in the mid-30 range even without the electric motor.

  • KSHE


  • tapra1

    the ELR will, like the Volt and Ampera, fit two people up front, and two in the rear seats. It will be about the same dimensions as a Volt/Ampera.Reseller Hosting Reviews

  • David H Dennis

    I am no fan of the Volt. I think a lot of mistakes were made in its initial design and marketing. Rich people are early technology adopters. They want luxury cars. It would not surprise me in the least if this Cadillac model, if planned and executed well, outsold the Volt.

    As the article discusses, the incremental cost of manufacturing and selling new cars based on the Volt’s technology is pretty low. The technology itself is a sunk cost, but the more vehicles you can spread around it, the better off you are.

    Bob Lutz has done a healthy amount of good at GM. You may notice GM vehicles started winning road tests once his influence was felt on the company. He’s not perfect, but he’s passionate, enthusiastic and has a track record as a automotive manager I think we can all envy. Remember, he didn’t even get hired at GM until a few months before their financial crisis emerged into the headlines. You can’t blame him for the horrible engineering and design mistakes of the past.

    That being said, personally, I’d buy the Tesla Model S before I bought a Volt or Cadillac ELR. I like the Model S design and engineering better, and I like the all-electric aspect of the car. I also appreciate what Tesla has tried to do in building an all-new vehicle on a relative shoestring.


  • arthur mcdonald

    The Chevy Volt was going to be my final car purchase. Loved the feel of the Volt but, style was nothing I desired.

    With 40 years as a G.M. retiree, the ELR is now the front runner towards my Final Car. Without doubt, this car has the Class, Style,Looks,and Efficiency for the final drive into the Sun Set.