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?