Cadillac announced this week that it will debut the ELR plug-in hybrid at the 2013 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) next month. Based on the 2009 Converj concept, the ELR 2+2 coupe will re-purpose Chevy Volt technology in a sportier, more upscale package.
The ELR will drop two doors when compared to the Volt and get an overall sportier look. The first teaser picture shows that it carries the fastback-like roof line and short nose over from the Converj concept. The character line at the rear also appears like it was lifted straight off the concept, but the odd boomerang taillights are replaced with something more production-worthy. The ELR also has a pair of traditional side mirrors in place of the cameras used on the concept.
The ELR will use some form of the Voltec propulsion system, which combines a 149-hp electric motor, 1.4-liter four-cylinder range-extending engine and a 16.5 kWh T-shaped lithium-ion battery pack in the 2013 Volt. Cadillac has said that the ELR will include an electric drive unit, a four-cylinder engine-generator and a T-shaped lithium-ion battery, but has not specified the specs of that equipment, leaving the door open for a high-performance version of the set-up.
Media reports have indicated that the ELR will use a larger, more powerful powertrain to provide more performance and help offset the added weight of the requisite luxury makeover. In June, Car & Driver suggested that the 1.4-liter four-cylinder used in the Volt will be dropped in favor of a ~1.8-liter version of the Ecotec MGE developed by GM's Opel brand. That report also said that the ELR may use a larger 17 kWh battery, with high-cost, lightweight materials helping to offset the added weight of the larger powertrain components.
All will be revealed in a few weeks at NAIAS, with Cadillac set to begin production on the ELR in late 2013 at its Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Plant.
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