The Cadillac ELR has always been a bit of an odd duck. When it went on sale at the end of 2013, most of the media, including Charged, found it to be a fine vehicle, but some were skeptical that buyers would be interested in paying $75,000 for what is basically a luxury version of the Volt. Since early 2014, sales have been hovering right around 100 per month.
The upcoming second-generation Volt is the talk of the EV world, but the ELR was apparently never invited to that party, and when the 2016 e-Caddy didn’t appear at last November’s Los Angeles Auto Show, rumors started circulating that the model’s days were numbered.
Cadillac head Johan de Nysschen seemed to confirm the death sentence in an interview with AutoGuide. “The ELR will continue through its lifecycle,” de Nysschen said, “I don’t think we will create a next-generation…successor to ELR.” InsideEVs parsed his comments to mean that GM will produce the ELR through the 2016 model year, then pull the plug.
This week, GM cleared things up when it released the specs for the 2016 ELR. The new model will not be getting the second-generation Voltec powertrain that’s going into the 2016 Volt, but it will get some performance upgrades and a price cut of $10,000.
The 2016 ELR will have the same 17.1 kWh battery pack and 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine as the 2014 model (there was no 2015), but GM has made some software tweaks that allow the battery to deliver more power.
Performance specs are higher across the board: 233 hp and 373 lb-ft of torque (up from 207 hp and 295 lb-ft); 0-60 acceleration time of 6.4 seconds; top speed of 106 mph (130 mph with an optional performance package); electric range of 37 miles (an increase of 2 miles); and efficiency of 85 MPGe.
Perhaps most important, the price will be $10,000 lower, at $64,995 before incentives.
Meanwhile, Cadillac is expected to reveal a plug-in version of the CT6 at the upcoming Shanghai show. No specs have been announced, but a 70 MPGe efficiency figure has been bandied about.
Mr de Nysschen insists that Cadillac hasn’t given up on plug-ins. “We will roll out plug-in hybrids across our portfolio,” he told Bloomberg, “It’s part of confirming the progressive nature of the brand.”