Now that Tesla has made EVs cool, most of the “car guys” are more or less grudgingly acknowledging their existence. But Jay Leno has been a serious electrification advocate all along. In previous episodes of Jay Leno’s Garage, he has featured not only the Model S, but the Mission R electric motorcycle, an electric truck from Via Motors, and even a Proterra Ecoliner electric bus.
In the latest installment, Jay checks out the 2014 Cadillac ELR, GM’s upcoming plug-in hybrid luxury sedan. GM’s Director of Advanced Design, Frank Saucedo, gives us a tour of the ELR’s design features. The classic Cadillac grill is just for show – the actual air intake is at the bottom, and it closes at highway speeds to improve aerodynamics. The LED taillights subtly evoke the famous old Cadillac tail fins, without looking “retro.”
Next, Chris Thomason, the ELR’s Chief Engineer, details the technical features of the ELR. These are mostly similar to the Volt, but one new goodie is the ability to engage “regen on demand” using paddle shifters on the steering column, a feature that was added in response to customer surveys.
As always, Jay takes his new toy for a spin on the streets of LA, noting that the ELR is “eerily quiet,” but, with 295 lb-ft of total torque, has plenty of power and pickup. Jay notes that going electric is just part of Cadillac’s transformation from an “old guy’s car” to a desirable sport vehicle driven by many of the young show biz hotshots who appear on The Tonight Show.
Source: Jay Leno’s Garage