By Cars.com EditorsFebruary 8, 2013
About the video
From the 2013 Chicago Auto Show, Cars.com's Kelsey Mays takes a look at the Cadillac ELR.
(car trunk thumps) (energetic music) (car wheels screeching) Hi, I'm Kelsey maze for Cars.com. About four years ago, we saw the Cadillac converge concept, which suggested a sleek Coupe using the same plug-in technology as the Chevy Volt.
Well, here it is, and we're at the auto show checking it out, the all new Cadillac ELR. Styling is very similar to the converge concept. It's basically a sleeker take on the existing CTS coupe. It's actually two and a half inches shorter bumper to bumper, than the Coupe, but bigger than the four door Chevrolet Volt, about nine inches longer, bumper to bumper and a little bit wider as well. You look up front here, pretty much a very closed off grill. There's not a lot of openings here, the engine doesn't need that much in terms of openings. There's a lower portion of the grill here, it's got active shutters and so they close up at higher speeds to improve aerodynamics. There's a little bit of a bumper guard underneath here, it might help with aerodynamics as well. It looks a little bit dorky on an otherwise sporty car. The dimensions are pretty compelling, apart from that, you've got things details along here, turn signal indicators along the sides. Cadillac says, that these are actually charge indicators as well. So when you plug in to this outlet overnight, or whenever you can plug in, they let you know how much battery charge you have left. Let's take a look under the hood. Now, like the volt, the ELR has an electric motor for all electric propulsion, with a small four-cylinder turbocharged engine as the backup generator for the system. So it works like this, you plug it in, you get about 35 miles of total electric range and then the engine kicks in for a maximum electric and gasoline range of around 300 miles. Plug it in overnight, it takes about 12 hours to recharge on your standard household 120 volt outlet, about four hours on a level two or 240 volt outlet. Now, unlike the Volt, which is a true four-door car, the ELR is a two plus two Coupe. It's got two seats up front, two seats in the back, lots of leather and wood and carbon fiber and aluminum going on inside. Some cool touches here, the steering wheel is actually trimmed in leather. That's usually not a touch you see until you get to very, very expensive cars. Cadillac says there's leather on all the areas that kinda your arms and elbows fall here, along the upper dash there's faux leather. Everything's kind of stitched up, there's suede as well. Definitely a lot of high quality materials. There's even leather along the cup holder cover, which Cadillac says is motorized. So you just press this silver nub right here, and it powers back. This car at the auto show doesn't have power to do that right now, but that's gotta be some feature that your passengers will either oo and ah over or laugh at and think it's ridiculous. One other thing that's kind of ridiculous. The electronic door handles here, they're the same door handles as you get in the Chevy Corvette. We've never been big fans of them and they're right next to where your knee lays, and so if you're just sitting here and you accidentally touch them, door's gonna (car door slams) open up on you accidentally. The gauges are really interesting. There's a physical ring here with basically simulated numbers inside for the speedometer. There's also screens on either side to tell you things like how efficiently you're driving. The screens can show things like your navigation map. Carries over a lot of information from the center screen, but puts it there if you need it. There's also Cadillac's touch sensitive cue system, Cadillac user experience. We have kind of mixed feelings about that, it works better than some other touch sensitive systems, but we've never been wild about touch sensitive buttons in a car in general. The Cadillacs have always been those big cars you can take your friends golfing in. The ER, maybe not so much. There's only about nine cubic feet of cargo room back here, that's actually about a foot and a half less than the CTS Coupe, than even the Volt, which has a pretty small trunk itself, small opening too, not a ton of height here to throw things in, better hope it's mini-golf. (trunk thumps) Sharp styling and a handsome interior, are ELR strengths, but we don't know the pricing yet and it's probably going to be a lot more than the Volt, which without a federal tax credit, starts at around $40,000. So stay tuned to Cars.com. We'll let you know pricing closer to the ELRs on sale date late in 2013. (car engine revving)