Cadillac ELR could be rear-wheel drive (RWD)

Article by Christian Andrei, on December 1, 2011

General Motors has yet to confirm if the upcoming Cadillac ELR is front-wheel drive like the Volt or is a rear-wheel drive. Last August, Cadillac said that the brand will build extended-range vehicle dubbed as the ELR. The sleek 2+2 coupe is based on the Cadillac Converj concept displayed at the 2009 Detroit Auto Show. Its powertrain is quite similar to what’s loaded on the Chevrolet Volt, with a T-shaped lithium ion battery pack, a gasoline-powered electric generator, an electric-drive unit and a four-cylinder engine.

Some people in the industry think that for a model, which uses technology shared with Chevy, to still command a Cadillac price, there has to be considerable differences between the two cars. It won’t be enough for a Cadillac to have a separate sheet metal, a more luxurious interior and advanced infotainment system.

It’s possible that for the ELR to stand out, it will use a new rwd platform from GM that will be shared by the Cadillac ATS, a compact sedan is available starting next year. But there may be a problem since to use a rwd platform, the battery pack may need to be modified so the driveshaft could be positioned under it.

The Volt's T-shaped battery pack is located below the rear seats and center console. The battery pack may be raised but this will take up space in the passenger compartment. This will affect rear seat comfort, particularly headroom. Making it worse is the slope of the roof as it approaches the rear of the vehicle. The ELR is expected to debut in 2013.

Mainly based on the Converj Concept, the new 2014 Cadillac ELR is more than able to deliver on this particular promise. This luxury coupe is able to have a dramatic design and is equipped with extended-range technology that leads the industry. As such, it results in the 2014 ELR offering a driving experience that while sporty, is also friendly to the environment.

This model is also the first instance of a full-line luxury brand applying the Extended Range Electric Vehicle technology, or EREV. Using this technology, purely electric driving is combined with the range-extending and efficient generator to have full driving range going at least 300 miles (480 kilometers). Fitted with Regen on Demand meanwhile enhances the EREV driving technology and the inclusion of selectable drive modes improves driving in order to optimize efficiency.

What the Regen on Demand does is to regenerate temporarily the energy attained from the vehicle’s momentum and then convert it to electricity in order to be stored in its battery pack and used later. This feature is triggered using the steering wheel paddles, similar to the usual performance cars. Indeed, the EREV technology has been tuned specifically for the 2014 ELR.

Thus daily trips generally do not need any gasoline and thus have zero emissions. For those who plan longer journeys, issues are avoided as this same technology allows long-distance travel much like a conventional vehicle.

In addition to the technology, the exterior is set to progressive proportions while the interior is able to display a new design motif that the brand hopes will define its models in the future. Its goal is to show precise details, equipped with technology and a high level of contemporary elegance.

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