The 2014 Cadillac ELR plug-in hybrid will carry a sticker price of $75,995 -- including destination charges -- when it becomes available for sale in January 2014. After a $7,500 federal tax credit, the ELR has a net price of $68,495. The high tag of the 2014 Cadillac ELR plug-in hybrid -- more than twice that of the Chevrolet Volt that shares the same underpinnings and powertrain -- indicates General Motors' plan to build the coupe in limited number so as to endow it with an aura of exclusivity.
"We're only going to make so many," Bob Ferguson, senior vice president of global Cadillac, told Automotive News in August, adding that there could be "a scramble for that vehicle." GM is set to start building the Cadillac ELR at its Detroit-Hamtramck site late this year. Interested buyers could acquire the plug-in hybrid through a nationwide network of around 500 Cadillac dealerships certified to sell and service the coupe. Cadillac currently has about 940 dealerships in the United States.
According to GM, buyers and prospective customers also will have their own "ELR Concierge Representative" trained in "white glove customer care" via a phone call. The reps could provide information on battery care, home charging, service scheduling and other issues. The high price of the ELR comes as carmakers initiated price cuts on their electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids due to weaker-than-expected consumer demand.
In August, GM trimmed the price of the Volt by $5,000, to $34,995 including destination. It followed similar moves for the Nissan Leaf and Ford Focus Electric.
In the same month, Ferguson remarked that he views the success of Tesla as an indication that pricing is firmer for electrified vehicles in the luxury segment than in volume brands. GM is targeting wealthier buyers for the ELR by endowing it with bold, angular styling and bespoke interior. The ELR's cabin features soft-touch materials, real wood accents and available carbon-fiber trim.
By giving the new ELR a profile that is forward-leaning and at the same time aggressive, Cadillac is showing us that its design can still be evolved. Particularly, the brand is presenting a progressive theme as well as proportion. Overall, the design is the same as that of the model that inspired it, the 2009 Converj Concept. Reinforcing the shape is the sweeping body line which has become more pronounced.
Highlighting the line are the 20-inch wheels, positioned to the far corners. Adding in vertical elements on the headlamp and the tail lamp results in the ELR revealing the brand’s very own signature. A signature that is evident whether from the front or the rear, and night or day. Not surprising as this has been a tradition of Cadillac going as far back as 1948. In designing the new ELR, it was important to put focus on aerodynamics. For Cadillac, it was important to manage the airflow so as to ensure that the model would be able to glide through the air while experiencing minimum drag.
To make this possible, the brand utilized a combination of different features. This includes making the fascia corners narrower and having a flush front fascia. There is also the grille where active shutters have been positioned at the back of the openings. On the rear section, the use of sharp edges plus a carefully designed spoiler also help manage the airflow.
In addition, the aggressive rake on both the back glass and the windshield also lower the drag and turbulence. No wonder the ELR has a coefficient of drag measured at 0.305. Brand Design Director Mark Adams revealed that a new aspect of Cadillac’s guiding principle, dubbed as Art & Science, is symbolized by the new ELR.
The brand has long been known for innovation, he added, and a design that is provocative and dramatic. He said further that with the ELR, Cadillac is able to offer a luxury coupe that stands out from among the numerous major luxury brands around the globe.