There is a one-of-a-kind feature offered on the 2014 Cadillac ELR range-extended electric car that boosts its efficiency. It is dubbed “Regen On Demand.” By pushing on a button, one of two paddles is held behind the car’s steering wheel. This enables the powertrain to recharge the battery pack with power regenerated from the electric motor.
The Cadillac ELR drivers are able to proactively decide to catch energy when the car is already slowing down. Activating the Regen On Demand will decelerate the ELR in the same way as changing down a gear in a traditional car. Drivers who are going down a hill, nearing a tight turn, or approaching a red traffic light can pull the paddle to capture extra energy in the battery pack.
By releasing the paddle, the ELR can coast just like a normal car. Because of regenerative braking, the drive motor turns into a generator, enabling it to convert the car’s kinetic energy into electrical energy in the battery.
In a statement, Cadillac ELR chief engineer Chris Thomason said that by pulling back on the paddle to slow down, the driver gets a “more engaged, satisfying driving experience” and it’s actually wise to do it due to the additional benefit of getting back energy. The 2014 Cadillac ELR is based on the Chevrolet Volt but it features an electric motor with more power (with an output of 207 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque).
There’s a T-shaped lithium-ion battery pack placed under the rear seats and cabin floor that offers sufficient power for the vehicle to be driven around 35 miles of all-electric driving. Just like the Volt, the ELR uses a 1.4-liter gasoline engine that recharges the battery for long trips as soon as the battery charge has run out. The two-door Cadillac ELR features upscale styling taken from other models, such as the CTS coupe. It also features a lavish interior with leather and wood trim, 20-way power seats, and carbon-fiber trim. It is likely to start selling in 2014 and is priced at $70,000.
Cadillac ELR has an aggressive, forward-leaning profile that introduces a new, progressive theme and proportion in Cadillac's design evolution. It carries over almost unchanged from the 2009 Converj concept that inspired it. The overall shape is reinforced by a prominent, sweeping body line accented by 20-inch wheels pushed to the edges of the body.
The ELR represents a new dimension of Art & Science, the guiding philosophy of Cadillac, said Mark Adams, Cadillac design director. He added that Cadillac's DNA is innovation, with dramatic and provocative design. He finished by saying that the ELR delivers this in a luxury coupe that stands alone among major luxury brands globally.
Vertical headlamp and taillamp elements create Cadillac's signature for the ELR, day or night and from the front or rear - a brand tradition since 1948.
Aerodynamics play a crucial role in the design as airflow is managed to help the vehicle slip through the air with minimal drag. A flush front fascia and grille - with active shutters behind the grille opening - as well as tapered fascia corners, enable air to move easily around the car to reduce drag. In the rear, sharp edges and a carefully designed spoiler also manage airflow. An aggressive rake on the windshield and back glass help reduce turbulence and drag and contribute to ELR's 0.305 coefficient of drag.
Additional exterior details include:
• Door handles hidden in recesses behind the doors
• The charge port is located on the driver's side front fender
• Lights on the side mirrors pulse green while the battery charges and go dark when charging is complete.
Exterior colors include Black Raven, Radiant Silver Metallic, Graphite Metallic and Crystal Red.