Cadillac had announced just how much juice you’ll need to buy its upcoming ELR plug-in.
The all-new, two-door coupe will start at $75,995 when it goes on sale in January. The front-wheel-drive model is largely based on the four-door Chevy Volt, which General Motors put on sale in 2011.
Like the Volt, the ELR uses an electric motor powered by a lithium-ion battery. The Cadillac has an electric-only range of 35 miles, which is three less than the Volt. Once the battery is depleted, a 1.4-liter, four-cylinder engine kicks in to act as a generator for the battery.
Cadillac didn’t disclose the ELR’s total range, saying only that it would be more than 300 miles, and have an 82 mpge (miles per gallon equivalent) rating. The Chevy Volt has a combined range of about 382 miles, with a 98 mpge rating, the automaker said.
The ELR’s battery will recharged in about 12 hours using a 120-volt outlet, or 4.5 hours using a 240-volt connection.
The ELR has 207 total horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. That’s a bump of 58 horsepower and 22 pound-feet of torque over the Volt.
Though the ELR’s nearly $76,000 asking price is steep when compared with the Volt’s $34,995 entry fee, Cadillac went to great lengths to stock its car with the latest luxury gadgets.
Standard equipment on the ELR includes Cadillac’s CUE touchscreen infotainment and navigation system, LED front and rear lighting, lane departure warning, forward collision alert, and the brand’s “Safety Alert Seat,” which warns the driver with vibrations of collision risks.
ELR drivers will also be able to select one of four driving modes: touring, sport, mountain, and one that lets drivers manually chose when to use the battery or the gas engine to power the battery.
The ELR will also come with paddle shifters similar to what defunct automaker Fisker used on its Karma. The paddles on the Cadillac will allow drivers to use the car’s brake regeneration as a brake for the car, similar to downshifting in a normal gas-powered car.
Despite these high-dollar features, the $41,000 price difference between the Volt and this new ELR may be a difficult hurdle for Cadillac, though a base Tesla Model S starts around $71,000.
Many automakers are finding plug-in hybrids and electric cars a tough sell, forcing them to slash prices. Chevy had to do just that with the Volt, cutting the car’s starting price by $5,000 for the 2014 model year. Toyota dropped the price of its plug-in Prius by at least $2,000 for 2014, as competition from the new Ford Fusion Energi and Honda Accord plug-in hybrid heats up competition.
Nissan, Fiat, Ford and Honda have all dramatically cut the prices of their electric cars this year to make them more appealing to a car-buyer population that still seems reluctant to make the jump to electric power.
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