While Cadillac may not be the first brand that springs to mind when it comes to extended-range electronic vehicles, the luxury automaker is looking to change that. The Cadillac ELR coupe, which is based on the body design of the Cadillac Converj concept, made its debut on the showroom floor of the 2009 Detroit Auto Show. What can fans of stylish hybrid cars expect once the ELR debuts in 2013?
Outdoing the Volt
One thing that is known about the Cadillac ELR is that the sleek, 2+2 coupe’s powertrain will consist of a T-shaped lithium battery pack, a gas-powered electric generator, an electric-drive system and a four-cylinder engine, reports Automotive News.
If that kind of drivetrain sounds familiar, it’s because the drivetrain is very similar to that of the Chevrolet Volt, a ubiquitous car among current EVs.
General Motors has not revealed whether the Cadillac ELR will be front- or rear-wheel drive yet. Rick Kranz of Automotive News speculates that Cadillac will want to differentiate itself from Chevy, which shouldn’t be hard, considering the standard of luxury for which Cadillac is known. Using a rear-wheel drive powertrain seems likely, says Kranz.
Finding a comfortable location for the battery
One potential issue with making the Cadillac ELR a rear-wheel drive vehicle is the lithium-ion battery. In order to fit the battery beneath the driveshaft, it would have to be modified from the standard model. The Chevy Volt uses the T-shape, but it isn’t an extended-range EV. The ELR may have to raise its larger battery pack for clearance from the driveshaft, which could affect rear-seat comfort.
The engineers who design Cadillacs haven’t failed the faithful yet when it comes to comfort, however. It would not be surprising if they develop an ingenious solution to this potential problem.
Not your father’s Cadillac?
The Cadillac ELR is advertised as a 2+2, rather than a true four-passenger sedan. As such, rear seating is generally smaller. The battery pack issue may be the reason.