2016 Cadillac ELR, courtesy of GM Global Media

2016 Cadillac ELR: $10k Cheaper, More Powerful

It’s no secret that Cadillac embraces performance.  Starting with the Northstar engine from back in the day, this GM marque has been the one doing a pretty good job at combining luxury with…well, flat out speed.

But when it came to the Cadillac ELR, the luxury version of the Chevy Volt, things went kind of flat.  People bought Volts, but not ELRs.  It got to the point where inventories exceeded a 90-day supply.  In reaction, dealers were offering up to $20k in incentives to buy one.

It wasn’t the car, as it was pretty good.  My thinking is that people interested in Volts didn’t embrace Cadillac.  A kind of a culture clash.  People interested in Cadillacs probably thought the ELR/Volt was neat, but were more interested in the CTS-V, the one with the Corvette engine.  To them, the ELR/Volt nameplate did not equal performance.

GM even paid for a really nice Super Bowl ad featuring the ELR a few years ago.


 


 

It was accused of being a little too Team America in its content.  Me?  I thought it was fine.  Nothing wrong with talking the talk, as we really DO have a car waiting for us up there.  I hope some alien hasn’t taken the keys.

Anyway, back to the new ELR.  Caddy is boosting performance of the car.  They’re also dropping the price by $10,000.  Behind the scenes, they may address potential inventory problems by cutting back on the order as well.  From Cadillac:

Cadillac today announced the ELR electrified luxury coupe will offer a host of upgrades for the 2016 model year, including boosts in acceleration, driving performance and connectivity.

 

Major product upgrades include a more than 25 percent boost in power and torque, faster acceleration that improves 0-60 mph by 1.5 seconds, higher top speed, retuned chassis and steering for better handling, more responsive brakes and a new Performance equipment package.

 

Once you start to dig into the announcement, you find that Cadillac boosted performance the Tesla way, by improving the software.  No argument there. Horsepower is up to 233, and torque is a whopping 373.  Which means 0-60 is now 6.4 seconds, according to Cadillac.



You’ll also learn they’re out to improve the overall driving experience as well.  Back to the announcement:

The 2016 ELR’s steering and suspension upgrades include:
-Revised calibration of the HiPer Strut front suspension
-Increased front spring rates and a stiffer rear axle
-Stiffer bushings for the front lower control arms, cradle mounts and Watts link in the rear suspension, for more precise control with no loss of ride quality
-Revised calibrations for the Continuous Damping Control system
-Front Damper Rebound Spring added
-New steering calibration tuned to complement the revised chassis and suspension systems
-Revised brake hardware and system calibration for improved application feel.
-A new optional Performance Package elevates the ELR’s driving experience further with greater handling and braking capability – and a more direct, linear feel for the driver.

 

The ELR Performance Package includes:
-New 20-inch summer-only performance tires – mounted on new sport wheels – that improve lateral grip by nearly 10 percent
-Front Brembo four-piston brake calipers (with the Cadillac script), with 13.6-inch-diameter vented front rotors and 12.4-inch vented rear rotors that improve 60-to-0 mph stopping distance by nearly 12 percent
-Specific calibrations for the Continuous Damping Control and electric power steering systems
-Sport steering wheel with a thicker rim for a sportier feel.

 

Once again, no argument.  These upgrades should make the ELR a LOT more fun to drive.  Since it’s an extended range vehicle, equipped with a fancy 1.4 liter DOHC generator, you won’t have to worry about finding a place to charge the battery.  That’s plenty big to keep the battery in good shape.  Cadillac says the car will go 39 miles battery only.  Which should get you to work, then the market and back home without a drop of gas.

Inside, it’s a Cadillac.  It’s loaded.  Wi-fi, leather, power everything, split your eardrums stereo, all the toys.

The price of the 2016 Cadillac ELR, according to Charged EVs will be $64,995 before Federal incentives.

 

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Sebastian James

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