After announcing its intent to go forward with a production version of the fetching Converj concept more than a year ago, all has been pretty quiet on the Cadillac ELR front – until now. We burn for this kind of drama.

The long lenses have reported in from the field with the first-ever spy shots of the ELR in prototype form. That's right, under a wrapper of black and white triangles and mystery, is the real-deal Voltified version of a new Cadillac coupe.

To recap what we know: the ELR will make use of the same basic Voltec powertrain as the Chevrolet Volt, with a four-cylinder gas engine used as an onboard generator to power the electric motor. In concept form, this Caddy boasted a solar panel bedecked glass room, though the tester here has had its roof obscured, frustrating any further intel about the production worthiness of that solar setup.

From a styling and design standpoint, fans of the Converj should feel encouraged by this prototype. The same basic fastback silhouette has made the jump from concept to reality, and the proportions seem mostly intact, too (slightly smaller wheels and longer front overhang are in evidence, but subtle). The prototype seems to have held on to the very striking beltline of the concept car, running in a sharp crease along the side bodywork from the tip of the taillight to the top of front wheel well. Of course, the exotically small side view mirrors from Converj have been axed in favor of a set that are actually, you know, functional, but that won't ruin our day.

With this prototype being so fully formed we'd expect to see the ELR hit the market in the fall of 2013 or so as a 2014 model.

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