• Image Credit: Michael Harley
  • Image Credit: Michael Harley
  • Image Credit: Michael Harley
  • Image Credit: Michael Harley
  • Image Credit: Michael Harley
  • Image Credit: Michael Harley
  • Image Credit: Michael Harley
  • Image Credit: Michael Harley
  • Image Credit: Michael Harley
  • Image Credit: Michael Harley
  • Image Credit: Michael Harley
  • Image Credit: Michael Harley
  • Image Credit: Michael Harley
  • Image Credit: Michael Harley
  • Image Credit: Michael Harley
  • Image Credit: Michael Harley
  • Image Credit: Michael Harley
  • Image Credit: Michael Harley
  • Image Credit: Michael Harley
  • Image Credit: Michael Harley
  • Image Credit: Michael Harley
  • Image Credit: Michael Harley
  • Image Credit: Michael Harley
  • Image Credit: Michael Harley
  • Image Credit: Michael Harley
Hey, I've got enough things to worry about. That's one interpretation of General Motors executive vice president Mark Reuss' response to a question posed by Driving the Nation about the recently-introduced Cadillac ELR plug-in hybrid.

Reuss said GM will "definitely expand the tuning envelope" for the ELR.

The question was whether GM would consider adding magnetic ride control to the quite-powerful-for-a-plug-in Caddy, creating an "ELR-V" model in the process. Reuss' non-answer: "Good question, can't really answer that," but then elaborated that magnetic ride control uses up "a lot" of power otherwise spoken for in terms of providing the longest electric-only range possible. Interestingly, he did add that GM will "definitely expand the tuning envelope" for the ELR, as you can see in the video below.

With the model retailing for north of $75,000, fewer than 60 percent of US Cadillac dealers were carrying the ELR as of last month and just 99 ELRs were sold during the first two months of the year. In an effort to sell more vehicles, GM said in January that it would offer the ELR for a 39-month lease for $699 a month for qualified lessees and with a $5,999 down-payment required. Autoblog's First Drive impressions of the ELR can be found here.



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 30 Comments
      m_2012
      • 1 Year Ago
      99 OUT OF 5,000....Good start....not. A $100K Cimmaron-V would be the automotive joke of the year.
        Gabbo
        • 1 Year Ago
        @m_2012
        They are just ramping up. So what.
          m_2012
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Gabbo
          99 SOLD...328 as of today sitting on dealer lots UNSOLD. This is not production limited, but demand limited. They need to scale back production BIG TIME.
      Spec
      • 1 Year Ago
      Because it is already over-priced.
      • 1 Year Ago
      Volt and Prius are not similar and the idea that the Voltec platform is in any way "reverse engineering" of the Synergy Drive platform is misinformed. Prius is a combustion-engine car with electric assist. Volt is a full-time electric car that uses a combustion engine for range-extending generation of electricity after battery depletion, and in a very small set of brief circumstances, can leverage the combustion engine for mechanical assist. It hardly ever does this however. It is arguable that in Volt (and now ELR), GM produces the most technically advanced car in the world. We know how to make myriad variants of a combustion engine car. There's over a century in that. We know how to put a big battery and electric motors in a car. There's over a century in that, too. We know how to add a small amount of electric assist to a combustion engine car in the form of a parallel hybrid. But mid-20th-century series hybrid locomotive technology notwithstanding, making a battery based electric car with combustion engine electricity generation for practical range extension in our current transportation energy infrastructure, having its operation be seamless and having its large battery both self-managing and safe in a compact, affordable consumer car, is an engineering feat that isn't sufficiently appreciated by the automotive press and public. The Voltec battery is the best-engineered consumer vehicle battery in the market today. There is no need for an ELR-v in the first generation car. Magnetic ride control is outstanding, but if it taxes the energy budget for using the battery, so be it. The Hi-Per struts are a big improvement over the Volt's strut setup and the suspension's dynamic behavior in the ELR is closer to MRC than anyone who has not driven both might think. If you drive a Volt and an ELR back-to-back, you will be disabused quickly of the notion that the ELR is just a gussied up Volt. No apologies need to be made for the Volt's driving dynamics. It is easily the most sporting bi-technology car in the mass market. Anyone who hasn't driven a Volt has a hard time imagining how strong the car's structure is and what the low center of gravity does for what you'd otherwise expect to be prosaic fwd handling. With larger rubber, more power and a more sophisticated suspension, the ELR feels noticeably more planted and dynamically precise than Volt. And both are leagues beyond the driving experience offered by parallel hybrids. A Tesla S is more quick than fast. That's good. The ELR nevertheless offers a zero-range-concern luxury electric coupe with a world-class interior, coupe intimacy and the responsiveness of a shorter wheelbase. It feels more involving than a Tesla S. Both offer a serene driving experience not available outside well-engineered EVs. Phil
        bluepongo1
        • 1 Year Ago
        http://www.wired.com/autopia/2014/03/tesla-model-s-toyota-prius/ ...... 1) People are seeing that most of the time they don't need to drag a generator around with their battery and don't fall for fictional range-anxiety scenarios. 2) Prius, Volt, & ELR = greenwashed hybrids despite the branding/ spliting hairs 3) Caddy must have forgot their customer base cares more about overcompensation than: gas prices, paying too much for service, real world practicality & the environment 4) "technically advanced" in Volt / ELR terms = Rube Goldberg ( needlessly complex and more points of failure.) 5) Good luck with all the other "salesman speak" tweaked =/= gussied up & avoiding the gov. welfare R&D.
          • 1 Year Ago
          @bluepongo1
          I can't use a Tesla for a same-day roundtrip from LA > San Diego. I can't even be sure the "entry" level battery will get me from the Valley to OC and back. It's not range anxiety, it's range insufficiency, plain and simple. Range Extended Electric Vehicles are completely practical no matter which way you head, yet 70 - 90% of daily driving can be done on the battery-stored electricity. Performance is more than ample for the traffic we actually drive in. In my ELR I had no trouble beating a Audi S off the line in a 2>1 freeway ramp. Midrange passing power exceeds that of most ICE cars actually on the road. My Volt in 15 months has had no failures. The ICE engine could fail and I could still drive it. The electric motor can't fail and still have the car be useful, but that's no different than a Tesla. A series EREV is elegantly simple and yet completely practical in our current infrastructure. Voltec was conceived, started and largely R&D'd before the GM BK. It was a private sector initiative that continued its path to market while GM was leveraging federal assistance. Tesla, btw, would not exist without government mandate in California, and the federal programs that allow it to make headway as a subsidized entity. All EVs and hybrids were subsidized propositions in varying ways. Phil
          bluepongo1
          • 1 Year Ago
          @bluepongo1
          Oh! and BTW the "Ecotec family" is a step backward greenwashed to look like a step forward. :-P
        jeff
        • 1 Year Ago
        Own a Model S and have driven the ELR. The ELR is a nice looking car with a nice interior. The Model S has better driving dynamics in every measurable way.... The ONLY advantage for the ELR is ultimate range. With the rapid expansion of the Supercharger network, that advantage might not last more than a year or two...
          • 1 Year Ago
          @jeff
          I own a Volt and an ELR. I have driven Model S quite a bit. The Model S does not corner as flat as the ELR. It has all the characteristics of a longer wheelbase sedan compared to a smaller 2+2. Which you prefer will end up being personal. I have no dispute with someone's preferences either way. I like the ELR's driving dynamics and I say that having owned many powerful rwd performance cars. Tesla's supercharger network is not the panacea Tesla owners represent and hope for. I am more likely to fly from L.A. to, say, Albequerque, Phoenix or San Jose, than drive. The interstates plan is fine if Musk actually builds it. But the Supercharger network isn't going to appear on extended routes I am likely to want to drive, e.g. Route 395 along the eastern slope of the Sierras, or Route 1 up the Pacific coast, or Route 74 to Palm Desert. And unless the Superchargers are plentiful and uncrowded, I can't make a same day round trip for business from where I live in L.A. to San Diego, for example. Even the 85kwh S won't make it. Range-extended EVs are more practical for more people in more circumstances as only, or primary, cars. But the idea of it has a higher education burden to get the market to understand. There is huge misunderstanding of Voltec, even on the most ardent auto blogs, let alone in the general market. GM needs to do a better job of education. But there is no doubt in my mind that if more people actually drove a Voltec car against others they can buy, many more would be sold. Volt owners love their cars in the extreme, and for good reason. Early ELR drivers seem to, too. Phil
      Spec
      • 1 Year Ago
      Ugh. The Volt was a great start but GM hasn't really built upon it. OK, the price drop was a huge important move. But the ELR is over-priced. And they haven't done anything about designing a different battery pack that they can use in other cars like 5-seaters, pick-ups, mini-vans, etc. Heck, they allowed VW to get ahead of them. Hopefully the new Voltec 2.0 brings some good advances . . . they need to move the ball forward and not just create a gussied up Caddy version.
        jeff
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Spec
        The ELR would be a hit at $50K in my opinion, but it is an obvious failure at $75-80K if you want to sale more than 40-50 a month...
        Technoir
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Spec
        100% agree. They're should not fall asleep but keep pushing ahead with new EV innovations.
      paulwesterberg
      • 1 Year Ago
      There are a number of companies working on shock absorbers that capture energy rather than wasting more of it. GM could be a tech leader by integrating this into their vehicles which would help to extend their battery range and could be tuned to provide excellent suspension. But it wont happen because the bean counters run GM.
        m_2012
        • 1 Year Ago
        @paulwesterberg
        GM is too busy trying to out-recall Toyota to develop anything.
          Gabbo
          • 1 Year Ago
          @m_2012
          That would take them till 2018, assuming that Toyota doesn't add any more in the meantime.
          m_2012
          • 1 Year Ago
          @m_2012
          I don't know. Adding a million at a time is playing pretty good catch-up.
      CoolWaters
      • 1 Year Ago
      Wind Turbines lasting longer then expected... http://www.the9billion.com/2014/02/25/wind-turbines-lasting-longer-than-expected/
      TurboFroggy
      • 1 Year Ago
      For only $14k more you can have an ELR-V today, it is called a Tesla Model S P85. My P85 faster than any stock Cadillac made and available today. If anyone considering an ELR would test drive even a 60KWh Tesla Model S, I find it hard to believe they would still want the ELR.
        Joey
        • 1 Year Ago
        @TurboFroggy
        This is probably happening... any interest the ELR generates turns into Tesla sales. In the first 2 months of the year Tesla likely sold nearly 5,000 Model S's, thats a 100:1 ratio over the ELR! The wait time for the P85 model has increased from 1 month to 2 months, an indication of the increased demand.
          Joey
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Joey
          sorry I meant to type 50:1 ratio
        Ziv
        • 1 Year Ago
        @TurboFroggy
        Turbo, I think Motor Trend said that the S P85 did 0-60 in 4.0 and the second gen CTS-V did it in 3.9 seconds. Wiki has the S P85 doing 0-60 in 4.2 seconds and the CTS-V at 3.9. Those are some smoking fast times but I think the V is faster than the S.
        jeff
        • 1 Year Ago
        @TurboFroggy
        I think your are correct Froggy...
        m_2012
        • 1 Year Ago
        @TurboFroggy
        And you get real back seat, 2 more doors, like 3x the storage space, and its not fail-wheel-drive.
      2 wheeled menace
      • 1 Year Ago
      More weak sauce from GM per usual.
        Ziv
        • 1 Year Ago
        @2 wheeled menace
        I respect Reuss but that interview was not his best work. People have gotten the Volt to do 0-60 in less than 7 seconds by over riding the governor, with no other modifications. Both the ELR and the Volt could easily be doing 0-60 in 7.5 seconds if GM thought it was worthwhile and though it would burn up range, it wouldn't hurt battery life because the C rate is so mild. They are really shooting themselves in the foot. That having been said, magnetic ride control might not be the best option for an electric car with less than 60 kWh of battery to draw on.
          2 wheeled menace
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Ziv
          I didn't know about the power modification... that's cool! 0-60 is 7 seconds is killer! This should certainly come stock! if it isn't stock for some design reason, GM could make up for it by modifying the battery / controller design a little if some extra thermal headroom is needed... since the powertrain as a whole is already capable of doing this! Or they could just implement a thermal rollback, where the modification for higher power is already there, but if the battery/controller/motor hits a critical temp, it dials down the power. We already have this functionality on ebikes - some more advanced controllers monitor the temperature of the motor and adjust the amperage outputted from the controller dynamically according to the temp. If some DIY guys can figure this out with a few dozen lines of code in arduino, i think that a large corporation with billions of dollars to spend on R&D could do it.. :P
          Joey
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Ziv
          Yeah, and the ELR only has 16.5 kWh to draw on, not even close to 60 kWh.
      Grendal
      • 1 Year Ago
      Three articles before this is an article saying that GM is prioritizing plug-ins. Here we see an article where GM is saying that they won't push the envelope for the ELR. Disappointing.
      bluepongo1
      • 1 Year Ago
      Because the Volt is a reverse-engineered/ bloated Prius and the ELR is a tweaked Volt so they are too far down the rabbit hole to get any real performance out of a car they didn't know how to make in the first place. Where does their gov. subsidised R&D money go? The gov. R&D money ( for 100+ year old company.) doesn't show in their products.
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