Give Cadillac credit: the ELR does little to indicate it packs a high-efficiency powertrain. The car is a looker, with low slung angular styling that is very aggressive. On looks alone, the ELR certainly seems like a worthy competitor to other big luxury coupes. Of course, the ELR is much more than just a pretty face.
The Cadillac ELR has a powertrain similar to that found in the Chevrolet Volt, what GM calls an "extended range electric." This means that the car can be charged at home and then driven roughly 35 miles while using no gasoline whatsoever. Should owners exceed that range, a small displacement gasoline engine starts up, seamlessly powering the electric motors that move the front wheels. Cadillac claims this powertrain is good for a range of about 330 miles. Drivers will rarely need to put fuel in the car provided they only use it about town, but the powertrain's flexibility serves to allay range anxiety but also allow the impromptu longer road trips when desired.
Styling and futuristic drivetrain aside, the ELR must also has credibility as a luxury car, and that means plenty of goodies and interior amenities. The interior of the car is swathed in leather and carbon fiber, feeling expensive and stylish. There are two small seats in the back for children or the occasional adult, but most ELRs will spend much of their time with only one or two occupants. Those occupants will benefit from Cadillac's latest CUE in-car infotainment system, which makes Bluetooth pairing, navigation and stereo operation easier and more powerful than ever. The system has plenty of other trick features as well, including a proximity sensor, haptic feedback, multi-touch controls and speech recognition.
Other stand out features on the ELR include a Bose 10-channel stereo with noise cancellation technology, electronically controlled suspension capable of adjusting dampening rates continuously and on the fly, 20-inch wheels, LED headlamps, programmable charging schedules, SMS text functionality, OnStar with 4G LTE connectivity, wireless inductive charging for smartphones, and an 8-inch configurable touchscreen for CUE controls.
Safety has not been neglected and the ELR comes with forward collision and a lane departure warning system. Optional safety enhancements include a blind spot warning system, rear cross traffic alert and adaptive cruise control. Anti-lock brakes, traction control and stability control are also standard.