With its distinctively sleek and striking profile, the 2014 Cadillac ELR luxury touring coupe delivers an electrifying presence even without its extended range electric propulsion system. Together, they represent a bold new expression of Cadillac’s Art & Science design philosophy and expansion of the Cadillac brand.
Being revealed today at the North American International Show, the ELR’s aerodynamically artistic exterior is practically unchanged from the award-winning Converj concept that inspired it. Inside, a luxurious passenger environment blends Cadillac’s tailored craftsmanship and premium materials with advanced technologies and connectivity.
“No other luxury car maker with a broad portfolio has a vehicle like ELR,” said Mark Adams, executive director of Global Cadillac Design. “The Cadillac brand has been building momentum for the past 10 years, and it is uniquely positioned to push to the next level by bringing this level of technology to market in a relevant and compelling way.”
The Cadillac ELR luxury coupe cuts a dramatic, forward-leaning profile that introduces a new, progressive theme and proportion to the brand. Its overall shape is reinforced by a prominent, sweeping body line accented by 20-inch wheels pushed to the edges of the body.
Inside, the ELR’s classic 2+2 layout is designed to be luxurious, comfortable and connected, with intuitive technologies complemented by the cut-and-sewn craftsmanship that defines Cadillac. The driver-focused, leather-trimmed interior features an artistic blend of chrome and wood accents as well as a sueded microfiber headliner, a steering wheel trimmed in leather and sueded microfiber. Carbon fiber trim is also available.
Cadillac CUE infotainment system with Navigation is standard and accessible through an eight-inch, full-color capacitive-touch screen with gesture recognition in the center of the instrument panel. It supports the electrified driving experience with displays on driving efficiency, energy use, charging options and more.
“The ELR introduces a new premium electric coupe segment to the luxury market and boldly proclaims to the world that you don’t have to compromise on great design or a luxury experience in your desire to be more mindful about the planet,” said Adams.
The Cadillac ELR exterior reveals a bold new proportion for the Cadillac brand yet remains faithful in its execution to the Art & Science design philosophy and Converj show car that inspired it.
“When we introduced the Converj in 2009, we knew any production model would need to advance the concept yet retain the distinctive design language and styling that were so well received,” said Tim Kozub, ELR exterior design manager. “In fact, the ELR exterior honors the concept so closely that one might think it was in the studio throughout the design process.”
Aerodynamics play a pivotal role in the ELR’s exterior design and driving range. A flush front fascia and grille, as well as tapered corners, enable air to move easily around the car to reduce drag.
In the rear, tailored edges and a carefully designed spoiler manage airflow and reinforce the light signature with dynamic energy. An aggressive rake on the windshield and back glass help reduce turbulence and drag.
“The overwhelming response to the Converj confirmed we knew how to make a beautiful design statement that would satisfy the packaging requirements associated with the powertrain, battery and aerodynamic function,” said Kozub. “Every inch of the ELR is in keeping with our design philosophy and executed to Cadillac’s standards for craftsmanship and leading-edge technology.”
Cadillac’s signature vertical LED headlamp and taillamp elements incorporate a daytime running lights motif at the edges of the headlamp housings, which feature molded Cadillac logos.
Additional exterior details include:
- Door handles hidden in recesses behind the doors
- The charge port is located on the driver’s side front fender
- Lights on the side mirrors pulse green while the battery charges and go dark when charging is complete.
Exterior colors include Black Raven, Radiant Silver Metallic, Graphite Metallic and Crystal Red.
Luxury appointments, great proportions and a flowing and ergonomic cockpit incorporating the latest technology interface were top priorities for the ELR interior design team. A continuous feature line from the instrument panel through the doors to the back glass creates a complete and harmonious cockpit environment.
“The ELR interior is a convergence of expressive forms and premium materials that create the optimal balance of sport and luxury,” said Keith Fisher, interior design manager. “No expense was spared in bringing authentic material selections and the latest technology interface into the car.”
ELR’s 2+2 layout features a blend of carefully selected materials, including available carbon fiber and ultra-premium Opus semi-aniline leather seating.
Additional features include:
- Eight-inch configurable instrument and driver information displays, offering four configurations ranging from elegantly simple to technologically detailed information
- Power-assist covered storage/cup holder in the center console
- Fold-down rear seats to accommodate longer items such as skis and golf clubs
- Choreographed LED-powered accent lighting.
Medium Cashmere and Jet Black are included in the interior color palette.
Cadillac CUE part of the driving experience
Cadillac CUE with Navigation is an integral component of the ELR’s driving experience, displaying driving efficiency, energy usage and charging options in addition to the standard infotainment options, such as phone contacts and song information.
CUE, which stands for Cadillac User Experience, pairs entertainment and information data from up to 10 Bluetooth-enabled mobile devices, USBs, SD cards and MP3 players with a vehicle infotainment system that reduces complexity through customized information, natural voice commands, fewer buttons and larger icons. It is designed to be unique for each consumer, from the “simple user” to the fully connected “super user.”
The face of CUE in the ELR is an eight-inch (203 mm) LCD touch screen integrated in the top of the central instrument panel. Its features include:
- Proximity sensing: As the user’s hand approaches the LCD screen, command icons appear. Icons can be customized and arranged by consumers to improve ease of use
- Haptic feedback: Buttons on the fully capacitive faceplate pulse when pressed to acknowledge the driver’s commands, helping the driver keep eyes on the road
- Multi-touch hand gestures: Interactive motions (tap, flick, swipe and spread) popularized by smartphones and tablets allow easy scrolling of lists, zooming maps and searching favorites on the LCD screen.
- Natural speech recognition: Enables consumers to use fewer specific commands to recall stored media or input navigation destinations. CUE’s text-to-speech feature also allows users to receive text messages by system voice and to send recorded text messages in return
- Linux operating system, ‘open’ software platform and ARM 11 three-core processor: Each operates at 400 million instructions per second and the hardware setup offers 3.5 times more processing power than current infotainment systems. It also allows developers to write applications to CUE that can be downloaded by users.
A motorized faceplate for CUE pivots upward at the touch of button, revealing a concealed storage compartment with a USB that accommodates smartphones and other electronic devices and personal items.
CUE’s LCD screen features the drivers’ five most frequently used functions stored along the top of the screen. At the bottom of the screen, users can select up to 60 favorites – from music to points of interest, addresses, maps for weather or directions, phone numbers or system commands, such as “tag song.” Favorites can also be re-ordered and named to be easily recallable.
The steering wheel includes a five-way controller to navigate the cluster display, volume control, cycle through favorites, voice recognition, phone hang-up and more.