Cadillac ELR extended-range electric carEnlarge Photo
General Motors has just confirmed what this site reported last week: The Cadillac Converj concept car from 2009, based on the running gear of the Chevrolet Volt electric car, will go into production.
Cadillac's electric sports coupe will be called the ELR, joining the current CTS mid-size sports sedan and the upcoming ATS compact sedan and XTS full-size sedan. The name, Cadillac says, indicates the car's electric propulsion technology.
GM had very few details other than that the ELR is under development, noting that "details on performance, price, and timing will be announced later."
Our sources tell us the car will launch during 2013, most likely as a 2014 model.
Like the 2011 Chevrolet Volt, the Cadillac ELR is powered by an electric motor that drives the front wheels.
A T-shaped 16-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack between the seats and under the rear seat provides up to 40 miles of electric range, after which a four-cylinder gasoline engine switches on to run a generator that provides electricity for another 300-plus miles.
First introduced as a concept at the 2009 Detroit Auto Show, the Cadillac Converj coupe received rave reviews. The General Motors [NYSE:GM] board approved it for production in that spring, but two months later, it was killed due to a variety of factors, including GM's financial challenges and questions over the car's performance.
Nonetheless, "the concept generated instant enthusiasm,” said Don Butler, Cadillac marketing VP, today. He noted that the Cadillac ELR will offer "the combination of electric propulsion with striking design and the fun of luxury coupe driving.”
Cadillac will also unveiled another concept car tomorrow night, at a special event before the famed Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance.