Not that the luxury segment hasn't already been a hotbed of hybrid development in recent years, though initially slow on the uptake. That makes perfect sense, as it's more affordable in higher-margin cars, and follows a comfortable trickle-down theory of technology for the carmakers not already deep in the hybrid/electric game.
All of that aside, however, the 2014 Cadllac ELR is a very interesting vehicle for the green-car world: it marries the efficiency of the Chevrolet Volt (or something close to it--Cadillac has been mum on specifics thus far) with the image of a sporty, elegant coupe. The question now is: will it matter?
While the Chevrolet Volt hasn't sold in record-breaking quantities, the expected $60,000-plus price point of the ELR will limit the potential pool of buyers. That means it won't make too large an impact on overall greenhouse gas emissions. Add on top the ELR's coupe profile, and it's unlikely to displace any gas-guzzling luxury sedans, instead serving duty as a second (or third) vehicle for most of its target market.
But perhaps the importance of the ELR isn't so much in its potential to save the world, or even in its Volt-sharing technology underneath. It might be most significant as a car that, however pointedly, seamlessly integrates series-hybrid technology into a car that's meant to be more than just a green grocery-getter. In a way, it represents the transition to the mainstream of electric car tech--and in that regard, it could be very significant, indeed.
We hope to bring you a first-hand drive report of the 2014 Cadillac ELR answering all of these questions and more later this year, so stay tuned. In the mean time, enjoy this gallery of photos live from its debut at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show.