2014 Cadillac ELR Electric Luxury Coupe Featured On Jay Leno's Garage

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Don't you wish more auto enthusiasts were like Jay Leno?

Sure, plenty of the stuff he likes isn't overly green, but at least he can't drive his massive collection of cars all at once. And he does like plenty of electric and hybrid vehicles too--among them, the Chevrolet Volt.

Leno has his own Volt, so he was bound to like its sportier, more luxurious cousin, the 2014 Cadillac ELR.

The ELR uses the same Voltec drivetrain as the Chevy, albeit tuned for a little more "go". That makes it surprisingly suitable both as a sports coupe and a luxury vehicle--with a reasonable hit of performance when required, as well as levels of refinement and silence that only electric cars can provide.

Leno demonstrates the former with a few quick blasts on the streets around his garage, commenting on the low noise and the joy of extracting high range from the battery pack.

In fact, he notes something many electric drivers already know--that there's still fun to be had from driving efficiently, even if it's a different kind of fun from carving canyons or putting pedal to the metal.

It's worth watching the video to hear a little more about the design and drivetrain from GM's director of advanced design Frank Saucedo, and ELR chief engineer Chris Thomason.

There are some interesting points--like how the ELR's front and rear light clusters are designed to evoke the fins of old Cadillacs, its variable electric regen with paddle shifters, or the quick look at Leno's 1916 Owens Magnetic--an early example of what you might now call a range-extended electric car.

What do you think of Cadillac's range-extended electric coupe? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.


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Comments (10)
  1. It's funny how knowledgable Jay is about cars but he just doesn't take the next little step to really know electric cars. A lot of the things he mentions that he likes on his Volt and the ELR are electric car traights. He has first hand knowledge on how technology particularly automotive technology advances, yet like most skeptics he backs away from pure electric cars and is even a bit critical. I think when looking at electric cars you have to look at what we have now and what we will have in a few years time. And you have be supportive of them or they won't evolve. Jay, you need to think outside the gas can.

  2. To be fair, that Jay did love the Tesla S and he even did a "burnout" with the Tesla S that he drove...

  3. True, but in this video he mentions having driven the Tesla but then says he likes this "because if you get stuck you can go back to gas". Which just says to me that he's not looking forward and seeing what's possible with Supercharging and what will be possible in just a few years with all electric cars. So yes he was impressed by the Model S but I don't think he's truly comfortable with a pure electric cars yet, there's still that fear of something new and the security blanket of gasoline the fuel we all grew up with. He may never be ready to let go and just enjoy an electric car.

  4. Well, okay. We all know that I love Tesla. But the fact is that at current stage, supercharger network coverage isn't everywhere yet. If you want to go to somewhere that is middle of nowhere, there are gas stations, but no electric charging network that can get you the range. Those are facts.

    Let us be honest, I don't see Tesla putting Supercharging networks near all the national parks or "wild west regions"... So, those fear are somewhat justified.

    Like I said, PHEV/EREV is a "bridge technology". Once we have the infrastructure "and" the car ready, people will forget ICE quickly. So far, we barely have a car that is ready, and the infrastructure is FAR FROM ready...

  5. He liked the Ford Focus Electric when he drove one on his show. You have to consider that he's probably not going to badmouth the ER-EV design when GM brought out a vehicle to demonstrate for him.

  6. A very nice video. Jay is very correct that driving in the hybrid style is fun, entertaining and challenging. The Volt is a great hybrid car, I drive mine in the regen mode, L and Sport. It regens up to 10%. If I start with 46 miles of battery I can often exceed 50 pure electric miles. I don't think Jay is lacking in outlook and needs to ignore hybrids for a pure electric vehicle. They are two different things. When a viable electric infrastructure has arrived pure may be practical in populated areas like the Northeast and West Coast but hybrids are the way to go now and in the rest of the country. The Volt has no equal ... until the ELR but I still like the four doors and hatchback.

  7. The ELR is a stunning dart in flight with wheels. Should be a huge hit. Caddy will sell all it can make for a few months.

  8. I think Jay will jump on the "fastest" PHEV/EREV/BEV. He loves speed. He will never give up power/speed for few % of more efficiency...

    This is why we need more sporty entry to the plugin market.

  9. The more the better Li. I like Buicks so why not an Electra II. Two door, 4 place. 225 hp electric and a 225 hp Turbo charged Four banger turbo, both geared to the drive system when you put your foot down. 100 EV miles. Dream on.

  10. I saw that prototype Electra. Pretty slick looking car. I wonder if GM is aiming to do a Buick version of the Volt/ELR gen II.

    I don't see why GM can't make the current Voltec powertrain like you described.

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