2016 Cadillac ELR: More Performance, More Range, Lower Price

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The specifications of the updated 2016 Cadillac ELR range-extended electric car were released this morning, and one big question has been answered.

The luxury coupe will not use the revised Voltec powertrain that propels the new second-generation 2016 Chevrolet Volt on sale later this year.

But it boasts better performance, slightly higher electric range, more standard equipment, and a price cut of $10,000.

DON'T MISS: 2016 Chevy Volt: Bigger Battery, More Motor Power, New Range Extender Engine Details

Instead, the 2016 ELR will continue with its existing 17.1-kilowatt-hour battery pack and 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine.

Nonetheless, it gets a notable boost in powertrain output, which has risen to 233 horsepower and 373 pound-feet of torque from the 207 hp and 295 lb-ft of the 2014 ELR. (There was no 2015 model.)

The gains were due not to changes in the hardware, but software upgrades to enable the battery to deliver increased output when needed.

2016 Cadillac ELR

2016 Cadillac ELR

Enlarge Photo

The increased power delivery is likely a mark of GM's growing confidence in the long-term durability of the Voltec battery pack.

Acceleration time from 0 to 60 mph has been cut to 6.4 seconds, GM says, a 1.5-second reduction.

Top speed is higher too, at 106 mph in standard form or 130 mph with a special performance package that also upgrades the suspension, brakes, and tires.

ALSO SEE: 2016 Chevrolet Volt Powertrain: How It Works In Electric, Hybrid Modes

The ELR's all-electric range, which was rated at 37 miles for the 2014 model year, is now estimated at 39 miles, according to GM.

Its efficiency also rises slightly, from 82 to about 85 MPGe for the new 2016 version. Miles Per Gallon Equivalent, or MPGe, measures the distance a car can travel electrically on the same amount of energy as is contained in 1 gallon of gasoline.

The Performance Pack, including 20-inch summer tires, reduces the electric range by 4 miles, Cadillac says, against the 20-inch low-rolling-resistance tires on the standard ELR.

2016 Cadillac ELR

2016 Cadillac ELR

Enlarge Photo

Cadillac has retuned the suspension of all ELRs for 2016, fitting stiffer springs and rear axle, along with revised calibrations for the active damping and the electric power steering.

Other changes include a slightly restyled grille and Cadillac badge.

But the most notable change may be the price, which is $10,000 lower, at $64,995 before incentives. The ELR qualifies for the maximum $7,500 Federal income-tax credit.

MORE: 2014 Cadillac ELR: $75K Electric Coupe Gets Five-Figure Discounts, Already

Features on the 2016 Cadillac ELR include OnStar with 4G LTE and standard built-in WiFi. A new magnetic inductive charge spot on the instrument panel will let passengers recharge phones equpped with an appropriate charging capability.

Standard electronic driver assistance systems now include blind-zone alert, rear cross-traffic alert, lane-change alert, and active headlights, along with a new vehicle security system.

Adaptive cruise control remains an extra-cost option, however.

The updates come roughly six months after a rumored anouncement of updates for the 2016 ELR failed to materialize at last November's Los Angeles Auto Show.

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