The first examples of Cadillac's range-extended electric ELR have rolled down the assembly line at GM's Detroit-Hamtramck facility.

That's where Chevrolet already assembles the Volt range-extended car, on which the more luxurious ELR coupe is based.

Cadillac invited IndyCar driver Simona de Silvestro, driver of the #78 KV Racing Technology Chevrolet, to witness the first examples off the line--pre-production examples used to validate production and quality procedures before volume production begins.

It isn't the first time GM has invited someone from the world of motorsport to experience its electric vehicle technology.

NASCAR champs Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson both acquired Volts soon after the car's launch, as did Juan Pablo Montoya, and Johnson was invited back to Detroit-Hamtramck to check out the car's production process in August last year.

Either GM is sly with its marketing or Voltec-powered cars are perfect antidote to pounding around a track--or perhaps it's a little of both.

The ELR should be even more relaxing, with interior materials reflecting the Cadillac's upmarket positioning, and sharp concept car-like styling on the outside.

It'll be a little different from the Volt to drive, too.

Firstly, it offers more power than the Volt, at 207 horsepower and 295 pounds-feet of torque, and 0-60 mph should pass in around 8 seconds.

The ELR will also offer drivers more control over the car using steering wheel mounted paddles--not for gearshifts, but varying the regenerative braking effect of the electric motor. Pull one of the paddles as you slow down, and regen is increased for quicker deceleration.

According to our sister site Motor Authority, current pricing estimates put the ELR between $52,000 and $65,000, pre-incentives. Sales start early 2014.

Check out our video preview for more on the 2014 Cadillac ELR.


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