You are here

It’s an Ampera, but amped up. A Volt, but more shocking. With a whole battery of changes. Or do you have strong resistance to any more electrical punnery?

This is the Cadillac ELR, just revealed at the Detroit show. You might recognise its shape from the Cadillac Converj show car of a couple of years back. And they’ve done wonders preserving the concepty looks into this production version.

Underneath, this pyramid-shaped 2+2 coupe runs most of the hardware of the Vauxhall Ampera/Chevy Volt. That means an electric drive, but with a 1.4-litre petrol engine and generator as a get-out-of-jail-free card to provide charge and keep you driving when the battery is flat.

Compared with the Volt, the torque is boosted a bit, to 295lb ft. That means strong, instant pull from the get-go. To contain it, and make it work with those dishy 20-inch wheels, the front suspension takes the HiPer strut design from the Astra VXR. It also gets the uber-Astra’s adaptive dampers.

So it’s not just pretty darned striking on the eyes, it ought to be fun.

Inside, Cadillac is going all-out to put its shonky days behind. Almost everything is clothed in neatly stitched leather and suede. Acres of the stuff. And there’s Cadillac’s new tablet-style connected info-nav-web-apps system. It uses a touchscreen with proper iPad-style sensitivity. So you can wave and swipe and pinch your way to the answers you want.

European sales will be no more than a dribble, British probably zero. But it’s interesting to see a car that so comprehensively refutes all you thought you knew about Cadillac’s Elvis-and-Escalade history.

Paul Horrell

Share this page: 

What do you think?

This service is provided by Disqus and is subject to their privacy policy and terms of use. Please read Top Gear’s code of conduct (link below) before posting.

Promoted content