Car Tech Video: 2014 Cadillac ELR
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Car Tech Video: 2014 Cadillac ELR

3:07 /

You could call it the Cadillac Volt, but that's only half the story

This is the Cadillac ELR. To unfairly put it in shorthand, you would say it's the Cadillac Volt because it has the same basic idea. It runs about 37 miles on battery only. That is gonna kick over to its gas engine, which just runs a generator and that gets you about another 300 miles until you put more gas in the tank. But you can keep going electric as long as you have gas. Some numbers: a little less than 250 horsepower, 295 foot-pounds of torque. We'll get it on the road here in a minute. Charge time is 5 hours from a dead flat battery, more like 3, 3-1/2 from your typical 20% left where a lot of folks are gonna put it. Remember, it's a range extender, so you're never stuck. This is what you used to call a personal luxury coupe in Detroit parlance, but no one uses that word anymore but it's [unk] the right phrase. Inside you're gonna find the Cadillac CUE system. We've seen and liked it before. What's added here are some new instrument panel modes and center console modes that embrace the electrification of this vehicle, so giving you some range projections, regeneration profiles, and showing you in kind of a gamified way how greenly you're driving. And of course connectivity on this vehicle from web browser or the app on your phone allows you to do all the usual sort of telematics on the go things, but also to charge it three ways: charge now, charge later, or charge when rates are lowest. That's kinda the state of the art for electric cars that are connected. Cars with the kind of torque we're talking about Here, pushing 300 foot-pounds, gets off the line beautifully- all the torque from 1 rpm, things that electric cars do natively. You might ask why we've got paddles on the wheel for a car that doesn't have a transmission. It's only got one gear set. It's a reduction gear, not a gear box. Well, these are actually regenerative braking on demand paddles. So when you pull one of these guys back- it doesn't matter which one- you're putting this guy into hard Regen mode. It's analogous to a lot of compression braking you have on a gasoline engine, and that's a great driver's tool if you know how to use them. It's a great way to dive in and out of corners instead of braking, which is a different kind of a dynamic and tends to throw a car off. One more thing I wanna show you in this brief quick look here. Look in the middle there. I've got Tour mode, Sports mode- those are fairly common. It's kinda one is more relaxed and one tightens up- throttle response, adaptive suspension firmness and activeness, and also steering response. But the next one I've got here is gonna be a Mountain mode where the car is gonna pre-generate more electricity when you're getting into a lot of hill climbing, heading up to ski or what have you. And the last one here is a Hold position. If you want to run in range extender only, use gas to make electricity and save the battery for pure EV running when you get to your destination in town, that's what that does. So there's a lot of new ones here between the controls and the modes and what you can do with your charging behaviors via an app. There's clearly a learning curve here that's part of new modern cars. I sometimes feel bad for the car dealer who's got duty delivery training. They've got to do a little tech conversation, not just a car conversation.

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