What it is: A fully camouflaged and fully functional Cadillac ELR plug-in hybrid undergoing hot-weather testing in the desert. Cadillac’s plug-in hybrid has been a hot topic ever since the Converj concept debuted in Detroit nearly three years ago. Although GM confirmed the ELR for production—wisely ditching it’s cringe-worthy Converj moniker—more than a year ago, these are the first shots of a mule wearing model-specific body panels we’ve seen.
Why It Matters: A plug-in hybrid Caddy sends not only a message of green-motivated thrift, but also one of innovation and forward thinking. And with the crested-wreath badging comes a wealthier demographic, and GM may be able to recoup some of the Volt’s research and development costs on the back of the luxury-priced plug-in. According to sources inside GM, there is plenty of excess capacity inside GM’s Hamtramck facility to produce the ELR alongside the Volt.
Platform: The ELR rides on a version of the Volt’s bones, naturally. Despite being clad in a camouflage wrap composed of geometrically incongruent triangles, a few key design cues from the Converj concept look to have made the cut: The bridge-span A- to B-pillar profile view and steeply-raked front and rear glass; a distinctive body crease running from the front wheel arch to the rear deck, terminating above the taillight; a mini air dam on the lower front fascia and small spoiler on the deck lid. The seven-blade wheels—themselves a refined version of the Volt’s five-spoke rollers—sit at each corner. As a Cadillac, the ELR will need to maintain the brand’s reputation, and adding luxury items could mean a higher curb weight than the Volt. Unlike the Volt, however, the ELR is a two-door coupe, which may give engineers a little extra room that likely will accommodate a larger, more powerful battery pack to offset the added weight.
Thanks to: Car and Driver