Say what you may about plug-in electric cars, the 2014 Cadillac ELR unveiled at last week's Detroit Auto Show is a stunning piece of design.

The four-seat range-extended electric luxury coupe is little changed from the Cadillac Converj show car that debuted four years ago at the 2009 Detroit show.

Its 20-inch wheels are pushed to the outer corners of the wedge shaped coupe, and the plunging window line bears a strong resemblance to the CTS Coupe.

The 2014 ELR incorporates Cadillac's CUE touchscreen interface inside, complete with proximity sensing and gesture recognition.

Interior materials include chrome, wood, and microfiber, blending the traditional with the very latest. Buyers can replace the wood with carbon fiber, and Opus semi-aniline leather is an option for the seats.

Like the Chevy Volt whose powertrain it largely shares, the Cadillac ELR is propelled by an electric motor driving the front wheels.

The ELR's motor, however, produces 295 pound-feet of torque--which is 22 pound-feet more than the Volt.

The car's 16.5-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack powers the motor until it's depleted, at which point a 1.4-liter four-cylinder range extender switches on to power a generator that produces electricity to feed the motor.

Official range estimates haven't been released yet, but the heavier ELR will probably be close to the 2013 Volt's 38 miles--and around 300 miles of total range, including the gasoline-powered generator.

Estimates put the price anywhere between $52,000 and $65,000, but Cadillac has said the ELR will be a limited-production vehicle, so it may be toward the higher end of that range.

The 2014 Cadillac ELR will go on sale within a year; pricing will be announced closer to its on-sale date.


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