The 2014 Cadillac ELR extended-range electric car doesn’t go on sale until early 2014, but one of the cars, one of the first examples to roll off the production line in fact, recently showed up at Jay Leno’s Garage, where the comedian and avid car collector got a chance to take it for a spin.

Members of the car’s development team, including Chris Thomason, chief engineer for the ELR, were also present on the day and were able to offer some interesting insights into the car’s design and performance.

One of the elements the car’s designers are especially fond of its ‘Regen on Demand’ feature. This uses paddles located behind the steering wheel to switch on or off the car’s regenerative system.

So when approaching a traffic light or driving down a steep hill, drivers will be able to kick in the regen system and slow the car down without using the brakes, akin to engine braking.

As mentioned, sales of the ELR commence early next year, though don’t expect to see the cars at every Cadillac dealership. Their production and availability will be limited, so expect pricing to reflect this. Previous estimates have put the pricetag somewhere between $52,000 and $65,000.

Such a price may seem steep but it will net you a stylish coupe with one of the best interiors found in an electrified vehicle. The drivetrain is similar to that found in the groundbreaking Chevrolet Volt, but with peak output turned up to 207 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. Cadillac says this is sufficient for 0-60 mph acceleration in 8.0 seconds or less.

With its battery charged to 100 percent and its gas tank filled, the ELR should be able to cover a range of 300 miles with moderate driving. Final estimates for charge times and gas mileage will be announced closer to the car’s retail launch.


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