With a base price of $75,995 (including destination), the 2014 Cadillac ELR luxury coupe costs more than twice as much as the Chevrolet Volt it shares much of its running gear with. That may be the car's biggest drawback.
That's why it's not surprising that Cadillac plans to sweeten to deal with extra equipment, and not just a set of wheel locks. Rather, GM's luxury division will offer a 240-Volt Level 2 home-charging station to "early buyers" for free, installation included.
With the complimentary charging station, owners should be able to recharge their ELRs in around 4.5 hours, significantly less time than it would take if the cars were plugged into conventional home outlets. It's also a fairly good deal: standalone Level 2 charging stations typically sell for at least $750 at hardware chains like Home Depot.
Perhaps that--along with the other tweaks Cadillac has made to create a more upscale vehicle--will help buyers overlook the high base price.
The ELR features much more dramatic styling than the Volt, but underneath is the same 1.4-liter four-cylinder range-extending gasoline engine, electric motor, and 16.5-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack.
However, the ELR is more powerful than the Volt, boasting 207 horsepower to the Chevy's 149 hp. It also features "Regen on Demand" brake regeneration controlled by paddle shifters, and more sophisticated noise-cancellation technology. It also features programmable driving modes and obligatory Cadillac conveniences such as the CUE infotainment system.
With a fully-charged battery, Cadillac says the ELR can drive 37 miles on electric power; total range is around 340 miles.
Cadillac began delivering the 2014 ELR to dealers in late December 2013. It's available for lease for 39 months at $699 per month, with $5,999 due at signing.