New luxury plug-ins are completely different in just about every way
Posted Nov 27th 2013 7:56PM
A day before the Los Angeles Auto Show press days, I enjoyed the rare opportunity to drive both the Cadillac ELR luxury EREV and the futuristic BMW i3 EV (with optional extended range). Both are distinctive looking, technically fascinating and fun to drive, and both are clearly aimed at upscale EV intenders. Yet they are totally different.
First came the ELR. Based on the Chevy Volt architecture and propulsion system, the ELR distances itself from Volt through its sexy coupe styling, luxury Cadillac interior, impressive dynamics and a bevy of unique features - plus a price tag nearly twice as high at $75,995. Its mission is not volume sales (the 2014 target is just 3,000) but to further boost a brand striving to earn perception parity with BMW, Mercedes and Audi. The compact ATS (2013 North American Car of the Year), mid-size CTS (2014 Motor Trend Car of the Year) and full-size XTS have raised Cadillac's sales and perception in recent years, and the ELR's job is mostly to dot the "i" on that image. Think of it as Cadillac's new Corvette, a "halo" car that helps elevate the brand appeal of its more conventional stablemates.
Think of the ELR as Cadillac's new Corvette, a "halo" car that helps elevate the brand.