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Cadillac Reviving Converj Concept, Will Launch as ELR Battery Car

Shares plug-in hybrid technology with Chevrolet Volt.

by on Aug.18, 2011


Cadillac offers a hint of its luxury plug-in the ELR.

General Motors has apparently reversed course and now plans to add a second plug-in hybrid to its U.S. product line-up, this one targeting the luxury market where pricing could be less of a concern than it has become for the more mainstream Chevrolet Volt.

The new model, dubbed Cadillac ELR, is based on the wildly popular Caddy Converj, perhaps the biggest hit of the 2009 Detroit Auto Show.  Details including price and timing have not been released, though industry sources tell that the new model would likely be launched well before mid-decade and carry a sticker price pushing towards the high $40,000 mark – reflecting significant added content beyond what’s now offered in the plebian Chevy plug-in.


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It’s not clear whether the ELR will add significantly to GM’s overall sales goals for its so-called Voltec plug-in hybrid technology or will simply take up some of the already-planned capacity that had until now been assigned to the Volt and a second gas-electric model, the Opel Ampera.  Together, they’re expected to generate 16,000 sales in 2011, with production rising to 40,000 next year.

According to a GM release, the Cadillac ELR will share the same extended-range electric vehicle driveline as Volt and Ampera.  That means that under all but the most demanding circumstances the wheels are turned solely by an electric motor.  Power initially comes from a T-shaped lithium-ion battery pack, but after the batteries are discharged the vehicle automatically switches to an onboard 4-cylinder gas engine.


Cadillac Reveals XTS4 and ATS

Automaker expanding the product envelope.

by on Aug.11, 2009

Carol Browner (right) director of the Office of Energy and Climate Change listens as General Motors Vice President Global Design Ed Welburn gives her a tour of the Cadillac Converj electric luxury coupe.

Carol Browner (right) director of the Office of Energy and Climate Change listens as GM Vice President Global Design Ed Welburn gives her a tour of the Cadillac Converj electric luxury coupe.

Cadillac officials have confirmed plans to add a pair of new products that will expand the brand at its extremes.

The news came at an unusual background briefing as General Motors officials pulled the wraps off a wide variety of future product programs going out to 2011, including two new Caddy models tentatively dubbed the ATS and the XTS4.  They’re a critical part of what the division’s new general manager, Bryan Nesbitt, described as the “reinvention of Cadillac.”

The XTS4 is the much-needed replacement for two existing products, the slow-selling STS and DTS models.  Vaguely reminiscent of the heralded Cadillac Sixteen concept vehicle, the XTS4 will target top-line premium luxury competitors, such as the BMW 7-Series and the Mercedes-Benz S-Class.

The ATS, on the other hand, will slot in below Cadillac’s current entry model, the CTS, and take aim at models like the BMW 3-Series, Audi A4 and Lexus IS.

“The 3-Series is BMW’s bread-and-butter,” noted Nesbitt, in a conversation with, and “We’d like to think” the ATS could become the best-seller for Cadillac, once it hits market.

Cadillac of course has tried to enter this market before with the Chevrolet Cavalier-derived Cimarron, and the Opel Omega derived Catera. Now, presumably it will use a compact Opel platform once again for its latest attempt to stop a decades long decline in sales and reputation.