Road & Track eviscerates the ELR
"...with a sticker price this lofty, I canít help but think the ELR would need to be powered by nothing more than the hopes and dreams of some GM executive in order to make financial sense."
"GM is repeating the same basic mistake: Luxury brands donít survive by taking an entry-level car, slathering it with leather, and doubling the price. The ELR will forever be known as a $76,000 Volt, just as the Cimarron will forever be known as a Cavalier with a Cadillac crest."
"The ELR is fine around town (until you reach the limits of its nautical turning circle), but this coupe is truly happiest on the highway. 70Ė90 mph cruising is surprisingly relaxed and quiet. Except that at those speeds, a quick prod of the throttle is often met with an unexpected and seemingly complete interruption of power while the computer orchestrates a drive mode change in the exceedingly complicated transmission."
"$76,000 is an astonishing amount of money for the ELR. And thatís the base priceómy test car was $82,135. The only way I can begin to wrap my head around this is to imagine some executive in Detroit hearing that you can find a $100,000 Tesla Model S on every California street corner in every rich area from Malibu to Marin. If Tesla does it, you can imagine their thought process. Cadillac can, too
But it canít. Cadillac doesnít have the leading-edge image that Tesla does. (Do you think Tesla would sell a rebadged Nissan Leaf? Would Apple sell a rebadged Blackberry?) EV customers, like all early adopters, recognize ingenuity, and they reward it with their dollars. The ELR offers nothing new. It breaks zero technological groundóthe Voltís fascinating powertrain did that years ago
More importantly, customers buying an $80,000 Tesla Model S know that they are getting a car thatís comparable to other $80,000 cars. Selling an ELR to someone means hiding the CTS Coupe in the back of the showroom: That conventional, gas-powered Cadillac has almost twice the power, is better proportioned, has a usable backseat, and drives better. Oh, and it costs about half as much."
However, contrary to other recent reviews:
"Once the battery is depleted (after 30 miles of mostly highway driving on our test loop), the iron-block gas engine fires up almost imperceptibly. After pushing the ELR hard, the 16-valve mill will thrum along at its 4800 rpm power peak, producing a scant 84 hp, and its sound is both inoffensive and very hushed."