2016 Cadillac ELR Plug-In Hybrid (PHEV) – Power Boost and 39 Miles of Electric Range

Written By: Assen Gueorguiev

2016 Cadillac ELR Plug-in Hybrid, Coming in Fall of 2015

Did you think the ELR was gone for good? So did we!

When Cadillac ELR went into radio silence after the not successful 2014 model, many of us thought it had been discontinued. This week, they defined all odds and delivered a surprise!

The new and improved 2016 model was announced earlier today. Here you can find the scoop on what the upcoming ELR will have to offer. 


What’s new?

If you’re a treehugger, there’s no question one of the specs that interest you the most is the all-electric range. It went up only 2 miles…from 37 to 39. Seems like a small improvement, but it’s actually a pretty decent range for a luxury PHEV. And it even beats most plug-in hybrids made by BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche and others.

The good news is that skipping the 2015 model has given Cadillac the chance to get back to the drawing board and offer quite a few appealing additions:

  • 0 to 60 – now at 6.4 seconds (down from 7.9 thanks to software enhancements)

  • Battery – 17.1 kWh, lithium ion (up from 16.5). Warranty remains at 8 yrs, 100K miles

  • 85 MPGe (up from 82) in all-electric mode

  • 25% of boost in power and torque – horsepower went from 207 to 233 hp, while torque jumped from 295 to 373 lb-ft

And there are tons of others all-around improvements and new features. Anything from a new grille, to OnStar, built-in 4G LTE, WiFi and rear seats that fold down in order to allow for transportation of larger items.  

Safety has also been improved and features once optional are now standard – lane change alert, blind zone alert, cross traffic alert, Intellibeam headlamps and even a new security system.

What has stayed the same?

  • Engine – 1.4L

  • Fuel Efficiency – 31 MPG combined (close to what it was before)

  • Charging – can still use a 120-volt or 240-volt outlet. Full charging takes 13-18.5 and 5 hrs respectively.

  • Driving Range – has almost stayed the same and actually went down from 340 to 330 (on fully charged battery and full tank of gas)

Cadillac’s Stigma:

While many welcomed this news, others remain skeptical. Some can’t shake off the thought that sexy wannabe Cadillac now targets people under 55, while others would rather go with a Tesla S. As a reminder, the new low end Tesla 70D sells for $75,000 before any incentives.

Back in 2013-2014, we can barely remember anyone that was excited about the ELR. Seeing the public’s opinion split in half actually is not bad at all, and talks about the road Cadillac has traveled. The end result is – we will soon have more BEV and PHEV vehicles to choose from, prices are dropping, range and performance are increasing and this is just the beginning. The next 3 years should be phenomenal for the green car world. As long as we pick a green vehicle at the end of the day, whether that be a Tesla, ELR or even a fuel efficient Elio, we are making progress as a community and should be proud of ourselves. One step at a time, we’ll get there!

When to expect it and at what cost?

The new ELR should reach the dealerships by early fall. We can expect it to make an appearance during the next few major auto shows. Even though GM is one of the largest pillars of the US auto industry and many don't think of it as an international brand, it currently offers Cadillacs in 44 countries around the globe, which may give the ELR a 2nd chance.

The 2014 model definitely seemed over-priced, and Tesla’s success over the last couple of years didn’t make things easier for Cadillac either. The biggest surprise is the $9000 price drop from $75,000 (2014) to $65,995 (before tax credits). We definitely have to thank the lower battery prices, economies of scale and the competition for that. And most importantly GM's commitment!

So will the new and improved model make a difference, or will it go down in the history books as the last of the ELR series? Only time will show!

What are your thoughts?