In an article highlighting Cadillac’s future product plans, Automobile Magazine brought up the subject of the Cadillac ELR and what’s in store for the future of the plug-in EV. Cadillac has sold less than 600 ELRs through to July and as a result, this current-generation ELR may be the last.
Cadillac chief engineer Dave Leone said more hybrid cars are in store for the brand, but also said being the most fuel efficient luxury brand is not in their plans. The brand doesn’t have to meet the same Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards as Mercedes-Benz and BMW, as those company’s sales are made up of mostly thirsty luxury models, whereas Cadillac only accounts for a small portion of GM’s sales and cars like the CTS-V are offset by EV’s like the Volt.
The main reason Automobile thinks the first ever ELR may be the last is Cadillac has not been involved in the development of the next-generation Chevrolet Volt at all. The new Volt, which has recently been spotted undergoing testing, will have improved fuel economy, more electric range and possibly room for five passengers.
Just because the ELR’s demise is near doesn’t mean that’s the end of hybrid Cadillacs. While it won’t be doing battle with BMW’s ‘i’ sub brand, fuel efficiency is important to all automakers and even more important to consumers, so Cadillac will likely have some other type of hybrid in the works. BMW offers their 5-Series mid-size sedan in an “Activehybrid” variation and Mercedes too has an electrically-assisted mid-sizer, the E400 Hybrid. To us, a hybrid CTS intended to do battle with these two seems like a logical step forward, even though Cadillac says it won’t be going product for product with the Germans.