The Cadillac ELR has been a bit of a mystery lately. Some time back, Cadillac announced a refresh of the car, but quickly retracted remarks on the idea of a refresh. The car had been missing action since, even skipping the past few major auto shows. But today, Cadillac has finally introduced a much-overdue refresh of the plug-in hybrid coupe. The biggest news about the 2016 Cadillac ELR is more power and a lower base price.
We’ll tackle the power aspect first. Software upgrades to the 2016 ELR’s battery system improve power and torque by 25 percent, while shaving a substantial 1.5 seconds from the car’s 0-60 time. The software upgrade also allows for a higher top speed and quicker acceleration. This is made possible through a new Sport mode, which enables the propulsion system to use power from the 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine and electric system. From a numbers standpoint, the 2016 Cadillac ELR has 373 pound-feet of instant torque at its disposal.
Altogether, the 2016 ELR’s range is 330 miles, made up of a combination of electric and range-extended power. Pure electric mileage will last an estimated 39 miles before the 1.4-liter fires up for assistance. We’ll assume that the 39 mile mark is for drivers with a featherweight foot.
Even so, the newfound power comes with a fairly substantial lower price tag. Cadillac has announced that the 2016 ELR will start at $58,495 after Federal U.S. tax credits. The 2014 model, by comparison, rung in at $67,500 after the tax credits. With some basic math, we can see that the 2016 ELR has a starting price of $65,995, which is a steep cut in MSRP of about $9,000.
There are plenty of other bits new to the 2016 Cadillac ELR as well that make it a much more compelling package than before. In particular, the steering and suspension have been improved. The updates include:
- Revised calibration of the HiPer Strut front suspension
- Increased front spring rates and a stiffer rear axle
- Stiffer bushings for the front lower control arms, cradle mounts and Watts link in the rear suspension, for more precise control with no loss of ride quality
- Revised calibrations for the Continuous Damping Control system
- Front Damper Rebound Spring added
- New steering calibration tuned to complement the revised chassis and suspension systems
- Revised brake hardware and system calibration for improved application feel
But, there’s more: the 2016 Cadillac ELR will also offer an optional performance package, which will apply a host of performance parts to compliment the newfound chassis and steering feel with a more direct and linear feel. 20-inch summer performance tires increase lateral grip by 10 percent, front Brembo four-piston brake calipers improve 60-0 stopping distance by 12 percent and specific calibrations for the Continuous Damping Control and electric power steering systems enhance the car’s overall performance.
Inside, things keep up with Cadillac’s latest interior design and quality, and the addition of 4G LTE with Wi-Fi is welcome. On the outside, the Cadillac badge is updated sans wreath and a new grille design gives the front end a fresh look.
It seems as if Cadillac is going to try once again to garner more 2016 ELR sales before the vehicle is replaced with a new model, per Cadillac President, Johan de Nysschen. Cadillac has also stated new plug-in vehicles will eventually become available, but a two-door ELR may not be among them. For now, the bevy of new upgrades and a lower price price of the 2016 ELR should begin to attract a few potential buyers into dealerships to bring the PHEV home with them. And that’s a good thing.