After taking a brief hiatus for the 2015 model year, the 2016 Cadillac ELR returned with a massive price drop, and a much-needed increase in power. The 2014 Cadillac ELR made do with a measly 295 lb-ft of torque, while the 2016 ELR arrives with a that’s-more-like-it 373 lb-ft.
The two electric motors and the 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine haven’t changed in the slightest. Instead, Cadillac has gone in and gave the 2016 ELR a shot in the arm by changing components in the power electronics, thus, allowing more current flow into the motors and, finally, producing more torque. To handle this extra torque, upgraded clutches, bearings and gears have been put in place to withstand the added oomph.
This is explained superbly when drawing parallels to the likes of a classic car.
“The changes to the ELR as I understand them are analogous to getting more performance out of a 1965 Mustang with the entry version of the 289 cubic-inch V8. You can replace the carburetor with a larger version that enables more air and fuel to flow into the engine, thus producing more power. The basic engine hasn’t changed, but power capability is being unleashed by feeding it more,” Sam Abuelsamid, senior research analyst at Navigant Research, told Autoblog.
Cadillac spokesperson, David Caldwell, also clarified on what exactly changed to provide greater power in the 2016 ELR.
“One could not ‘reflash’ a previous ELR to get the performance of a 2016,” Caldwell said. “If one only changed software you would not get the performance upgrade fully, as the 2016 creates higher current, more power. So these have been upgraded physically – hardware. And yes of course there is also new software on top.”
Additionally, the 2016 ELR’s reworked sport mode provides better acceleration and performance, but it translates to other conditions as well. Previously, the dual-motor setup would kick in only during strenuous, high-load operations. Now, the system is ready and willing should you bury the accelerator.
All of these improvements go a long way in helping customers understand why they’re paying such a hefty premium. And, even though value isn’t the first thing to come to mind when thinking “luxury,” it is the blatant truth that we all love a good deal.
And the 2016 Cadillac ELR just sweetened it, ever so much.