2016 Cadillac ELR upgrades net more performance and better value
Hoping to generate considerably more interest among potential buyers, the 2016 Cadillac ELR will roll into showrooms later this year with a comprehensive selection of enhancements. The electric-powered range-extended 2+2 luxury coupe, which has sold only 311 units from January through March of 2015, receives upgrades in virtually all functional areas from drivetrain to dynamics to enhanced safety features. Accompanying those changes are minor cosmetic tweaks as well as the introduction of a new enthusiast-oriented Performance Package. Last and far from least, the 2016 version will open nearly $10,000 below the price of the long-running 2014 Cadillac ELR it replaces.
25 percent more muscle
At the heart of the ELR's 2016 remake is a substantial 25-percent increase in power and torque achieved through modifications to the software that controls the operation of its battery system. The ELR's pony count rises from 217 to 233 and peak torque jumps from 295 to 373 lb-ft. This bumps drop the 0-60 mph sprint time by 1.5 seconds to a brisk 6.4 ticks when the ELR's CVT automatic transmission is toggled into an also-upgraded Sport mode. Usable capacity of the car's liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery pack also has risen from 16.5 to 17.1kWh, which increases EV driving range on the base ELR from 37 to 39 miles. However, total combined range does dip from 340 to 330 miles. The 2016 ELR further benefits from a revamped Regen on Demand system that allows the driver to more effectively use the car's inertial momentum to create electrical energy which can then be stored in the battery.
A more engaging personality
All versions of the 2016 Cadillac ELR get a major suspension retune that nets stiffer springs and chassis bushings along with revised calibration of the car's Continuous Damping Control, brakes and power steering aimed at delivering even better overall control without impacting ride compliance. Those seeking extra edge can opt for the ELR's new Performance Package that brings even more aggressive settings for the Continuous Damping Control and power steering plus a thick-rimmed sport steering wheel, upgraded brakes - including Brembo 4-piston front calipers - that shorten stopping distances by 12 percent and 245/40 summer-spec performance tires on unique 20-inch alloy wheels that up cornering grip by roughly 10 percent and allows the top speed to be increased from 106 to 130 mph.
The main visual variation on the 2016 ELR is seen up front where its recast grille insert has a more substantial appearance and carries a bigger, bolder and now wreathless Cadillac crest. Inside, this ELR latest iteration bolsters what was an already extensive list of comfort/convenience touches with even more premium touches, gaining the latest round of updates to its CUE infotainment interface and complementing baseline OnStar/4G LTE setup with a new built-in Wi-Fi hotspot, wireless inductive charging for cell phones and three USB ports. The formerly optional Driver Assistance suite of active safety systems (side blind-zone alert, rear cross traffic alert and Intellibeam auto-dimming headlamps) has moved from optional to standard for 2016, and is joined by lane-change alert and a new vehicle security system while Adaptive cruise control remains an extra.
Pricing for the 2016 Cadillac ELR will open at $65,995 before any federal, state or local incentives or rebates. The car goes on sale this summer.
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