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Cadillac reveals new battery-powered ELR

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Mark Adams, executive director of Cadillac Global Design, introduces the ELR. It can go 35 miles on battery power only. Using its 1.4-liter gas engine, it can cover more than 300 miles without refueling.

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DETROIT — Cadillac, a company that in its golden day put V-16 engines into exquisitely long cars, will soon build a plug-in electric that shares technology with the divisively green Chevrolet Volt.

Cadillac revealed its 2014 ELR on Tuesday at the North American International Auto Show. The extended-range electric coupe can go about 35 miles using battery power only. Using its 1.4-liter gas engine, General Motors says the car can cover more than 300 miles without refueling.

If that all sounds familiar, it’s pretty much the same as the Volt. But where the Chevrolet trumpets economy and fewer trips to the pump, the Cadillac pushes technology.

“Simply put, ELR is a revolutionary vehicle, a pivot point for Cadillac, that will allow us to re-establish ourselves as a technological leader in the luxury space,” said Bob Ferguson, Cadillac global vice president.

The ELR boasts more torque than the Volt. It also has a sport mode drivers can select to alter suspension and steering settings and give them a more aggressive throttle response.

The company says it’s the first vehicle of its type from a full-range luxury automaker.

Pricing hasn’t been announced, though it certainly will cost more than the Volt, which checks in at $39,145 before a $7,500 federal tax credit.

While it won’t be cheap, General Motors should have an easier time finding buyers willing to shell out the extra greenbacks for a Cadillac than they have the Chevrolet.

Philip Gott, senior director of automotive science and technology for IHS Automotive, said technologically the Volt is a very good car.

But for its segment it’s pricey — and Chevy is asking buyers to essentially pay all that extra money for the powertrain.

“In the premium vehicle segment, people expect the advanced technology, and they also expect to pay for it,” said Mr. Gott said.

In that regard, he believes the ELR might be a better fit.

“As long as they price the car like a Cadillac and not something higher, it should sell,” said

Cadillac officials said the ELR is the next logical step for the brand, which earlier this week took home the North American Car of the Year honors for the 2013 ATS.

Mr. Ferguson called the ELR a “landmark” in the brand’s history that’s “engineered right for our times.”

The car will be built in Detroit and should go on sale early next year.

Contact Tyrel Linkhorn at: tlinkhorn@theblade.com or 419-724-6134.

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