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Cadillac boosts performance of ELR plug-in hybrid for MY2016, cuts MSRP by $9K; $58,495 net after Fed credits

Cadillac has greatly enhanced the performance of its ELR extended range electric vehicle (plug-in hybrid) (earlier post) for the 2016 model year, and is also cutting the MSRP by $9,005, bringing the starting price down to $58,495 net after the $7,500 US federal tax credit (MSRP = $65,995). MSRP for MY2014 was $75,000, with a net price of $67,500 after the Federal credit. (Cadillac sold 1,310 units of the ELR in the US in calendar year 2014, and sold 311 units in the first quarter of 2015.)

Major product upgrades include a more than 25% boost in power and torque; faster acceleration that improves 0-60 mph by 1.5 seconds; higher top speed; retuned chassis and steering for better handling; more responsive brakes and a new Performance equipment package.

2016 Cadillac ELR. Click to enlarge.

All 2016 ELRs contain software upgrades to the 17.1 kWh battery system (up from 16.5 kWh in MY 2014) improving power and acceleration, with EV range growing on the base model to 39 miles (63 km)—depending on terrain, driving techniques and temperature.. All-electric range for the MY2015 ELR is 37 miles (60 km).

Additionally, the 2016 ELR has a modified Sport mode that enables the propulsion system to combine engine and electric motor power to take the ELR from 0-60 in 6.4 seconds, a 1.5 second improvement from the current model.

Slightly enhanced for the 2016 model to improve deceleration, Regen on Demand allows the driver to temporarily regenerate energy from the ELR’s momentum into electricity and store in the battery pack for later use.

Regen on Demand supports a more engaging driving experience by slowing the vehicle when entering a turn to better position it on the exit, much like downshifting with a manual transmission. Regen on Demand is engaged via steering-wheel paddles adapted from traditional performance cars.

The ELR offers a full driving range of up to 330 miles (530 km), combining all-electric driving and an efficient, range-extending 1.4L gasoline-powered engine-generator. The T-shaped battery pack is located along the centerline of the vehicle, between the front and rear wheels for optimal weight distribution. The 5.5-foot-long (1.6 m), 435-pound (198 kg) pack supplies energy to an advanced electric drive unit capable of 373 lb-ft of instant torque (506 N·m) to propel the vehicle.

ELR’s battery can be charged using either a 120- or 240-volt charger. The vehicle can be completely recharged in about five hours using 240V charging, depending on the outside temperature.

The ELR’s battery is covered by an eight-year/100,000-mile warranty or 10 years/150,000 miles in states following Air Resource Board guidelines.

The 2016 ELR’s steering and suspension upgrades 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.

The new optional Performance Package elevates the ELR’s driving experience further with greater handling and braking capability; the package includes:

  • New 20-inch summer-only performance tires mounted on new sport wheels that improve lateral grip by nearly 10%

  • Front Brembo four-piston brake calipers (with the Cadillac script), with 13.6-inch-diameter vented front rotors and 12.4-inch vented rear rotors that improve 60-to-0 mph stopping distance by nearly 12%

  • Specific calibrations for the Continuous Damping Control and electric power steering systems

  • Sport steering wheel with a thicker rim for a sportier feel.

The optional Performance Package reduces EV range by about four miles as a result of the enhanced grip of the 20-inch summer-only tires.

Personal technology. OnStar with 4G LTE and standard built-in Wi-Fi hotspot provides a mobile hub for drivers and passengers to stay connected. The hotspot is on whenever the vehicle is on and comes with a three-month/three-gigabyte data trial, whichever comes first.

ELR drivers and passengers can also recharge their enabled phones wirelessly with a new magnetic inductive charge spot on the instrument panel. There is no need to plug the phone in for charging, leaving the ELR’s USB ports free for other devices.

For 2016, the Driver Assistance active safety systems, optional on the current ELR, are standard and include side blind zone alert, rear cross traffic alert and Intellibeam headlamps. Lane change alert and a new vehicle security system are also standard. Adaptive cruise control is available.



I think that it is a beautifully designed car and it is probably really pleasant to drive but I still think that the price differential over the Chevy Volt is way too much. Maybe, I could justify a $10,000 price differential but the differential is apparently more like $30,000 (2016 ELR price and 2015 Volt price?).


If Chevrolet is able to reduce the price of the ELR by close to $10K, you'd expect the 2016 Volt with the tax incentives will be in the mid 20's. At that price with improved range and performance the car should be popular. I don't know if people consider what the future used car market will look like when they make a new car purchase, but my guess is that in 8 to 10 years traditional ICE cars might look pretty outdated. A 10 year old PHEV will likely have the potential to extend and enhance range and performance and may be more suitable for accommodating new technologies that are developed in the near future. This could be worth a few thousand dollars in extra resale value.

I think there was a lot more room to come down on the ELR price, low volume notwithstanding.

The lease deals today are unbeatable and have near zero consumer risk. Those off lease cars will be a bargain in 2-3 years when 200 mile BECs are the next big thing.

If anyone is paying $200 or more per month in gas and maintenance costs, 9 of the current EVs are essentially free cars, lease payment paid for by gas savings.


@Calgarygary Resale for PHEVs right now is not that good. For example, my 2013 Volt is worth only $15,000 (Kelly Blue Book). That's only 41% of what I paid for it 2 years ago. By comparison, my wife's 2011 Jetta TDI is worth the same amount and 59% of its original cost.

I agree the price of the ELR is not competitive. The Tesla model S is lightyears ahead in performance and gadgets and can be had for not much more.

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