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Cadillac Hybrid Sports Car

The Cadillac Converj coupé concept, first shown at the 2009 Detroit motor show (and it must be said, the subject of constant speculation since then) is finally going into production - and that's official.

General motors has confirmed that Cadillac's first electric car will be called the ELR, apparently the closest they could get to “electric” using the brand's three-letter model naming convention.

It will use a more powerful version of the Chevrolet Volt system with a 181kg, T-shaped lithium-ion battery, an electric motor driving the front wheels and a four-cylinder petrol engine driving a generator.

Like the Volt, it will use the battery as its primary power source around town and plug into a mains outlet to recharge between commutes. When the battery runs low (after about 40-80km, depending on speeds), it'll switch to extended-range mode, using the generator to power the electric drive-train for as long as there's petrol in the tank.

Development of the ELR coupé has only just started, say GM bosses, so they don't have details such as performance, price and timing yet, but they're waxing lyrical about “a combination of electric drive with striking design and the fun of luxury driving.”

Apparently the ELR is due for production late in 2013 as a 2014 model, so they'd better get their skates on.

Mind you, Cadillac's engineers certainly haven't been sitting on their hands since GM bounced back from bankruptcy; the company has recently announced two new models for 2012 - the XTS limousine and the ATS, a new compact (by US standards anyway) luxury sedan - and it also reveal another new concept car on Thursday (August 18) at a media event ahead of the annual Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance in California.


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