The lead designer and head engineer of the Cadillac ELR stop by Jay Leno’s garage to show him the new car. The ELR is GM taking the technology Volt and moving it into a premium market. The powertrain is based off of the one in the Volt but is recalibrated for a little more performance. Most importantly, the chassis of the ELR is larger and is no longer an obvious tie-in to the Chevy Cruze like the Volt is. Cadillac’s very successful angular design language is also present on the ELR. I find it interesting that the car technically didn’t need a front grill but they added one purely to keep the styling coherent. I think the ELR is a very encouraging sign for the electric vehicle market. It’s a start to shedding some of the styling, luxury and performance compromises that people are not willing to make to drive EV’s.
Cadillac just debuted the ELR extended range electric vehicle last week at the Detroit Auto Show. The ELR is the production version of the Converj concept and is based on technologies from the Chevrolet Volt. Csaba Csere from Car and Driver interviews the engineering, design and marketing minds behind the ELR to get to some of it’s finer details. Right off the bat, this new model is a lot more than a badge swapped Chevrolet Volt. Even though the drive train shares components, the controls programming allows for more power output due to a better understanding of the battery discharge profiles. Cadillac has also decided to add more driving modes including one where the battery energy can be saved for a specific part of your journey. This is great for people whose commute starts on the highway and ends in the city where the electric motor is more efficient. A version of the hold-mode was first available on the European version of the Volt, the Opel Ampera. The ELR will also allow the driver to dial in specific amounts of regenerative braking with shift paddles located behind the steering wheel. The exterior of the ELR was specifically styled “not to scream electric car” which is to say it looks sporty and aggressive. It’s a 2-door coupe that will be about the size of the ATS (which is almost the exact same size as a BMW 3-series). The chassis has also been upgraded with 20 inch wheels, wider tracks and different suspension components for better handling. Cadillac thinks they’ll be pioneering a new market segment with the premium sport luxury extended range electric vehicle. Lets hope they’re not the only ones.
This is one of the more interesting episodes of Big Muscle simply because they chose to expand their definition of “muscle car” with this 1964 Cadillac Deville. The car comes from an era where Cadillac was sparing no expense to make the most prestigious and luxurious cars. The fact that all of the intricate stainless steel brightwork is present in this Deville’s stock interior makes it all that much cooler. The owner, Ron Dean, decided to take this luxury cruiser and paint flames on the side and drop a 600 horsepower blown Chevy big-block V8 under the hood. It’s one of those cars where if you have to ask about what the purpose of it is, you’ve missed the point. It’s awesome simply because it exists. It’s a combination of a lot of great things that can be enjoyed together but normally aren’t.
This is Jay Leno’s original and unrestored 1918 Cadillac Type 57 Victoria model. Jay likens this car to the CTS-V of 1918 because it’s a luxury model powered by the first ever mass produced V8 engine. Cadillac pioneered precision machining here in America back when the rest of the world was still handcrafting unique individual cars. These Type 57’s were designed to have interchangeable parts for easy servicing and production. Jay tells the story where six of these were brought to England and disassembled. The parts were then thrown into a giant pile and mixed up. Six new cars were then reassembled from the pile of parts that all started on the first try and went on to win an endurance race. That level of precision manufacturing was unheard of at the time. This Type 57 is the crown achievement of an era of American automobiles.
Motor Trend’s senior feature editor, Johnny Lieberman, bids farewell to their long-term Cadillac CTS-V by featuring it on the latest episode of Epic Drives. The V-Wagon gets shipped to Germany so Lieberman can make one more beer run to his favorite Belgian brewers (he’s a home brewer and beer judge). From there he takes the wagon to the Nurburgring to let Johnny O’Connell of Cadillac Racing take another shot at the CTS lap record which was set by John Heinricy in an automatic CTS-V sedan during GM’s development program. Lieberman’s hope was to shave a couple of seconds off the record with the wagon since it’s a 6-speed.