Feb 13

GM tests pre-production ELR in winter snow

 

By Philippe Crowe

After having publicly been announced to hit showroom floors in early 2014, the Cadillac ELR is now undergoing the real-world extreme testing required to take the extended-range electric luxury coupe from auto show stage to reality.

Engineers were winter weather chassis testing last week on pre-production ELR models in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, evaluating the car’s handling in winter weather conditions.

ELR_winter_testing

More than four inches of fresh snowfall during testing helped the team validate final specifications on the ELR’s steering, tires, anti-lock brakes, traction control, electronic stability control and Continuous Damping Control suspension. The later adjusts damping every two milliseconds to maintain optimal control over varying road conditions.

ELR_testing_in_winter

Combined with the HiPer Strut front suspension and watts link rear suspension, GM said the ELR is designed to provide owners with a sporty, yet confident handling character.

“Being able to test the ELR in extreme road conditions, like those we experienced here in the U.P., allows us to provide a ride-and-handling character unlike any EV on the market today,” said Chris Thomason, ELR chief engineer. “During this latest test, the ELR continued to perform beyond our expectations.”

The ELR, which won the Eyes on Design Award for best production vehicle at the Detroit auto show, is based on the Cadillac Converj Concept and on the Chevrolet Volt.

Cadillac said the ELR’s exterior establishes a new, progressive proportion for the brand.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, February 13th, 2013 at 5:55 am and is filed under General. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

COMMENTS: 40


  1. 1
    Mark Z

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    Feb 13th, 2013 (6:19 am)

    Like the Energizer Bunny, the ELR will keep going and going while it’s snowing.

    I wonder if GM includes M+S tires on the ELR, or is it an option?


  2. 2
    James

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    Feb 13th, 2013 (7:18 am)

    (click to show comment)


  3. 3
    Raymondjram

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    Feb 13th, 2013 (8:03 am)

    The ELR body needs a new rear spoiler, because the snow has accumulated on its tail. I know that future ELR owners wouldn’t like to see that same condition on their vehicle. The airflow must prevent that snow from sticking. And I know that most ELR buyers wouldn’t care if the new spoiler reduces the CD range a few miles.

    Raymond


  4. 4
    Tim Hart

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    Feb 13th, 2013 (8:15 am)

    I hope it becomes the most sought after Caddy!


  5. 5
    jdan

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    Feb 13th, 2013 (8:27 am)

    Well if you’re going to test in extreme weather, the UP is a good place. Although last year they only had 132 inches in Houghton ( http://www.mtu.edu/alumni/favorites/snowfall/snowfall.html )! ;)


  6. 6
    Truman

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    Feb 13th, 2013 (8:37 am)

    I hope the Cadillac pushes the tech envelope for the Chevy Volt – more Wh/kg in the batteries, maybe 20kWh battery size rather than 16, more aluminum/carbon-fiber in the body to give longer all-electric range, more efficient genset, try new software tricks like entering your route on a GPS-map system that knows the elevations – and getting ready for hill climbing by charging the batteries more.


  7. 7
    haroldC

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    Feb 13th, 2013 (8:38 am)

    2014 seems like a long way off…….GM better get cracken’…..all the competition is working overtime to bring more models and lower prices to the people……..better hurry……
    haroldC


  8. 8
    haroldC

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    Feb 13th, 2013 (8:55 am)

    Raymondjram: The ELR body needs a new rear spoiler, because the snow has accumulated on its tail. I know that future ELR owners wouldn’t like to see that same condition on their vehicle. The airflow must prevent that snow from sticking. And I know that most ELR buyers wouldn’t care if the new spoiler reduces the CD range a few miles.Raymond

    l live in snow country and in all my 55 years of very snowy winters l have yet to see any vehicle keep snow off the rear panels.When it is particularly humid there is nothing much to do but keep it the garage if you don’t want any snow buildup……..that why we all have snow brushes…..
    haroldC


  9. 9
    Loboc

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    Feb 13th, 2013 (9:21 am)

    That is one beautiful car! A real snow bunny ;)


  10. 10
    steve

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    Feb 13th, 2013 (9:25 am)

    Truman,

    I recall during Volt developement they noted that aerodynamics had a bigger influence on range than weight did.


  11. 11
    haroldC

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    Feb 13th, 2013 (9:47 am)

    When will GM stick a couple of motors on the rear end…flick a little switch…the ultimate winter car!!!
    haroldC


  12. 12
    Steverino

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    Feb 13th, 2013 (10:20 am)

    Just like the Volt, I suspect snow butt will be dusty butt come warmer weather. I wash my Volt regularly so no big deal, but I know some have complained about this aerodynamics induced condition.


  13. 13
    Jim I

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    Feb 13th, 2013 (11:12 am)

    James:
    Stretch it, give it a three cyl. range extender, 4 doors, more headroom, a backseat for 3,
    new improved battery chemistry and a center console stack that isn’t flat and confusing, then configure it with different battery sizes, levels of availability including a base model – price it
    under $30,000 and call it “Volt” and then I’ll be impressed.

    ===========================================

    So you want a lot more car for a lot less money?

    I would like to win the Publisher’s Clearinghouse $5000 / week for life!

    But I don’t really see either of those things happening………..

    JMHO

    C-5277


  14. 14
    kdawg

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    Feb 13th, 2013 (11:26 am)

    Raymondjram: The ELR body needs a new rear spoiler, because the snow has accumulated on its tail. I know that future ELR owners wouldn’t like to see that same condition on their vehicle. The airflow must prevent that snow from sticking. And I know that most ELR buyers wouldn’t care if the new spoiler reduces the CD range a few miles.

    My Volt does the same thing. It’s a result the the aerodynamics of the kammback.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kammback

    (good for covering your rear plate for camera speeding tickets (j/k))


  15. 15
    George S. Bower

     

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    Feb 13th, 2013 (11:37 am)

    kdawg: My Volt does the same thing.It’s a result the the aerodynamics of the kammback.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kammback

    My other car (begins with a P) is a kammback also but it doesn’t collect dust nearly as bad as the Volt. Everytime I go into town (in the summer at the Pine house) and it’s about 1/2 mile of dirt I have to blow the back of the Volt off with compressed air.


  16. 16
    Noel Park

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    Feb 13th, 2013 (11:51 am)

    Tim Hart:
    I hope it becomes the most sought after Caddy!

    #4

    Me too. +1 Not my cup of tea, but I do hope that they sell a million of ‘em.


  17. 17
    kdawg

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    Feb 13th, 2013 (11:52 am)

    jdan: Well if you’re going to test in extreme weather, the UP is a good place. Although last year they only had 132 inches in Houghton

    I believe this testing was done in Houghton, at the Keweenaw Research Center Winter Driving School.


  18. 18
    Noel Park

     

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    Feb 13th, 2013 (11:56 am)

    George S. Bower: My other car (begins with a P)

    #15

    Pontiac? Plymouth? There are 2 “P” word car names that I can think of currently in my world, but neither on of them will pass my lips, LOL.

    +1 anyway because I can’t see how it rated the -1. Mine’s pretty dirty on the back at the moment too.


  19. 19
    kdawg

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    Feb 13th, 2013 (12:02 pm)

    steve: I recall during Volt developement they noted that aerodynamics had a bigger influence on range than weight did.

    More weight basically just creates slower accel times. With regen braking the energy for the extra weight is recaptured (yes not 100%, ~80% according to George S). I think Cd and CdA are the biggest factors for range. I would like to see a concept with ideas from GM’s Sunraycer, that had a Cd of 0.125, implemented. Yes, the Sunraycer is not a practical car, but I think most understand what I’m saying here. This would be a pure BEV focused on range, for a daily commuter, good for just 1 or 2 passengers. It would be cheap ~$12K, have a min range of 70 miles, and a top speed of 100mph. Think of a very aerodynamic Spark EV, with a smaller battery.

    GM imagineers – get to work! :)


  20. 20
    pjkPA

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    Feb 13th, 2013 (12:09 pm)

    My Volt did very good this year in the snow here in PA…. the weight and traction control works well.
    And one thing I didn’t think about is the no shifting… the smoothness keeps the traction when a shift would have given uneven power and lost traction.


  21. 21
    kdawg

     

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    Feb 13th, 2013 (12:13 pm)

    George S. Bower: My other car (begins with a P) is a kammback also but it doesn’t collect dust nearly as bad as the Volt. Everytime I go into town (in the summer at the Pine house) and it’s about 1/2 mile of dirt I have to blow the back of the Volt off with compressed air.

    Here’s a great video on the Volt’s aerodynamics.
    Some quotes:
    “Aerodynamic changes allowed for another 7 miles of EV range”
    “Spent the most time on the rear of the car”
    “Lowest Cd GM car ever made except the EV1″

    http://youtu.be/kMGZca0PpG4

    (Would be fun to put a Volt and a P-word car in a tunnel next to each other. I’m sure GM’s done this; as well as Mr T, and Mr. F, but we’ll never see it LOL)


  22. 22
    haroldC

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    Feb 13th, 2013 (12:16 pm)

    Noel Park,

    Porsche, Panhard, Peerless, Packard,Panoz,Peugot, come to mind……
    harolC


  23. 23
    James

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    Feb 13th, 2013 (12:27 pm)

    Loboc:
    That is one beautiful car! A real snow bunny

    Is it still “beautiful” at $65-85,000? It’s like when we ask if a Sports Illustrated
    covermodel is “beautiful” but find out she’s a spendaholic maneater gold-digger,
    AND untouchable by all but major league athletes and pop stars….

    ELR is great to look at – but that’s where it all ends, really.

    NO THANKS.

    RECHARGE! ,

    James


  24. 24
    George S. Bower

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    Feb 13th, 2013 (12:49 pm)

    Noel Park: #15

    .Mine’s pretty dirty on the back at the moment too.

    I have to constantly remind my wife to keep her “mits” of the black area under the rear spoiler.

    Always remember to use the hand notch thingy on the “inside” of the hatch. I can’t stand unsightly hand and finger prints on the back of my car.

    Also, sometimes I only clean the back of the car. It’s a quick “lazy mans” way of sprucing up your Volt with minimum effort. I have to look my best when I go the Tonto Basin Post office LOL. Captn Jack would fit right in here.


  25. 25
    CaptJackSparrow

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    Feb 13th, 2013 (1:02 pm)

    A more expensive car, and i’m guessing less AER.

    No thanks!!!
    Obviously not for the “Masses” but the more Niche.


  26. 26
    kdawg

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    Feb 13th, 2013 (1:22 pm)

    James: ELR is great to look at – but that’s where it all ends, really.

    I’m guessing this has to be one of the nicest riding EV’s out there, if not *the* nicest.


  27. 27
    kdawg

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    Feb 13th, 2013 (1:31 pm)

    Anyone else notice this screen is a bit different in the Cadillac ELR? It would be nice to get shots of all the screens. I know the CUE system has to have new screens.

    2013-ELR-int-gallery-4-880x380_zps7d99d1c7.jpg


  28. 28
    Sean

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    Feb 13th, 2013 (2:19 pm)

    I wonder what the range will be on this baby!

    Great job when it comes to handling with the snow.

    I hope it passes all the test like the Volt did and I hope it will be one of the top ELR or EREVS out on the market.

    Way to go Cadillac!

    Don’t give up.


  29. 29
    Markw

     

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    Feb 13th, 2013 (5:15 pm)

    Looks awesome! I find my volt handles great in the snow, even without snow-tires thanks to its weight, balance and center of gravity which seems to be just behind the front seats thanks to the battery. It will be interesting to see how the Cadi takes advantage of this fact.

    The only caveat is that every-time it drops below -4C or so ( which funny enough is a lot of the time up here in Canada) the engine fires up every now and then to stay warm. It would be nice if they let me select when the engine turns on/off… that way I am not burning fuel at a stop light for no reason…


  30. 30
    Eco_Turbo

     

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    Feb 13th, 2013 (7:43 pm)

    George S. Bower: Always remember to use the hand notch thingy on the “inside” of the hatch.

    So, GM did learn a thing or two from Saab. Saab hatchbacks have had inside handles for 35 years or so.


  31. 31
    kdawg

     

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    Feb 13th, 2013 (7:46 pm)

    Markw:
    Looks awesome! I find my volt handles great in the snow, even without snow-tires thanks to its weight, balance and center of gravity which seems to be just behind the front seats thanks to the battery.It will be interesting to see how the Cadi takes advantage of this fact.

    The only caveat is that every-time it drops below -4C or so ( which funny enough is a lot of the time up here in Canada) the engine fires up every now and then to stay warm.It would be nice if they let me select when the engine turns on/off… that way I am not burning fuel at a stop light for no reason…

    You can set it lower. To 15 deg F. You are at 25 now.


  32. 32
    Dave G

     

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    Feb 13th, 2013 (8:28 pm)

    James: Stretch it, give it a three cyl. range extender, 4 doors, more headroom, a backseat for 3, new improved battery chemistry and a center console stack that isn’t flat and confusing…

    I agree. +1.

    James: …then configure it with different battery sizes, levels of availability including a base model…

    Let’s say the Volt had battery options to support 20, 40, and 60 miles of range. This would be great from a marketing point of view, but I believe there are major technical issues.

    A Volt-20 probably wouldn’t have enough power. Smaller batteries store less energy (kWh), and have less peak power (kW). For example, notice how the Tesla model S performance increases as they increase range. Also notice how everything with less range than the Volt uses a parallel hybrid design. So a Volt-20 would be a different type of car.

    A Volt-60, using the same battery technology, that would add 200 pounds. This would affect cargo area, efficiency, handling, and crash safety. GM could use a different Li/Ion chemistry to lower weight, but that would affect battery life and safety. So a Volt-60 would be a different type of car.


  33. 33
    Noel Park

     

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    Feb 13th, 2013 (8:30 pm)

    George S. Bower: I have to constantly remind my wife to keep her “mits” of the black area under the rear spoiler.

    #24

    I dunno buddy, I think that you could get some serious blowback from that, LOL.

    George S. Bower: Always remember to use the hand notch thingy on the “inside” of the hatch.

    I only wish that they had put one on each side. +1

    The way my garage is set up I end up reaching into the hatch from the left side most of the time. So I usually end up getting my “mitts” on the black area or reaching clear across which is irritating.


  34. 34
    Raymondjram

     

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    Feb 13th, 2013 (10:17 pm)

    kdawg,

    I had a 1975 Vega Kammback Wagon for ten years, and its tail didn’t get dirty after driving it for months (I don’t get any snow down here). Maybe the Kammback design changed for the worse, but I still insists that GM change the ELR rear aerodynamics if they don’t want their buyers to complain.

    Raymond


  35. 35
    Jackson

     

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    Feb 13th, 2013 (10:50 pm)

    George S. Bower,

    You can’t fool us. No car starts with P!

    … try it out loud …


  36. 36
    Jackson

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    Feb 13th, 2013 (10:53 pm)

    Testing, testing, testing. That’s why GM’s EREV is the best.


  37. 37
    Jody

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    Feb 13th, 2013 (11:01 pm)

    James: Is it still “beautiful” at $65-85,000? It’s like when we ask if a Sports Illustrated
    covermodel is “beautiful” but find out she’s a spendaholic maneater gold-digger,
    AND untouchable by all but major league athletes and pop stars….

    ELR is great to look at – but that’s where it all ends, really.

    NO THANKS.

    RECHARGE! ,

    James

    Wow, James, you seem like a real Negative Nancy. Some people have money and like spending it on luxury items — that’s what the Cadillac brand (and other luxury brands) are all about. Not everyone wants to drive an appliance. For some, it’s not always about being practical, it’s about the emotional connection to the vehicle, the brand, the treatment you get at the dealership, and the driving experience.

    That said, I’ve historically turned to German auto manufacturers to meet my “wants” in my luxury vehicles. I currently own a Volt and P-car, and the Volt has gotten me excited again for the first time in decades about American automotive engineering/ingenuity. I love the car. If upon test driving it, the fit and finish of the ELR is “worth it” to me, I’d strongly consider buying one to replace my Volt — if nothing else, to continue supporting the electric car movement and domestic innovation.


  38. 38
    Markw

     

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    Feb 14th, 2013 (6:15 pm)

    kdawg,

    Didn’t know it was settable, I have a 2012 model… is this new for 2013?


  39. 39
    Fred Smith

     

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    Feb 15th, 2013 (5:47 pm)

    James,

    The technical term is feature creep. Pretty soon it turns into a monster with too many options and too many things that don’t work right because of all the added compexity and too high a cost. A trap American car companies are famous for falling into. I pray to god nobody listens to this sort of advice.


  40. 40
    taser54

     

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    Feb 16th, 2013 (7:09 am)

    haroldC,

    Prius has the kammback.