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Why is the Cadillac ELR so expensive? It’s going after the BMW 6 Series … for some reason

Ever since the Cadillac ELR extended range EV was announced, automotive journalists like myself have been wondering why the hell it costs so much.

After all, $75,995 is a lot for what is essentially a Chevy Volt in a tux. It seems, though, that we now have at least part of an answer as to why it’ll cost such a pretty penny.

GM says that the ELR isn’t going to be going up against the Tesla as a luxury EV as we had once wagered. Instead, it will be targeting BMW 6 Series buyers … for some reason.

On one hand, this makes at least some sense, as the price point chosen by GM would in fact make it competitive with the 6 Series.

On the other hand, this move strikes me as a bit nuts, with all due respect to the BMW brass. The ELR’s performance isn’t terrible, it can manage 0-60 in just under eight seconds, but it’s a very far cry from the performance-oriented vehicles put up by the Germans.

For the same amount of money, you can get a BMW 640ci that can jump to 60 mph in less than five seconds. That’s a full 60 percent quicker than the electrified Caddy.

What’s more, the ELR is front-wheel drive whereas the Teutonic terrors it’s up against are rear-wheel drive. Really, there just is no comparison between these vehicles on performance.

According to Wards Auto, Cadillac is banking on the high-quality luxury appointments fitted to the ELR, including genuine suede, wood, carbon fiber, and 20-way leather-wrapped electric seats to draw in customers.

I just hope that the folks at GM have decided to back up this thought with actual market research. With most companies that would seem obvious, but I sometimes get the sense that GM’s market research consists entirely of putting cars on sale and seeing if people buy them.

Lets hope that’s not the case. It would be a shame for Cadillac to miss an opportunity to be relevant because of a bad pricing decision.