Cadillac updates the ELR with more power and more tech, but is it too little, too late?

Cadillac has announced that the slow-selling, Chevrolet Volt-based ELR will benefit from a number of significant upgrades for the 2016 model year.

Starting under the hood, the gas-electric drivetrain’s total output has been bumped by about 25 percent to 312 horsepower and 373 foot-pounds of instant torque. When Sport mode is selected, the coupe can reach 60 mph from a stop in 6.4 seconds, a figure that makes it over a second and a half faster than the outgoing 2015 model.

Buyers looking for an even sportier driving experience can order the optional Performance Pack, which brings 20-inch summer-only tires that improve lateral grip by nearly 10 percent, pack-specific alloy wheels, four-piston Brembo-built calipers and 13.6-inch vented rotors up front, a stiffer suspension setup, a more direct steering and a sport steering wheel with a thicker rim. However, be warned that opting for the Performance Pack reduces the ELR’s all-electric range by about four miles.

The ELR has been lambasted for its high price since it went on sale a couple of years ago. Cadillac is not planning on significantly lowering the coupe’s base price in the near future, but the company is making sure buyers get their money’s worth by adding new standard safety features such as side blind zone alert, rear cross traffic alert and Intellibeam headlights. An adaptive cruise control system is available at an extra cost.

The visual updates are minor and largely limited to a revised radiator grille that proudly displays Cadillac’s new crest emblem and a few new alloy wheel designs. Inside, Caddy’s green coupe gets a magnetic inductive charge spot built into the center console, OnStar with 4G LTE and a standard wi-fi hotspot.

The 2016 Cadillac ELR will go on sale across the nation in the coming months. Cadillac has not revealed its true MSRP, but it promises the coupe will carry a base price of $58,495 once federal tax credits are factored in.


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