Jay Leno drives the Cadillac ELR in the latest episode of Jay’s Garage

Cadillac ELR and Jay Leno

As Jay Leno so insightfully points out in his video of the new Cadillac ELR, the Cadillac brand has had one of the most successful branding image turn-arounds of any automaker.

When he was a kid in the 1960s, Cadillac was seen as one of the premier automakers on the planet, marrying both big-body design with power, luxury, and refinement. By the 1990s, Cadillac was seen by many as an old man’s car with uninspired lines and technology.

In the last several years, Cadillac has rediscovered itself and has effectively reinvented itself as a hot, young, sporty luxury brand easily capable of going toe-to-toe with luxury brands like BMW and Audi.

Now Cadillac is poised to take on another all-new realm: electric luxury with its Chevy Volt-based ELR coupe.

In the most recent episode of Jay Leno’s garage, we see that Cadillac has embraced EV power and tech with Cadillac power and design.

Jay has fun using the regenerative braking, which captures kinetic energy by slowing the vehicle with the motor/generator rather than with the friction braking system. Distinctively, the ELR allows drivers to control regenerative braking with the steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters.

While we agree with Jay that the tech is outstanding, our opinions seem to diverge on the exterior design. We’re not sold on the looks of the ELR, as we think they look a bit too understated.

Watch the 15-minute Jay’s Garage and let us know what you think of the ELR in the comment section below.