GM to Build New Cadillac ELR at Detroit-Hamtramck Plant Starting in Late 2013

The next big thing to come from Cadillac will be the ELR plug-in hybrid coupe, which is the production version of the Converj, a concept vehicle first displayed at the 2009 North American International Auto Show in Detroit that borrows its extended-range electric technology from the Chevy Volt.

In a keynote address at the SAE Convergence Conference in Detroit on Tuesday, General Motors North America President Mark Reuss revealed that preparations will soon be underway at the firm’s Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly plant to build the Cadillac ELR.

The ELR is expected to make its world premiere in production form at the Detroit Auto Show in January with the first cars to roll out from the assembly plant in late 2013.

For this reason, GM said that it will invest $35 million in the Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly facility increasing total product investment to $561 million since December 2009.

According to the automaker, the ELR will be the first two-door car built at the plant since the 1999 Cadillac Eldorado. The same facility also manufactures the Chevrolet Volt and its European and Australian counterparts, the Opel / Vauxhall Ampera and Holden Volt, as well as the latest Malibu and the new Impala sedans.

Just like the Volt, the ELR will feature an electric propulsion system made up of a T-shaped lithium-ion battery, an electric drive unit, and a four-cylinder engine that works as a generator to provide power to the electric motor. GM has not released any specific details on the electric motor and the internal combustion engine.

In his speech, Reuss said that the ELR will be the first electric luxury coupe with an extended range to hit the market and that it will remain faithful to the original concept.

“The ELR will be in a class by itself, further proof of our commitment to electric vehicles and advanced technology,” said Reuss. “People will instantly recognize it as a Cadillac by its distinctive, signature look and true-to-concept exterior design.”

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