Cadillac ELR extended range EV
Chief engineer describes chassis, Cue system and safety features as new and different
The Cadillac ELR, launched at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January, is an extended-range electric luxury coupe set to appear in Cadillac showrooms in early 2014.
While the ELR could be described as the Cadillac version of the Chevy Volt, ELR chief engineer Chris Thomason says his team’s goal was to “provide a ride-and-handling character unlike any EV on the market today.”
The engineers took the basic architecture and proportions of the Converj concept car as their starting point. Thomason says the ELR chassis, Cue infotainment system, instrument cluster and safety features are all new and different.
“In the chassis controls arena we incorporated a continuous damping control (CDC) system with accelerometers that monitor damping every 2 milliseconds to maintain optimal control over varying road conditions.”
A Regen on Demand feature uses paddle shifters on the steering wheel to give the driver more control of regenerative braking; for example, to control how much the driver wants to slow the car with regenerative braking alone. Regen on Demand allows the driver to temporarily regenerate energy from the ELR’s momentum into electricity that can be stored in the battery pack for later use. “We tied together throttle progression calibration and steering calibration along with the suspension,” Thomason adds. “It truly is a change in your driving experience.”
The Cadillac Cue system has been updated with screens for energy charging, energy usage and efficiency “to make the system everything it should be for an ELR customer that wants this additional information.”
Thomason adds that the central information display is entirely interactive. “The customer can pretty much do everything while keeping their eyes on the road. The instrument cluster has four separate displays, from simple and elegant up to really wanting to see what’s happening and how driving style factors into vehicle efficiency. The challenge with controls is to integrate the hybrid system and make it seamless to the customer so that it’s no different than a CTS.”
Safety features in the ELR include full speed range adaptive cruise control, collision imminent braking, and side blind zone assist with rear cross-traffic alert.
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