GM has said it wants Cadillac to compete with the Tesla, and recent spy photos seems to show what appears to be a hotter Cadillac ELR out on the test track. Supposedly, the plug-in Caddy was being bench-marked against the Tesla Model S, and could be a sign of faster things to come.
This certainly doesn’t mean a Cadillac ELR-V is a forgone conclusion, as GM’s Mark Reuss already shot down the idea of adding Magnetic Ride Control to the ELR to improve its handling. But spyshots obtained by Autoblog show an ELR with bigger brake calipers and rotors, likely sourced from the Buick Regal GS, and it could also indicate that more power is on the way as well. With 201 ponies on tap, the ELR is already more powerful than its corporate cousin, the Chevy Volt, but it’s still a big, heavy car, and buyers aren’t exactly impressed with its performance.
Five-spoke wheels and a hidden (likely sportier) grille also seem to be on tap, though that doesn’t mean this is necessarily an ELR-V, but rather as Autoblog points out, a Vsport. Sportier, but not a full-blown performance car, this could add some edge to the ELR that buyers might have found lacking initially. Sales of the Cadillac ELR haven’t been anything to write home about, and it seems like GM might be scrambling for a solution in the face of almost universal criticism over the ELR’s high price and lack of differentiation from the Volt.
If Cadillac really is benchmarking a new ELR against the Tesla Model S (something they probably should have done in the first place), it is further proof of how Elon Musk’s electric automaker is forcing the establishment to embrace innovation.