It was originally believed that the ELR would use the Voltec extended-range setup sourced directly from the Volt, but now rumor has it that GM will swap the 1.4-liter, naturally aspirated engine in favor of an Opel-developed Ecotec MGE powerplant. The reason being is that the ELR will undoubtedly pack on some extra pounds in order to reach the sort of luxury expected from a Cadillac model – compared to the Volt – and as such, would benefit from more performance under the hood.
The Ecotec MGE is an all-new powerplant and will become the foundation for a future family of engines for GM vehicles, replacing most of its current Family 1 engines. The MGE block is engineered to expand up to 2.0-liters in displcement, but chances are the ELR will see a 1.8-liter under the hood when it’s produced. We’re still not entirely convinced that GM won’t also employ the use of a turbocharger.
Another issue that Cadillac has to work through in building the Volt-based ELR is to ensure that its fuel efficiency and electric range is respectable despite the additional weight added to the model. For 2013, Chevy has already bumped up the Volt’s 16 kWh battery to a 16.5 kWh pack, which also increased its electric range to 38 miles. That means the ELR could see additional storage capacity, but that could mean longer charge times and even more weight with higher-capacity batteries.
The one thing GM has going for it is that the ELR as a Cadillac model can demand a Cadillac price. Whether or not the consumers will be willing to pay it will be another question.
[Source: Car and Driver]