For all the talk about the new Cadillac ELR driving a new chapter in plug-in cars for Cadillac and General Motors, one question hovers over those discussions: Is it a game changer?
More specifically, is the ELR a threat to the Tesla Model S?
The comparisons are inevitable since the new ELR will go on sale at a hefty starting price of $75,995. That's the neighborhood of the Tesla Model S, which has two versions starting at $72,000 and $82,000 (before a $7,500 federal tax credit).
Earlier this year, one Wall Street firm estimated the average transaction price for the Model S is $93,000.
In short, the ELR and Model S will be competing for sales in the rarefied air of models selling for more than $75,000.
Two different EV approaches
The ELR is not a pure electric car, which is the case with the Model S. That difference is huge.
Cadillac took the battery/power system of the Chevy Volt and wrapped it in a luxury car with all the styling cues of the current generation of Cadillacs.
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That's not to say the ELR is simply a rebadged Chevy Volt. It's not. From the 20 inch wheels to the suede-like accents in the interior, to the Cadillac CUE infotainment system, the ELR is far different from the Volt.
It is also completely different from the Model S, and not just because the Model S is a pure electric car.