Dec 8, 2011
Chris Weiss

Cadillac ELR Will Be FWD, Not RWD

Over the summer, GM confirmed that it will be building a production car based on the Cadillac Converj concept. The ELR will essentially be a luxury Volt. Some murmurs recently indicated that one of the factors that will distinguish it from the Volt is a rear-wheel drive platform. No way, says a GM source.

Auto News released a report indicating that the ELR should use a RWD platform to properly differentiate itself from the Chevy Volt. The logic was that if GM really wanted to build a luxury car based on Volt technology, it would need to provide a very strong argument for the extra money involved in buying a Caddy over a Chevy. That argument should include RWD, according to AN’s Rick Kranz.

Kranz said that he wasn’t sure if the RWD platform being developed for the new ATS could be adjusted to accommodate the large battery of the Voltec powertrain, but speculated that the 2 + 2 configuration of the ELR might indicate the presence of a big battery in back.

Now, if you’ve been following the story of the ELR, one thing that doesn’t add up is the ever-important question of money. The ELR will help GM recoup the significant costs of developing the Voltec powertrain by packaging that same powertrain in a more expensive, premium-level package. Now, if they had to completely rework the powertrain for a rear-wheel orientation, then they’d have to invest even more money rather than simply leveraging the new car toward a profit. That doesn’t make much sense.

Indeed, GM doesn’t think it makes much sense, either.Green Car Reports spoke to a source within the company who “laughed out loud” at the prospect of redesigning a RWD platform around the series hybrid powertrain. In addition to eating up more resources than GM has to give, the source said that mounting a battery above the axle would create too high a center of gravity, eliminating the performance advantages of rear-wheel drive, and require too much re-engineering.

In other words, we can expect the ELR to be a front-wheel drive just like the Volt. Caddy will undoubtedly rely on things like luxurious interior, Cadillac styling cues and premium equipment to differentiate the model from the Volt.

Source : Green Car Reports


  • I think this Cadillac will give the Volt a run for its money, after all the volt has had some battery pack issue’s and isn’t doing to good right now. If Cadillac can avoid any serious problems with the car then i think it should sell pretty good.

  • I am definitely interested in this car. And being in a snowy climate and too lazy to deal with snow tires, I’m happy with the FWD over RWD (although AWD would be nice…)

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