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Cadillac Converj hits production as ELR, escapes concept purgatory

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If you're not already familiar with the story of the Cadillac Converj, take this quick primer: the Converj is the Chevy Volt's luxurious, canceled cousin. The up-and-coming concept suffered an early death shortly after its debut at the 2009 Detroit auto show. Now it's back, returning to development under the name Cadillac ELR. The new electric caddy is said to feature an updated version of the Voltec powertrain, complete with a Chevy Volt-like range-extending generator. Detroit promises that pricing and availability will be released "later," but you can cruise past the break right now for some extra classy PR.

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Electric Concept Car Comes to Life as Cadillac ELR
Luxury touring coupe gets extended-range electric vehicle technology

DETROIT – The innovative Cadillac Converj Concept, a dramatic luxury coupe with extended-range electric vehicle technology, is moving forward as a production car that will be called the Cadillac ELR.

Development of the ELR is just underway, so details on performance, price and timing will be announced later.

The Cadillac ELR will feature an electric propulsion system made up of a T-shaped lithium ion battery, an electric drive unit, and a four-cylinder engine-generator. It uses electricity as its primary source to drive the car without using gasoline or producing tailpipe emissions. When the battery's energy is low, the ELR seamlessly switches to extended-range mode to enable driving for hundreds of additional miles.

"The concept generated instant enthusiasm," said Don Butler, vice president-Cadillac Marketing. "Like other milestone Cadillac models of the past, the ELR will offer something not otherwise present – the combination of electric propulsion with striking design and the fun of luxury coupe driving."

Cadillac selected the name ELR to indicate the car's electric propulsion technology, in keeping with the brand's 3-letter international model naming convention.

The Converj Concept sparked the idea of combining the desirability of a grand touring coupe with electrification, said Ed Welburn, GM vice president, Global Design.

"There's no mistaking it for anything but a Cadillac, an aggressive, forward-leaning profile and proportion showcases a uniquely shaped, modern vision of a personal luxury 2+2," Welburn said.

Cadillac will reveal another new concept car on Thursday, Aug. 18, at a special event prior to the annual Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. Cadillac also recently announced it will add two new vehicles to its product lineup in 2012, the XTS large luxury sedan and an all-new luxury compact sedan codenamed ATS.

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