Cadillac ELR Electric Coupe Debuts Next Month

General Motors has announced that they will be debuting the new Cadillac ELR extended range luxury coupe at next month’s North American International Auto Show on January 15th. They haven’t revealed much about this car yet, and they’re still pretty tight-lipped, but we do have this one shadowy image to whet our appetites until the show in Detroit.

The Cadillac ELR is basically the production version of the Converj concept car that debuted back in 2009 with the tagline “The Cadillac of Electric Vehicles.” The tagline was cute, but that didn’t help the car see the light of day. It’s taken a few years, but now the ELR has built on what the Converj started and taken it further with a T-shaped lithium-ion battery, an electric drive unit, and a four-cylinder engine-generator.

Electricity will be the car’s sole power source which means less filling your tank and no nasty emissions, unless the battery gets low. This will trigger what’s touted as a seamless switch to a gasoline-powered electric generator similar to what is currently in the Chevy Volt. No short drives and long recharges to hold up your vacation with this luxury coupe. Drivers will instead get hundreds of extra miles thanks to the gas-electric combination.

The battery will be built at GM’s Brownstown Battery Assembly, but the vehicle will come from their Detroit-Hamtramck plant. Back in October, General Motors announced a $35 million investment in Detroit-Hamtramck to prepare for production of the Cadillac ELR. The plant is the only one in the United States that mass produces extended-range electric vehicles. It also marks the first time this plant will be producing a two-door vehicle since back in 1999 when it made the Cadillac Eldorado.

In addition to the Cadillac ELR, the plant also produces the Chevrolet Volt, Opel Ampera, and Holden Volt extended-range electric vehicles. These cars are exported to some 21 different countries.

Nicole Wakelin fell in love with cars as a teenager when she got to go for a ride in a Ferrari. It was red and it was fast and that was all that mattered. Game over. She considers things a bit more carefully now, but still has a weakness for fast, beautiful cars. When not drooling over cars, Nicole writes for Wired’s GeekMom.