The ELR received a warm reception at the North American International Auto Show in January, but it didn’t waste time basking in the glow. Instead, it underwent real-world, extreme-winter-testing in Michigan’s unforgiving Upper Peninsula. This gave the engineers an opportunity to make sure the ELR arrives in showrooms with a ride-and-handling character unlike any EV on the market today.
More than four inches of fresh snowfall created slippery conditions that helped Cadillac engineers finesse the traction control, anti-lock brakes and electronic stability control technologies that work in tandem with the Continuous Damping Control suspension to maintain optimal control over varying road conditions.
But the cold-weather prowess of the ELR doesn’t stop with the ride character. In February, Cadillac engineers traveled to northern Ontario, Canada, where the ELR was subjected to some of the worst cold-weather environments on this continent. Using cold chambers, engineers exposed the vehicle to temperatures reaching -40 degrees F for extended periods of time. This allowed engineers to test the performance of various technological features that make challenging weather conditions more comfortable, including the ELR’s extended-range, gasoline-powered generator doing double-duty and supplementing the electric heat to help warm the cabin and configuring the ELR to turn on the heated seats automatically when the temperature is cold to keep you comfortable inside, no matter what is happening outside.