From Converj to ELR The Evolution of Cadillac ELR Design FastLane

15 Май 2014 | Author: | Комментарии к записи From Converj to ELR The Evolution of Cadillac ELR Design FastLane отключены
Cadillac ELR Electric Cars

From Converj to ELR: The Evolution of Cadillac ELR Design

Many design concepts are just that – concepts that may influence future designs, but do not materialize directly into production cars. But Cadillac’s new electrified luxury coupe, the ELR. is a case of a provocative concept car that is now hitting the streets as a production car.

The 2014 ELR launches into U.S. showrooms in January with a provocative design unlike any car – electric or not. While ELR’s design is aggressive, taut and intricate, its origins are very straightforward, tracing back to a concept car called Converj.

The Converj Concept debuted in 2009, as a study for how Cadillac could literally “converge” several aspects the brand foresaw as potentially desirable for future consumers. Converj blended a sporty coupe with a luxury interior, and the progressive appeal of extended range electric vehicle technology.

“We saw Converj as a perfect fit, and ultimate expression of, Cadillac’s Art Science philosophy,” said Bob Boniface, Cadillac exterior design director.  “While the concept car incorporated the propulsion system, the driving force of the design was to get the right stance and proportion.”

Just like the Converj on which it is based, the Cadillac ELR has an aggressive, forward-leaning profile that introduces a new, progressive theme and proportion in Cadillac’s design evolution. Its overall shape is reinforced by a prominent, sweeping bodyline accented by 20-inch wheels pushed to the edges of the body.

“Following the strongly positive reaction to Converj, the challenge was simply to get that design translated into a production context,” Boniface said. “That’s precisely what the project became – we set the show car in the studio with the design and engineering teams and it became the template for developing the production car.”

Vertical LED headlamp and taillamp elements create Cadillac’s signature for the ELR, day or night and from the front or rear – a brand tradition since 1948 and hallmark of the Converj. Other eye-catching details include door handles hidden in recesses behind the doors, a charge port located on the driver’s side front fender and lights on the side mirrors that pulse green when the battery charges and go dark when charging is complete.

A flush front fascia and grille – with active shutters behind the grille opening – as well as tapered fascia corners, enable air to move easily around the car to reduce drag. In the rear, sharp edges and a carefully designed spoiler also manage airflow. An aggressive rake on the windshield and back glass help to further reduce turbulence and drag.

Four colors are available that each equally accentuate the ELR’s design: Black Raven, Radiant Silver Metallic, Graphite Metallic, and Crystal Red. There is also the limited-run Saks Fifth Avenue Special Edition 2014 ELR that is being offered exclusively in White Diamond, of which no more than 100 copies will be produced.

The 2014 Cadillac ELR dramatic design was awarded the 2013 EyesOn Design Award for Design Excellence for production vehicles, while the Converj concept, on which the ELR is based, won the EyesOn Design for Design Excellence for concept vehicles at its 2009 premiere.

Editor s note:  Bob Boniface, director of exterior design for Cadillac, was recently recognized by the Detroit Free Press in their 2014 Automotive Leadership Awards for his help in introducing the 2014 Cadillac CTS, as well as the new ATS coupe that will debut next month at the North American International Auto Show.

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