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Cadillac ups the ante

Posted by: Mark Bilek

If you've been paying attention to the luxury-car market for the past couple of years, you noticed Cadillac is on the come. In addition to offering the world-class CTS, GM's high-end brand is looking to expand its offerings next year with the compact ATS and full-size XTS.

Cadillac also made some waves at the famed Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance this past week with the announcement of an extended-range electric vehicle and the debut of a flagship convertible concept.

The innovative Cadillac Converj Concept, which appeared at the 2009 Chicago Auto Show, has been green lighted for production. The dramatic coupe with its extended-range electric vehicle technology (think Chevrolet Volt) will be called the Cadillac ELR. 

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.

Cadillac also unveiled the Ciel concept, an elegant, open-air grand-touring car. The Ciel-- pronounced C-L-- the French translation for sky is a grand gesture that explores themes driving Cadillac's explorations into range-topping flagship luxury. It is powered by a twin-turbocharged version of the 3.6-liter Direct Injection V-6 engine, paired with a hybrid system using lithium-ion battery technology.

The four-door Ciel rides on a 125-inch wheelbase--about 12 inches longer than a CTS sedan and was developed at GM Design's North Hollywood Design Center.

Let's hope we get the chance to see the ELR and Ciel at the Chicago Auto Show this February! Here are some pics to keep you happy until then.

2011 Cadillac ELR 1
Cadillac Converj concept

2011 Cadillac ELR 2
Cadillac Converj concept

Cadillac Ciel Concept 1
Cadillac Ciel concept

Cadillac Ciel Concept 2
Cadillac Ciel concept

Cadillac Ciel Concept 3
Cadillac Ciel concept

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