General Motors plans to build the all-new Cadillac ELR extended-range electric vehicle at its Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly plant.
The automaker expects to start production of the luxury coupe in late 2013, GM North America President Mark Reuss announced Tuesday at the Society of Automotive Engineers' Convergence conference in Detroit.
The ELR will vault Cadillac into direct competition with other luxury electric vehicles such as Fisker Automotive's Karma and Tesla Motors' Model S.
The vehicle, based on the same extended-range electric powertrain as the Chevrolet Volt, is also based on the Cadillac Converj concept vehicle introduced at the 2009 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
GM said it would spend $35 million to upgrade equipment at the Detroit-Hamtramck plant, which already produces the Volt and is gearing up to make the redesigned 2014 Chevrolet Impala.
A spokesman said the automaker does not plan to add any jobs to the 27-year-old plant's 1,400 hourly and 160 salary employees.
Production volumes for the two-door, four-seat ELR are expected to be relatively low. GM hasn't revealed pricing or details on the vehicle's electric-only range.
The $40,000 2013 Volt's T-shaped lithium-ion battery pack allows the vehicle to travel 38 miles on a single charge of electricity before a gasoline engine-generator kicks in and powers an electric motor.
The ELR will similarly rely on an extended-range system that provides all-electric drive with the option to switch to gasoline.
Reuss hinted that GM would reveal the production version of the ELR at the 2013 Detroit auto show.
"The ELR will be in a class by itself, further proof of our commitment to electric vehicles and advanced technology," Reuss said. "People will instantly recognize it as a Cadillac by its distinctive, signature look and true-to-concept exterior design."
The news comes as GM is also expected to unveil a redesigned Cadillac Escalade in 2013 after delivering the all-new Cadillac ATS compact sedan and Cadillac XTS large sedan in 2012.
"ELR will contribute mightily to the brand momentum of Cadillac, as it continues a big product push in the global luxury market," Reuss said.
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