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How Cadillac Got the 2016 ELR 25% More Power

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2016 Cadillac ELR

2016 Cadillac ELR
Photo: © General Motors

Apart from a significant drop in price, one of the most surprising upgrades made to the 2016 Cadillac ELR was a 25% boost in power output. So how did they do it?

AutoBlog analyzed the core components of the ELR, which are largely unchanged from the 2014 model, and conferred with Sam Abuelsamid, a former AutoBlog writer and current senior research analyst at Navigant Research, who found that the devil is largely in the details.

“The changes to the ELR as I understand them are analogous to getting more performance out of a 1965 Mustang with the entry version of the 289 cubic-inch V8. You can replace the carburetor with a larger version that enables more air and fuel to flow into the engine, thus producing more power. The basic engine hasn’t changed, but power capability is being unleashed by feeding it more.”

The boost in power is complimented by upgrades to clutches, bearings, and gears, which allows the 2016 ELR to handle the increased level of torque.

David Caldwell, a spokesman for Cadillac, confirmed that part of the power boost also comes from new software.

“One could not ‘reflash’ a previous ELR to get the performance of a 2016,” Caldwell said. “If one only changed software you would not get the performance upgrade fully, as the 2016 creates higher current, more power. So these have been upgraded physically – hardware. And yes of course there is also new software on top.”

Caldwell also notes that tweaks made to the ELR’s Sport Mode help increase the amount of power generated by the motors. More power certainly isn’t a bad way to pitch the 2016 ELR to prospective customers, especially at a fraction of the cost.

News Source: AutoBlog