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Auto blogThu, 30 May 2013 15:44:00 EST
Gearing up for the Belle Isle Grand Prix this weekend, General Motors invited some of the Chevrolet and Cadillac racecar drivers out to its Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant. While there, the racers - including IndyCar Driver and Chevrolet Volt owner, Simona De Silvestro - witnessed the very first 2014 Cadillac ELR to roll off the assembly line.
These vehicles are not destined for customers, however, but instead pre-production units will be used by engineers for testing purposes. Actual production of ELR consumer models is expected to commence closer to the end of this year. As a refresher, this range-extended electric Cadillac shares much of its powertrain with the Volt but will have a sportier coupe design inspired by the Converj Concept. De Silvestro manged to snap a few images of here own, which you can see in the gallery below.
Cadillac is getting serious about revitalizing and expanding its lineup, and to that end, a new report claims that brand boss Johan de Nysschen has been showing plans for several new models to the marque's dealer body - among them, a new convertible.
The droptop which Cadillac reportedly showed its dealers in sketch form, would be based on the same platform as the ATS and CTS, those it's unclear to which (if either) of those model lines the new convertible would be added, or whether the design features a canvas or folding hardtop roof. One way or another, it would be the first time Cadillac would offer a convertible since the Corvette-based XLR roadster was discontinued more than five years ago.
Quoting an unnamed brand spokesperson, Cadillac would "like to introduce an open car to the portfolio at some point," however, "it's not likely to be one of the near-term portfolio additions."
Ever since the latest presidential limousine, also known as The Beast, debuted in 2009, we've wondered what's underneath that black Cadillac body. We already know a few details, like the fact it isn't a Cadillac at all, but a very heavy duty truck chassis from General Motors with a body that resembles a super-sized Caddy. Autoweek, however, has managed to extract new details from veteran Secret Service agents about the closely guarded presidential limo. Their methods, of course, are classified.
Designed to be a rolling office, bunker and escape pod all in one, the current presidential limo is far different from previous presidential state cars, which were heavily modified production vehicles. As we would expect, The Beast uses thick, military-grade body armor (eight inches on the doors), an armored fuel tank, special run-flat tires with Kevlar lining, an encrypted satellite phone, a fully sealed cabin with its own oxygen supply and a trunk full of weapons and medical equipment that includes a supply of the President's blood type (in case the car gets cut off from the ambulance that's always present in the President's motorcade).
The Beast also comes with a Halon fire-suppression system, night vision and is powered by a V8 engine, which we already knew runs on gas and not diesel, that returns an EPA-unfriendly estimated 3.7 miles per gallon. The Secret Service operates a fleet of 12 limos and each Beast costs $1.5 million. Lastly, AW estimates that the 18-foot-long state car weighs 15,000 pounds, and each Secret Service agent that drives the car must be specially trained to maneuver such a massive vehicle.