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Cadillac Unveils Pricier Alternative To Tesla Model S 196

Posted by samzenpus
from the paying-the-price dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Cadillac has officially unveiled its Tesla S alternative, but at $5,000 more than the Tesla, it may not be the cheaper option you've been looking for. 'Cadillac is touting the ELR's 8-inch touchscreen powered by its CUE infotainment system — which two years in is still a buggy mess — along with a range of safety and convenience features, including lane departure warning, forward collision alert, and a 24-hour concierge service to answer questions. There's also a "regen on demand" feature that allows the driver to boost the brake regeneration, slowing the vehicle and recouping energy by pulling on the flappy paddles behind the steering wheel. GM's bean counters are quick to point out that depending on what federal and state tax incentives buyers are eligible for, the net pricing could be as low as $68,495, but that's still a tough sell considering you're basically getting a Volt with more presence and less practicality.'"
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Cadillac Unveils Pricier Alternative To Tesla Model S

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  • by Nemyst (1383049) on Sunday October 13, 2013 @11:48AM (#45114291) Homepage
    Since TFS doesn't give any detail worth noting, this thing has two doors (not four like the S), a laughable 35mi electric range before the gasoline engine kicks in for 300mi total (which is still fairly bad, especially when the S has 208-265mi range pure electric depending on the model), a smaller (8" vs 17" for the S) touchscreen with a poorer OS/UI, all that for $75k. Oh yeah, and it looks like a blockier Volt. In fact, it's pretty much a Volt with a few extra features at twice the price.

    If this is the best GM can do, they better get back to the drawing board quick.
    • by pesho (843750)
      You missed the major selling point for the Cadillac, which is touted in an unbelievable series of cliches ("sexy sophistication" anyone?) here/a>. It has whopping 207hp and 295 lb of torque vs. the meager 416hp and 443lb of the Tesla. That's going to make people looking for an expensive sports car run to G with bundles. [wired.com]
      • by timeOday (582209)
        Cadillac is ALL about trim level. Check out the Cadillac Escalade EXT pickup truck. It's $65,000, and based on the Chevy Avalanche which is $40,000 for what is, on paper, the same level of capability. The Escalade is $70,000, based on the Chevy Tahoe which is $42,000. Yet the Escalade has been hugely profitable.

        As for the Tesla comparison, I doubt most Cadillac buyers are ready to make the jump to an all-electric car, let alone by a manufacturer with such a short track record. I would take the Tesla

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      It looks like they're trying the Cimarron [wikipedia.org] approach again. First because they think people have forgotten the Cimarron by now, and second it's not a Cimarron because it's electric. (Although it pretty much is an expensive rebadge of the Volt.)

      Also I'm wondering, if Buick gets theirs, will they bring back the Electra name?

    • by DarkOx (621550)

      What I don't get is how its an answer to the Tesla at all. This thing is a plugin hybrid, the Tesla is an all electric. Its not really the same animal at all.

      • It's what happens when you completely run out of ideas. You take some old stuff and glue on the new "in" thing.

        "Let's make a movie about vampires ... (booo!) ..... IN SPACE!!!! (yay!!!)"

        And in this particular case - let's use the existing car design and old components ... PLUS HYBRID!

        And yes, I have no idea either how they want to sell this car at that price. It just fails on so many levels (plus, imo, it is ugly). At that price, you could easily buy either the Tesla S for pure electric drive or for thousan

        • by AK Marc (707885)

          "Let's make a movie about vampires ... (booo!) ..... IN SPACE!!!! (yay!!!)"

          I like your ideas and would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

    • 35 miles before the gasoline engine kicks in, you say?

      The Tesla's gasoline engine kicks in when? It doesn't? It doesn't have one?

      So we have an apples and oranges comparison basically. The Tesla's range appears to be 208-265 miles (according to your comments) before it becomes stranded unless it's driven somewhere within range of a charging station. Tesla is improving their network of charging stations, so this isn't bad, though potential customers need to be confident they'll only be driving in those a

    • Looks great to me but that's subjective. However, 300 mile radius v 208-265 comparison is irrelevant. One can be refueled everywhere in 5 minutes for another 300 miles, the other takes 8 hours unless you find one of the supercharging stations which are still very rare. That is a HUGE difference for anybody who needs to drive that distance occasionally (say LA-Bay Area or LA-Vegas).

    • by Osgeld (1900440)

      yep you hit it on the head, its another shining example of how GM just does not "get it" and how they should have been alow to fail rather than wasting everyone's time headed right back down the same freaking road

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 13, 2013 @11:57AM (#45114339)

    I'm Elon Musk and I approve this negative review of my competitor's product.

  • by cforciea (1926392) on Sunday October 13, 2013 @12:00PM (#45114353)
    It looks like news outlets all over the place are comparing this to the Model S, but then like 2 sentences later point out how it is mechanically basically a Volt. How does that make it an alternative to the Model S at all? Doesn't that just make it an alternative to the Volt? Was the Volt an alternative to the Model S?
    • by Nemyst (1383049) on Sunday October 13, 2013 @12:20PM (#45114463) Homepage
      The press is looking for something to compare Tesla to, almost obsessively so. Fisker blew out a while ago so they're really hard-pressed to find something. The Leaf, i-MiEV and Volt are competitors to the Model S, which says a lot about the state of the industry. From that perspective, the ELR is very much a competitor; in fact, considering the price point and styling, it's the closest competitor I can think of. All the other electric cars are going for the Prius style of eco-friendly compact car.
      • by slew (2918) on Sunday October 13, 2013 @01:00PM (#45114689)

        There's always the Porsche 918 Spyder hybrid (although that is a little bit pricier alternative)

      • The simple fact is, that there is NOTHING out there that competes against Tesla. And if it did, it would have to costs over 200K. The reason is that Tesla holds the majority of useful patents for the ability to produce a decent electric car.
        • by amorsen (7485)

          The reason is that Tesla holds the majority of useful patents for the ability to produce a decent electric car.

          I doubt it. Electric cars are not such a novel technology, many manufacturers have made them in various forms for decades. If Tesla really was that important, it ought to be reasonably simple for the older manufacturers to buy them outright. All you see instead are some limited deals with e.g. Toyota, without much to show for it.

        • by evilviper (135110)

          Tesla holds the majority of useful patents for the ability to produce a decent electric car.

          Uh, no. Toyota and GM got in there long before Tesla. Other EVs exist, and they would be competitors with the Tesla if they cranked up the price to pay for the larger battery bank. Instead they're making range compromises in order to target a much lower-cost segment of the market.

          Besides, like Toyota, Tesla would be happy to license all their patents for a few bucks... It's free money for them, and if they don't,

    • by GrumpySteen (1250194) on Sunday October 13, 2013 @12:32PM (#45114537)

      Nobody gives a shit about the Volt, though. Lots of people will click a headline if it mentions the Tesla Model S, though, so that's what it gets compared to.

    • This is so annoying. The Tesla S is a competitor to the BMW 5 series, Audi 6 series, and the Mercedes-Benz E series. And I know why the automotive press is not saying this: they want page views! This new Cadillac is definitely not a competitor direct competitor to the Tesla S because the buyers are completely different.

    • by squiggleslash (241428) on Sunday October 13, 2013 @01:38PM (#45114863) Homepage Journal

      My understanding is that the submitter went through a list of things to compare it to, to ensure Slashdot would take the article, but felt that comparing it to iOS 7, the iPhone 5S, the Makerbot, the Raspberry Pi, or Kickstarter, just would be a stretch too far.

      The eventual pick was made on the basis that the Model S is a car, like the new Cadillac.

    • Model S is the only "long-range battery electric luxury car" out there. In that, there is no competition. All the hybrids still retain their internal combustion engines, and with them all the added weight and complexity and breakage and exhaust and dirt and oil. So you cannot compare hybrids with battery electric vehicles, as they are completely different thing. Hybrids, even plugin hybrids, are not "long-range battery electric cars". All other battery electric cars are not long-range, and are not big/luxur
      • by Overzeetop (214511) on Sunday October 13, 2013 @02:42PM (#45115203) Journal

        I'm not aware of any other production long-range battery car? The Model S is the only all electric car with a 200+ mile range that does not include an ICE, luxury or not.

        I'm more impressed each press release by Tesla - not because of anything in particular, but because it seems so impossibly hard for every other manufacturer in the world to even get to half of the Model S range on batteries alone. In fact, if there weren't actual, on the road vehicles I would say - based on their marketing literature and the performance of every other manufacturer - that they were full of shit and may as well be hyping the Moller AirCar.

        • by evilviper (135110)

          I'm not aware of any other production long-range battery car? The Model S is the only all electric car with a 200+ mile range that does not include an ICE, luxury or not.

          Doesn't matter... That's not a market segment! Nobody goes around shopping for cars demanding it have the exact range of the Tesla (but not MORE) and it must NOT have an ICE for a range booster. That would be completely nonsensical.

          In the real world (Hello!) the Tesla must very much compete with shorter-range EVs, and hybrids like the Vo

  • by onyxruby (118189) <onyxrubyNO@SPAMcomcast.net> on Sunday October 13, 2013 @12:14PM (#45114431)

    Cadillac has picked up their game across the board from the ATS, CTS and the XTS with what has to be just about the greatest turn around of any automotive manufacture ever. I have every confidence that they will get this car right and that it will be worth the proverbial money. Hell, even Top Gear magazine (typically very Anti American) gave the ATS and new CTS high praise.

    GM should have made this car before they made the Volt. People are far more likely to accept a pricier car at the luxury end of the segment (eco-sheek) than in the family segment where it is much harder to justify the price differential. Now the problem is that people will think of this as an expensive Volt and that may make it difficult to sell.

    • by Andy_R (114137)

      Spot on, simply swapping the launch dates would have made the Volt look like a cheap Cadillac, instead of the Cadillac looking like an overpriced Volt.

  • ...then we can pout and claim that Americans don't want electric cars.

    Americans don't want your crappy electric cars, they want a Tesla.

    When GM does something like this it just advertises that they're a dinosaur stuck in the tar pits of history.

    • by amiga3D (567632)

      More proof that the market was right. GM was not too big to fail, it's too stupid to live.

      • I remember that my only experience with a Pontiac boiled down to: "What do you mean this car has no electronic stability control or ABS?".

        The year must've been 2007 or something.

        If one of their top brands didn't have such essential equipment, what did they do to their cheap ones? Were the engine blocks made of paper?

        • by amiga3D (567632)

          It goes way back. Ross Perot summed it up in an interview with Fortune magazine back in the 80's.

          http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune_archive/1988/02/15/70199/ [cnn.com]

          An excellent read. One excerpt....

          "We've got to nuke the GM system. We've got to throw away Sloan's book ((My Years With General Motors, former chairman Alfred P. Sloan Jr.'s description of GM's management system)). It's like the Old Testament -- frozen thousands of years ago. We still believe that we can find the right page and paragraph

  • There are a lot of people who spend $k to by a wrist watch even though there are perfectly good and accurate watches available for $20. Watches are functional jewelry. A lot of people avoid digital watches because they aren't usually very nice looking.

    There is a large segment of the US population that regards cars not just as transportation, but also a statement about themselves. Cadillac has always been a prestige brand. People who buy Cadillacs aren't interested in diving a Chevy volt because Chevy is

    • No. Caddy HAD a good reputation. At this time, the Model S takes on top-end caddies as well as this POS. I suspect that there will be fewer of these cars sold than of the volt. The volt actually has some redeeming value in being low costs. But not the caddy.
  • The fact is, that GM and other car companies are desperate to buy some time and push a fuel cell that uses nat gas, either directly or indirectly (for hydrogen). By the time that these companies have something worthwhile on fuel cells, Tesla, Nissan, and probably Chinese car companies, will be monster companies competing against them with real electric cars that have ultra-caps.
    • by Osgeld (1900440)

      Nissan is not a monster car company?

      • Nissan is not a monster car company?

        It is less than 1/2 of the size of any of the top 3, so no.
        BUT, if they can push electric fast with multiple new models next year, they can vastly increase their size quickly.

    • You made sense until your last word. Ultra-capacitors aren't happening. As batteries steadily get cheaper, you can use a bigger battery. A bigger battery can handle more power, so it can cope with more braking regen and recharge faster (and deliver more horsepower); and it's not cycled as much as a smaller battery, so it lasts longer. That reduces the fast-charge and longevity benefits of ultracaps, which are still far more expensive and heavier than a lithium-ion battery of the energy. Ionova claims 10 Wh/

      • by amorsen (7485)

        Ultracaps have a chance in hybrids too, for "caching". They can save wear on the battery from short regenerative braking, and theoretically they should have lower loss for that purpose. Whether they can ever be made with sufficient capacity per weight and cheap enough to make it worthwhile is doubtful...

        It would even be possible to quickly charge the ultracapacitor and then let it slowly charge the batteries afterwards... Whether that is useful in practice I am not sure, but maybe it could be combined with

      • And you are kidding yourself. Lots of money is going into R&D on both batteries and ultra-caps. However, the DOD needs ultra-caps and LOTS of them. As such, we have a lot more money going into this than anybody realizes. And it will be the USN and USAF that will buy the first major rounds of these, once we get a decent formula, and drop the prices quickly.
  • So GM is getting back to basics, returning to their old system of charging at multiple tiers for phony differentiation of a base model which is technically inferior to pretty much everything out there. I can't wait for AMC to return with coal-fired Pacers and Gremlins.

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