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It’s Official: Plug-In Cadillac Is Coming

• Chuck Squatriglia via

General Motors has confirmed what we already told you: It will build a Cadillac plug-in hybrid using the Chevrolet Volt’s drivetrain, a move that further underscores its commitment to cars with cords.

The General announced today that the Cadillac Converj concept has been approved for production, although in keeping with Caddy’s alphabet-soup naming it will be called the ELR.

“The concept generated instant enthusiasm,” Don Butler, VP of Cadillac marketing, said in a statement. “Like other milestone Cadillac models of the past, the ELR will offer something not otherwise present -– the combination of electric propulsion with striking design and the fun of luxury coupe driving.”

There aren’t a whole lot of details at this point — the price, performance specs and exact timing are anyone’s guess — but earlier reports say we’ll see the car by the end of 2013. Based upon GM’s vague description of the drivetrain, we’re looking at a sexier Chevrolet Volt, with more oomph.

For the few who may not know, the Chevrolet Volt is a plug-in hybrid, certified by the Environmental Protection Agency with an electric range of 35 miles. As the 16-kilowatt-hour battery winds down, a 1.4-liter gasoline engine drives a 53-kilowatt generator (and, in some rare instances at high speed, helps the electric motor turn the wheels) to keep juice flowing to the 111-kilowatt motor. We’ve spent a lot of time driving the Volt and can tell you it’s an impressive car that’s smooth and comfortable with decent performance.

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