Just when you think the big automakers might be catching on to the electric car scene, GM goes and does something absurd like the 2014 Cadillac ELR. Remember the Cadillac Cimarron, the dressed up Chevy Cavalier? This is worse.

Introduced with pricing today and shipments in January, the $75,000 ($68K after Fed Tax Cred) car will have almost identical specs as the Chevy Volt in 35 miles in EV mode and 300miles on gas. That’s actually worse than the Volt’s upgraded 40 EV miles – probably due to the slightly higher performing engine on the Caddy. It even appears to have the same T-shaped battery going through the middle of the car as the Volt which makes it barely capable of seating of 4 people. Trunk space is listed at a comical 10.5 cubic feet which is about a third of the Tesla Model S before you consider the “Frunk”.

The ELR is a two door which probably lends itself better to the 2+2 seating that the 4-door Volt has currently.

2014-Cadillac-ELR-017-medium

As for performance gains, there is no listed horsepower but the 295 lb-ft compares favorably to the 273 lb-ft. torque listed or the Volt. But, as a sad comparison, the sub-$20,000 Chevy Spark 100% electric vehicle produces 400lb-ft of torque so that $75K Caddy is likely going to get smoked by a $20K hatchback with over twice the amount of EV battery made by the same company.

I’m in full agreement with Ed Kim, vice president of industry analysis at AutoPacific Inc., who on Friday tweeted: “A Volt with a Cadillac body and badge for Tesla Model S money? Is GM on crack?”

The Volt is a great car but GM isn’t going to have any kind of success taking it into the Tesla price category without significantly upgrading the batteries and motor and bringing some more innovation to the table. This is embarrassing.

The ELR specs below:

cadillac-2014-elr_Specs