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Cadillac VLR


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  1. 1. The VLR is a...

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The Cadillac ELR is a beautiful car. It almost begs for a performance focused version -- something with Performance as first priority and Fuel Economy as a secondary but amicable goal. The idea here is not produce produce a Prius beater, rather it is to produce a car capable of reaching 60 mph in under 6 seconds yet able to deliver fuel economy that is superior to a Cruze Eco and approaching that of mid-size Hybrids.


Cadillac VLR

MSRP: $42,000

Type: 2-door, 4-passenger, FWD coupe

Platform: Delta II w/ Aluminum hood, fenders and trunk lid.

Curb Weight: 3195 lbs

Transmission: GM Electramatic 6E70 6-speed automatic w/ lock-up converter

Generator-Motor: 6E70 built-in 20kWe (27 bhp) DC Permanent Magnet Flywheel Integrated Motor-generator-starter (FIM)

Battery: 0.8 kWh Lithium-Iron-Phosphate (40 lbs)

Electric Output: 27 bhp @ 3000 rpm, 95 lb-ft @ 0 rpm

Internal Combustion Engine (ICE): 2.0L DOHC-16v Inline-4 (LTH)

Features: Direct Injection, Dual-VVT, Cylinder Deactivation (0 or 4 cylinders), turbocharged and intercooled

Displacement: 1998 cc

ICE Output: 275 bhp @ 5500 rpm, 260 lb-ft @ 2000~5500 rpm

Maximum ICE speed: 6000 rpm*

Max Combined Output: 283 bhp @ 5500 rpm, 323 lb-ft @ 2000 rpm

0-60 mph: 5.6 sec

60-0 Braking: 113 ft

EPA Fuel Economy: 35 (city) / 42 (Hwy) MPG -- 22 / 32 MPG in Fault Mode (ICE only)

Range: 378 miles (11.2 Gallon fuel tank w/ 10.8 Gallon useful fuel capacity)

* LTG engine is basically the LTH engine with Cylinder Deactivation added to enable all valves to be shut off. This is necessary for the FIM to perform regenerative braking to maximum effect and to allow the electric only propulsion without having to fight the engine's aspirational resistance. Maximum Engine Speed is lowered to 6000 rpm because of the limitations of the collapsible lifters, and because the FIM should not be spun faster than it's no-load velocity of 6000 rpm -- @ 6000 rpm the DC motor produces 0 lb-ft of net torque.


Operating Modes

The VLR has four distinct operating modes

ECO Mode (Driver Selectable)

  • ICE limited to 228 hp @ 6000 rpm, 200 lb-ft @ 1600~6000 rpm
  • Shift Logic biases towards smooth transitions and keeping ICE rpms low when possible
  • Idle Stop engages at zero vehicular speed
  • Propulsion is fully electric at 0~5 mph; Engine starts at 5 mph (~1200 rpm)
  • 1st 20% of Accelerator Pedal travel invokes only electric power with ICE cylinders deactivated
  • 1st 20% of Brake Pedal engages only FIM regenerative braking with ICE cylinders deactivated (no engine braking)
  • Launch Control is not available

SPORT Mode (Driver selectable)

  • ICE is allowed to operate at full boost with 272 hp @ 5500 rpm, 260 lb-ft @ 2000~5500 rpm
  • Shift logic biases towards aggressive shifts and keeping ICE in the optimal powerband
  • Idle Stop never engage; ICE is kept running at all times
  • Propulsion is ICE + Electric from 0 rpm
  • 1st 20% of Accelerator Pedal travel invokes only ICE + Electric assist power
  • 1st 20% of Brake Pedal engages only FIM regenerative braking with ICE cylinders active (with engine braking)
  • Launch Contro is available*

* Vehicle must be stationary, with transmission in "D", Brake Pedal must be depressed. Depressing the Accelerator without releasing the brakes will activate launch control. ECU automatically maintains 2000 rpm by partially closing the throttle. The ICE pre-loaded using the FIM to provide 63 ft-lbs of reverse load while the torque converter absorbs the rest. This allows the Turbocharger boost to pre-build to about 10~12 psi. Once the Brake Pedal is released, the FIM reverses to providing full assist and the throttle is opened fully. If the driver does not launch the car within 5 seconds, Launch Control is cancelled automatically to avoid overheating the transmission fluid.

Emergency Mode (Automatically engaged if VLR completely runs out of fuel, or if the ICE has overheated or otherwise rendered inoperable)

  • ICE cylinders are deactivated
  • Propulsion is fully electric
  • Battery is allowed to run down to 0%

Fault Mode (Automatically engaged if the battery, FIM or charge controller has overheated or has otherwise failed)

  • FIM is set on neutral mode
  • Propulsion entirely via the ICE
  • Battery is disconnected

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Great looking car, pisspoor factory drivetrain. Dwight's idear is much better, but it still has that pesky nerd electric assist crap. Lexus is not selling any of those crappy gas/electric 5-door hatch "performance" :lol: cars.

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It is still FWD and still not what a Cadillac should be. I don't think they could get it under 3200 lbs either with the Delta II platform with the added weight of the hybrid system. Unless they use carbon fiber body panels, but then cost is way up.

Should just make a diesel ATS and CTS instead because right now hybrids and electric cars suck, unless maybe the top of the line Tesla model S or the Mercedes SLS AMG Electric Drive which has 740 hp and 737 lb-ft of torque and AWD. If Cadillac wants to build a 700 hp electric CTS-V I am on board for that.

  • Upvote 1

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While I love the idea, I had to vote it as a lousy idea due to the fact that I do not see a FWD Electric performance luxury car selling. Hell, Honda tried this and their hybrid based on performance failed and was killed off. I see it as a waste of the few resources Caddy has that needs to go into selling mass volume other cars at this time.

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In case you are wondering, this is how the torque and power curves look like...


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This is not just a simple good idea bad Idea issue.

Now if there was no Volt this would be a very poor idea as the price of the Volt it's self is holding it back. We have seen just recently with the lease deals that the sales increase with a drop of $10,000 in price.

So a more expensive Gas/Electric car on it's own is a poor idea. I even expect Fisker and Tesla to wither go belly up or sell out to a larger MFG in need of such a car.

Now with having the Volt here and not going anywhere it is a good idea to help leverage the cost out and try to make the car appeal to another market. It is kind of like a race team. The first car on a race team is where all the cost is while a second team is mostly profit because you have everything in place already to deal with the building and racing of a car.

This is a very good driveline and will only improve with time while becoming cheaper. Unless the MFG step up and offer this kind of car there would never be a market and there would be even less suppliers investing. It is the Chicken and the Egg deal. THe bottom line is ever MFG will need some king of advanced driveline and this is where it starts.

Having driven one the driveline in the Volt would suit me fine to work everyday. I would never use gas. But the I phone stlying is not me. Not bad just not me. This car will appeal to those with money as either a serious car or play toy.

The one thing GM needs to do is stress that this will be a low volume car from the start and not go around saying it is going to sell 30.000 units next year. At some point it may but that is down the road ones improvments have come.

Besides it is better looking than the Fisker or Tesla S and if priced right could rob their few sales.

Edited by hyperv6
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A $42K VLR is a cool idea, if the Volt sells for about $25K. Volt prices must come down to Prius levels right now for this to really work well. Caddy should have had the Volt first, then Chevy (or Buick) could have it 5-7 years later. Corvette/Camaro SS/Suburban aside, a >$40K Chevy is generally a no-sale.

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A $42K VLR is a cool idea, if the Volt sells for about $25K. Volt prices must come down to Prius levels right now for this to really work well. Caddy should have had the Volt first, then Chevy (or Buick) could have it 5-7 years later. Corvette/Camaro SS/Suburban aside, a >$40K Chevy is generally a no-sale.

I haven't been been a big supporter of the Volt since its inception. This is not because I am against the technology or plug-in hybrid drivetrains per say, but because I have believed that the Volt is the wrong approach in GM's attempt to make a break through in this segment.

The problem with the Volt is that -- being a plug-in -- it requires a very big and very expensive battery. Even so, it is essentially a 40 mile vehicle beyond which it is a rather poor hybrid with fuel economy barely better than a compact car like the Cruze Eco or Honda Civic. In fact, many of these compact cars actually beat the Volt on the freeway -- primarily because they are lighter. The entire Voltec drive train also has practically no alternative applications.

I would very much have preferred that GM used that engineering and monetary resource to do two things:-

  • Overall their entire automatic transmission lineup to include the option for a modest Flywheel integrated DC Motor-generator (FIM) in 15~20kWe range (ala Honda's IMA) ahead of the torque converter.
  • Develop an Exhaust Turbine Generator (ETG) in the 5~8 kWe range

This will allow for options to hybridize their entire lineup it two levels. The basic hybrid will have the FIM and a 0.4~0.8 KWh battery will add no more than $1500 to the vehicle but will out perform the eAssist system in terms of economy benefits. The premium Hybrid will include the ETG -- essentially half a turbocharger connected to a small generator -- and a 0.8~1.6KWh battery. This allow energy recovery from two sources instead of just regenerative braking and will increase the amount of electric recovery by about 30~40% compared to today's hybrid. This allows for vehicles that actually match or exceed the Priuses without requiring a unique drivetrain applicable only to a particular paring of engine and electric motor size like planetary systems. The ETG equipped systems will add about $3000 to the price tag. The key here is that the two components developed -- the FIM and ETG can be applied to practically all engines and drivetrain layouts in existence, and the use of a simple, lightweight setup allows means that the vehicle does not need to find space for a massive battery (the battery will only be 1/40th to 1/10th the capacity of the Volt's)

The basic version of the "Electra" driveline without the ETG is depicted here. If you couple it to a modest normally aspirated four the system will be slightly better than the 45/45 mpg from the Civic Hybrid by virtue of its 20 kWe FIM rating vs the Civic's 15 kWe. With an ETG we can expect numbers in the low to mid 50s because the system will be generating free electricity at all times not just when the car is decelerating. In the above concept however, fuel economy is not 1st priority. This is essentially a car with a similar output level as a Lancer Evolution, but capable of better fuel economy than a Cruze Eco.

Edited by dwightlooi

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