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Cadillac ELR: Here's The Chevy Volt 2.0, Due Jan. 15

Stocks in this article: GM

C. Electric motor(s): It will likely be beefed up from the current 111 kW (main traction motor) and 55 kW for the generator-motor. This is what determines acceleration, so it will be needed in order to differentiate from the Volt.

D. Transmission: Most likely, it will remain unchanged in principle from the Volt. It may be modified in some direction, but GM has a lot invested in this architecture, and it seems to have performed superior to the competition in the real world, with approximately 50,000 Volts manufactured for world-wide consumption, and some 40,000 sold world-wide to date.

E. Electric range: The Volt averages 38 miles. The refinements in the Cadillac ELR, in combination with the greater power, should keep that approximately the same, with a tiny increase possible.

F. Gasoline performance: The Volt manages 35-40 miles per gallon, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Unlike some of the well-publicized competition, owners appear to be at least meeting, and typically beating, those numbers, especially in non-freezing climates. The ELR could improve on this further, possibly to around 45 mpg.

G. Gasoline range/tank: The current 9.3 gallon in the Volt has proven to be more than plenty for most people. I imagine they will keep it around nine gallons, but I wouldn't be surprised if they decided to shrink it to seven to eight gallons, or even less. It's just not needed.

3. Thermal management - for the passengers: The Volt has poor heat and windshield defrost. This will need to change in the ELR.

4. NVH (noise, vibration and harshness): Much improvement expected here, over the Volt. Compared to the Tesla Model S, the Volt has too much vibration and noise coming from the wheel wells and suspension in general.

5. Profitability of manufacturing: GM's profit on the Cadillac ELR should be improved by thousands of dollars compared to the Chevrolet Volt. Why? Mostly because of the lower-cost -- but better-performing -- battery. This is the single most important component by far, with the whole battery pack cost approaching $10,000. If you can cut this in half, that's $5,000 right there.

Now for the bad news. Let me preface this by saying this that I am the biggest fan in the world of the Volt. I have driven the Volt 20,000 miles and recommend it to everyone for whom the size of the car fits their needs.

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