GM To Build Electric Cadillac

DETROIT (AP) -- General Motors confirmed Wednesday that it will build a luxury version of its Chevrolet Volt hybrid.

The company said it is moving forward with the Cadillac ELR, which will run on electricity and carry a four-cylinder gasoline engine to generate power when the batteries run out of juice.

The car looks similar to the Cadillac CTS sedan, but has a sleeker, more angular appearance. It's based on the Cadillac Converj, a concept car that was unveiled at the Detroit auto show in 2009 as GM was heading into bankruptcy protection.

Don Butler, Cadillac's vice president of marketing, promised that the car would have a striking design and the fun of luxury coupe driving.

The company would not reveal details on how far the ELR can travel on electricity, how it will perform or how much it will cost, saying that development of the car is still under way.

Cadillac sales are up 9.5 percent so far this year, lagging just behind the overall U.S. auto sales increase of 10.9 percent, according to Autodata Corp. But the GM luxury brand faltered in July, with sales off 25.5 percent from a year earlier.

GM announced earlier this month that it will add two new models to help revive the Cadillac lineup next year, a full-sized front-wheel-drive car called the XTS and a smaller rear-wheel-drive performance car named the ATS.

Mark Reuss, GM's North American president, also said Cadillac needs a big rear-wheel-drive car to compete with larger Mercedes and BMW models, but he gave no specifics on plans for a new model.

GM said in a statement that it would show off a new Cadillac concept car on Thursday.