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An official shot of a Cadillac ELR prototype testing in the US has been released ahead of the luxury plug-in coupe’s premiere at next week’s 2013 Detroit auto show.

Teased in a shadowy sketch last month, the latest image reveals the extended range electric vehicle undergoing steep-grade performance and high-altitude testing in the mountains of southern California.

Sharing hybrid technology with the Chevrolet/Holden Volt, the Cadillac ELR will become the American brand’s first plug-in production model when it rolls off the same Detroit-Hamtramck assembly line as the Volt from late 2013.

Although well camouflaged, the image of the prototype confirms the production ELR will draw inspiration from the Cadillac Converj concept that debuted in Detroit in 2009, sporting a flush grille, heavily raked windscreen and tailgate, shallow glasshouse and a hard-edged, angular rear end.

ELR project chief engineer Chris Thomason said Cadillac planned to “change the way people think about luxury and electrification” with the new model.

Although outputs have not been confirmed at this stage, the Cadillac ELR will feature a propulsion system based on the Volt’s, teaming an electric motor and a four-cylinder petrol engine generator with a T-shaped lithium-ion battery for a total driving range in excess of 600km.

More details of the Cadillac ELR will be revealed at its Detroit unveiling on January 15.