Reuss said the car will have a "distinctive, signature" look and that the exterior styling will hew closely to the Cadillac Converj concept that drew buzz at the 2009 Detroit show.
When the ELR arrives, it will be the third new nameplate for Cadillac in about 18 months. GM rolled out the XTS large sedan in June. The ATS compact sedan arrived in September.
GM is positioning Cadillac to compete with German luxury brands such as BMW and Mercedes-Benz by offering performance-oriented, technology-laden vehicles with bold styling. The ELR "will contribute mightily to the brand momentum of Cadillac," Reuss said.
GM has invested more than $530 million in its Detroit-Hamtramck plant since December 2009. More than 1,500 workers there assemble the Chevrolet Malibu and the U.S., European and Australian versions of the Volt.
Reuss said the ELR will be the first two-door car built at the plant since 1999, when the Cadillac Eldorado was assembled there.