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GM @ NAIAS '08: Cadillac Provoq Concept

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For release: Jan. 8, 2008, 12:01 a.m. EST

CADILLAC PROVOQ FUEL CELL CONCEPT DELIVERS CLEAN, PETROLEUM-FREE PERFORMANCE AND SIGNATURE DESIGN

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LAS VEGAS – Cadillac unveils a new vision for the future of luxury transportation with the innovative Provoq fuel cell concept – a hydrogen fuel cell crossover vehicle that continues GM’s commitment to displace petroleum through advanced technology.

The Cadillac Provoq fuel cell concept is the latest example of GM’s groundbreaking E-Flex propulsion system, combining the new fifth-generation fuel cell system and a lithium-ion battery to produce an electrically driven vehicle that uses no petroleum and has no emission other than water. The concept’s fifth-generation fuel cell technology is half the size of its predecessor, yet it has been developed to produce more power and performance.

“Cadillac is a natural fit for GM’s next step in developing the E-Flex platform,” says Jim Taylor, Cadillac general manager. “Cadillac, at its very essence, is about premium luxury, design and technology, so it’s fitting that Cadillac would be propelled by the most elegant solution. This signals Cadillac’s intent to lead the industry with alternative-fuel technology.”

Fuel-cell variant of the E-Flex system

The concept can drive 300 miles (483 km) on a single fill of hydrogen – with 280 miles (450 km) from hydrogen and 20 miles (32 km) on pure, battery electric energy.

A pair of 10,000 psi (700 bar) composite storage tanks beneath the rear cargo floor hold 13.2 pounds (6 kg) of hydrogen to feed the fuel cell stack, located under the hood. There, hydrogen mixes with oxygen to generate electricity – up to 88 kW continuous power. A lithium-ion battery pack can store up to a total of 9kWh of electrical energy and also provides a peak of 60 kW of power for additional performance.

The electricity generated by the fuel cell is distributed to a 70 kW co-axial drive system for the front wheels and individual, 40 kW wheel hub motors on the rear wheels, giving the Cadillac Provoq its all-wheel-drive traction and great driving dynamics. Its 0-60 mph (approximately 100 km/h) speed of 8.5 seconds is a more than 30-percent improvement over the previous-generation fuel cell system and with instantaneous torque to the wheels, it feels even faster. Provoq has a top speed of 100 mph (160 km/h).

“This is a vision of what comes next – a fuel cell electric vehicle that delivers the driving characteristics Cadillac customers want and allowing them to do it without using a single drop of petroleum, while emitting only water vapor,” said Larry Burns, GM vice president for research and development. “This is proof that alternate fuels and advanced technologies create even greater opportunities to satisfy the luxury buyer.”

Key features

With sleek, signature Cadillac bodywork, the Provoq concept redefines luxury crossovers, offering uncompromising passenger and cargo space to match its performance and cruising range. Additional vehicle features include:

-Solar panel integrated in the roof to help power onboard accessories, such as the interior lights, audio system and more

-Brake-by-wire technology

-Front grille louvers that close at highway speed to enhance aerodynamics, and open at low speed to provide maximum cooling to the fuel cell stack

Purposefully dynamic design

The Provoq has a sleek, athletic shape that builds on the second generation of Cadillac’s design renaissance, led by the 2008 CTS, with dynamic and purposeful features that support the hydrogen fuel cell powertrain and contribute to the vehicle’s overall efficiency.

“All the people- and cargo-carrying capability customers expect in crossovers and SUVs is available in the Provoq, along with the premium attributes expected in a Cadillac,” said Ed Welburn, vice president, Global Design.

Highlights include:

-Active front grille, with grille louvers that open when the fuel cell stack requires cooling

-Full underbody aerodynamic cover

-Left- and right-hand charging ports incorporated in stylish front fender vents

-Flush door handles that feature push-to-release operation

-Wind tunnel-shaped outside mirrors with integral turn signals

-Center high-mounted rear stop lamp incorporated into full-width, wraparound spoiler

-Signature vertical taillamps with subtle fin design

-Side glass mounted flush with pillars

-Wheels with clear-covered space between the spokes, creating a sleeker profile while maintaining Cadillac’s signature bold wheel design

-Low-drag roof rack

“From the strong, shield grille and vertical headlamps to the crisp body lines, the Provoq is instantly recognizable as a contemporary Cadillac,” said Hoon Kim, exterior lead designer. “Like the new CTS, it is bold and expressive, but there is enhanced shape between the edges – it’s a new proportion for crossovers, with a fast, almost coupe-like rear.

“Everything about the vehicle reinforces the notion that great style and environmentally conscious transportation can go hand in hand,” said Kim. “We didn’t sacrifice proportion, stance or Cadillac’s iconic design cues; we used them to support the efficiency of the vehicle.

“They are the features customers expect,” he said. “The adaptability of the E-Flex architecture enabled the designers to create a great-looking vehicle, regardless of its alternative-fuel powertrain.”

Kim points to the fender-mounted charge ports as prime example. They allow overnight, plug-in charging that extends the driving range. The ports have a satin-chrome appearance that incorporates an amber light to indicate the system is charging and a green light to indicate when charging is completed.

“The ports are functional, but rather than hide them, they are design elements of the Provoq,” he said. “Sweeping body lines that culminate at the top and bottom edges of the ports suggest forward thrust, even when the vehicle is stationary.”

The vertical, neon-lit taillamps blend style with functionality, too, as their finned shape was designed to make the Provoq as aerodynamically efficient as possible.

Indeed, the Provoq has short overhangs and a sporty ride height that is complemented by large, 21-inch wheels.

The wheels are wrapped in custom Michelin tires incorporating Green-X technology. These low-rolling resistance tires feature a tread pattern that mimics the “H20” notation for water.

The tire designers and engineers at Michelin North America enthusiastically accepted GM’s challenge to create a custom low-rolling resistance tire to complement the energy efficiency and reduced environmental footprint of the Cadillac Provoq. During the past 15 years, the tire maker has developed four generations of Michelin green energy-saving tires, and the team’s no-compromises approach to the project helped reduce the Provoq’s overall fuel consumption without sacrificing road performance, grip and safety.

When used in conjunction with the other energy-efficient solutions featured on the Cadillac Provoq, the benefits of Michelin green energy-saving tires include:

-A reduction in the consumer’s overall cost of ownership

-An extended vehicle range through a more efficient use of on-board energy and its storage capacity

-A reduction of vehicle impact on the environment through lower CO 2 and particulate emissions.

Uncompromising interior

Like the exterior, the Provoq’s interior blends style with function. It seats five and incorporates the comfort, convenience and infotainment features Cadillac customers seek. Most importantly, the fuel cell powertrain does not intrude on passenger or cargo room.

The hydrogen fuel tanks are mounted beneath the cargo floor, with the storage batteries located at the center of the chassis. The fuel cell stack is located under the hood, giving the Provoq the interior layout of a conventional crossover – including a full cargo area and a 60/40-split folding rear seat.

“The interior is roomy, well-equipped and offers the space people want in a crossover,” said Matt Erdey, interior lead designer. “There are no compromises inside the Provoq to accommodate the fuel cell powertrain and fuel tanks – a factor that proves the technology and real-world feasibility are growing closer together.”

There may not be compromising reminders of the powertrain in the interior, but the Provoq carries the instantly identifiable hallmarks of a contemporary Cadillac interior, with an expressive, well-crafted design.

“It picks up the cues, refinement and attention to detail of the new CTS and takes them to the next level,” said Erdey. “A contrasting color scheme, extensive use of ambient lighting technology and elements such as cut-and-sewn, hand-wrapped leather with French seams are elements seen in current Cadillac models, but they are amplified in the Provoq. “

The interior has a contrasting, dark gray and light gray color scheme, with chrome and satin-chrome accents throughout. Ambient lighting extends across the instrument panel and into the door panels, as well as the foot wells, sills and under the seats.

A unique instrument cluster with large, reconfigurable LCD displays offers a multitude of vehicle information readouts, including fuel cell information and vehicle performance. Like the CTS, the Provoq has a prominent center stack that houses the audio and climate systems, as well as a navigation system that rises out of the top of the instrument panel. Also like the CTS, there is an integrated hard drive that stores navigation maps, thousands of songs and more.

Between the front bucket seats is a large center console with a fully enclosed storage compartment that is home to ports for USB-connected devices and other electronics. The console also has a cell phone holder with built-in Bluetooth and inductive charging. The compact shifting mechanism on the console uses shift-by-wire technology to engage the gears, resulting in more storage space within the console.

A variety of recycled and recyclable materials were used, as well. Highlights include:

-The headliner is wrapped in a fully recyclable soy-based material

-The carpet is made of recycled polyester and jute

-Leather used to cover the seats and instrumental panel is free of harmful chemicals

-Xorel material used on the door panels and instrument panel; treated to perform as a carbon-fiber-type material

-Chrome trim made with less-harmful materials

The earth-friendly interior components blend seamlessly with the more conventional materials inside the Provoq, enhancing the vehicle’s integrated, customer-focused environment. The same goes for the cargo area, which features an auxiliary power outlet and a load floor that is level with the hatch opening.

“The integration of the features and technology is remarkable,” said Erdey. “If you didn’t know there was a hydrogen fuel cell stack under the hood, you’d never know it was anything but a roomy, functional crossover.”

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Definitely has Vue/Antara DNA somewhere within it.

I like it, though.

Provoq? Interesting choice of name ... :scratchchin:

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Eh... it has way too much Vue in it. It's too much like the BLS. Not bad... but... far from the beauty that lies in the CTS.

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These fender vent things are getting very old, very fast. First thing I thought when I saw the vent / upward crease was the '08 Focus, which is not the most flattering design. This one needs some work, IMO...mostly just the side profile.

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while i dont like every aspect of the car, those fin-like taillights are just oh-so-Cadillac! :wub:

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I'm not seeing Vue in this. Looks purely Cadillac to me. Good job, I say!

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it has the vue's narrow front and proportions. I can't believe caddy is gonna make a vue. suicide. dumb as heck name

Edited by regfootball
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Hate the front...too FWD...too misproportioned...too chubby to be a Caddy. Needs to be rethought.

The rear 3/4, however, is a certifiable KNOCKOUT. Wow. And I thought they were hitting a creative dead-end with Cadillac rear's...GM Design has proved me wrong!

Still think this car isn't appropriate for Cadillac yet...should have been Buick's.

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It's actually a much more interesting car than one would think

From Edmunds:

"Underneath the crossover bodywork — which may or may not hint at anything, but probably does — is a version of the E-Flex system that General Motors has been plugging into concept cars since its first appearance in the Chevrolet Volt a year ago. In place of the Volt's dirty petroleum-fueled internal combustion lump is a fifth-generation fuel cell stack that GM says is half the size of its predecessor. It's fed hydrogen from two 10,000-psi composite fuel tanks mounted under the cargo floor. A lithium-ion battery pack is mounted under the rear seat. It moves thanks to a 70-kW motor up front and two 40-kW motors tucked in the rear wheel hubs.

This plug-in hybrid can be recharged through the fender-mounted ports that look like the now-ubiquitous fender vents. The Provoq will theoretically go 300 miles on a single fill of hydrogen (13.2 pounds). That would be 280 miles courtesy of the hydrogen and 20 from electricity stored in the battery. These are, of course, concept-car miles, which often have little real bearing to the miles you might know in the real world. "

The rest of the article can be found here:

link

Edited by big blue
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I would prefer that Cadillac offered Sigma-based 5- and 7-passenger crossovers, but this is a very nice concept! And despite being based on a FWD/AWD platform, it strikes me more as 'Vizon' than 'Captiva/Antara/VUE'.

It would be funny if they called it BTX: that would clear the 'mystery' surrounding those names trademarked by GM.

Edited by ZL-1
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The stance and proportions all scream "VUE", kind of a letdown for me. I do like the rear end.
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It's just a heavily dressed up Vue is what the general opinion sounds like to me. And I would have to agree, you can only hide so much what is obviously there, and that's a Saturn Vue in drag.

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For those of you let down by this, I have a feeling there's still an SRX coming that will be bigger and bolder...

On the BRX, I like the styling. It's a little soft for a Cadillac, and a little Vue-like as some of you had mentioned. The taillights look great, as does the rear 3/4. The interior is a little progressed over the CTS, and I'd like to put a special mention in for the interior turn signals integrated into the speedometer, I really like that.

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Cadillac Imaj Concept Car meets CTS front end with Vue proportions.

Need to see this one live to judge. Pics aren't entirely flattering, IMO

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a little Vue-like

One of the junior partners here has Captiva and I think the overall shape of the roofline is where there's greater similarity between the Captiva/Antara/VUE and the Provoq.

Re the SRX, I have a feeling we might see something other than letting the model die.

Edited by ZL-1
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I think we just want to see the Vue in it. Side by side it doesn't look like the Vue.

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And, when you put it beside it's obvious competitor -- the BMW X3 -- you see how well proportioned the Provoq actually is. It is, after all, 10" longer than the Vue offering a much better balance. The Provoq simply looks way more expensive than either the Vue or the X3.

Edited by zete
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Provoq looks way better than the X3, not that that's saying much. lol

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I think we just want to see the Vue in it. Side by side it doesn't look like the Vue.

LeftSide.jpg

x08cc_ca035.jpg

bmw_x3_30sisportsactivityvehicle_2007_ex

And, when you put it beside it's obvious competitor -- the BMW X3 -- you see how well proportioned the Provoq actually is. It is, after all, 10" longer than the Vue offering a much better balance. The Provoq simply looks way more expensive than either the Vue or the X3.

Wow you're right! that makes a huge difference. the cadillac looks WAYYYY more upscale than the x3. GM will seriously have a winner if they don't tone it down.

tailights and headlights are awesome. the fender grille/vent, should be moved up where it belongs.

the Provoq also just looks REALLY FAST! (it has more of a x6 look to it. fantastic!)

Edited by jbartley
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The Provoq is very nice looking don't get me wrong. It's just the first impression was 'it's on the Vue platform all the way', but I think they did a very nice job inside and out with the detailing.

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The Provoq is very nice looking don't get me wrong. It's just the first impression was 'it's on the Vue platform all the way', but I think they did a very nice job inside and out with the detailing.

The Vue platform thing has an impact on overall proportions, but God (or the Devil if you prefer that version of the saying) is in the details, in all the things that make this different, and that's where, in my opinion, Cadillac did a great job: look at those tail lights and how they look like mini-fins at the top!

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The Provoq is very nice looking don't get me wrong. It's just the first impression was 'it's on the Vue platform all the way', but I think they did a very nice job inside and out with the detailing.

We know it's on a premium (emphasis on premium) Theta platform, but most people don't know that and won't care. They'll care about the execution of the product. Looking at the Vue vs. the Provoq and you see no comparisons. When placed beside the competition, the Cadillac looks much more expensive and upscale. Ironically, the Saturn looks in the BMW's league in terms of look. The Cadillac looks like it's in a totally different and much more expensive marketplace.

I do think that all too often car nuts -- like us -- look at things with the skewed view of what underpins something. However, taken in context -- which is why I provided the pictures -- shows that this car looks like a Cadillac and has little resemblance to its non-premium brethren. I'd argue it has no similarities and that most people are fixated on the Premium Theta (emphasis on Theta this time) platform and that side vent. Had the vent been where the CTS vent is then I think many folks would not have claimed they're the same. From side-by-side shots they're not even close to similar. Everything is different.

In the end, that size and type of vehicle has a limit to the way you can put it together. Cadillac did a fine job. The Lexus and BMW look nearly identical. If someone thought something was platform shared, they'd assume the BMW and RX were and not the Saturn and Cadillac.

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I'm glad people here are taking a more rational approach at discussing the interior instead of calling it a flat-out VUE clone like over at GMI. I can see some VUE simliarities but overall it's very slick and very worthy of the Cadillac badge. Sure, it may not be RWD based, but the SRX is and I'm sure that's one of the major reasons why people picked the Lexus RX330 and other FWD luxury crossover SUVs over it. Like it or not, people in colder climates are still afraid of RWD vehicles.

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I love it. you can tell it is based off the saturn vue but it looks a lot better and more expensive. with rear hub motors its rwd too. its better than the x3 or the rx.

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