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Cadillac Volt (nee Converj)

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CADILLAC CONVERJ

cadillacconverjdd_02.jpg

Cadillac just took the wraps off a new concept based on the Chevy Volt's "Voltec" drivetrain (that's a new moniker, by the way). The angular coupe is called the Converj and it is drop-dead gorgeous. With styling that is instantly recognizable as Cadillac, Bob Lutz told us at the press conference that the car was designed to be aesthetically pleasing on its own. It's just a great shape that holds great promise. Lutz and Co. referred to the Converj as the "CADILLAC OF ELECTRIC VEHICLES" and even if that sounds trite, it could well bring Cadillac back to the top of the luxury car heap, with a solid foundation of SRX and CTS below it.

Like the Chevrolet Volt, GM says the Converj will be able to travel up to 40 miles on electricity alone, and it will have a small helper motor to help drivers avoid "range anxiety." That's the term for the fear of running out of charge when you're still miles away from your final destination. As Lutz pointed out, you can't run down to the gas station for a 5-gallon can of electricity. There's a lengthy press release after the jump with plenty of stats. All we can say is that we'd love to hear that that the Converj is going into production tomorrow, but the reality of GM's current financial situation probably means they won't be able to make any firm commitments for awhile. Hit the jump to view video of the live unveiling.

PRESS RELEASE

CONVERJ: THE "CADILLAC" OF ELECTRIC VEHICLES

Luxury coupe concept continues GM's leadership in the electrification of the automobile

DETROIT – General Motors unveiled a further glimpse at the potential of electric propulsion today, this time in the form of luxury transportation, with the Cadillac Converj Concept. The Cadillac Converj was developed as a well-appointed grand touring coupe with a bold design and a host of interactive technology.

The four-passenger Converj concept is intended to show how GM's revolutionary electric propulsion technology – called Voltec – can power a luxury coupe with a typically Cadillac "no compromises" design. The technology enables up to 40 miles of gas- and emissions-free electric driving with extended-range capability of hundreds of miles.

Bob Lutz, GM's vice chairman of Global Product Development, said the Converj concept has production substance. "It's a logical extension of our plan to reinvent the automobile," he said. "It clearly shows what a Cadillac electric vehicle could look like, and clearly indicates that global luxury customers can have a car that has both strong design and electric propulsion with a total range of hundreds of anxiety-free miles."

Cadillac's extended-range electric vehicle (E-REV) concept has a new body style that is an evolution of the brand's traditional Art and Science design theme. An aggressive, forward-leaning arc profile is the foundation for the sporting stance. And more than a Cadillac in form, Converj is also intended to be a Cadillac in substance, with the premium materials, technology and driving dynamics that are hallmarks of the brand.

Voltec – innovative propulsion technology

The Cadillac Converj's Voltec electric propulsion system is made up of a 16-kWh, T-shaped battery, an electric drive unit, and a four-cylinder engine-generator. It uses electricity as its primary source to drive the car.

A thermally managed battery pack contains more than 220 lithium-ion cells that provide the primary power to drive the Converj electrically up to 40 miles without using fuel or producing tailpipe emissions. The battery is integrated into the Converj's chassis and stores electricity from the grid when the vehicle is plugged in. It takes less than three hours to recharge the battery at 240V, or about eight hours from a 120V outlet.

When the battery's energy is low, the Converj seamlessly switches to extended-range mode. During this secondary level of operation, electricity needed to power the vehicle is created on-board by a flex-fuel-powered engine that operates much like a home generator to create electricity. The engine-generator ensures a constant supply of power for hundreds of miles until the car is refueled or plugged in to recharge the battery. This extended-range mode eliminates the range anxiety that comes with driving pure electric vehicles that offer no backup power when the battery charge is low.

Whether in electric or extended-range mode, the Converj is propelled all the time by an electric drive unit. It converts electrical energy from the battery or the engine-generator into mechanical energy to drive the front wheels. It also delivers 273 lb.-ft. (370 Nm) of instant torque, for a quick launch, and 120 kW of power. The top speed is 100 mph.

There is no compromise in vehicle performance in either mode of operation. To enhance the ride feel, the Converj also features GM's Magnetic Ride Control; and for even greater efficiency, energy during braking is captured and stored in the battery.

Pure Cadillac design

There's no mistaking the Converj for anything but a Cadillac, according to Lutz. "An aggressive, forward-leaning profile hints at a new, progressive theme and proportion in Cadillac's design evolution," he says. "The new proportion showcases a uniquely shaped, modern vision of a personal luxury 2+2."

The overall shape is reinforced by a prominent, sweeping body line with large, 21-inch (front) and 22-inch (rear) wheels pushed to the edges of the body. The Converj exterior is painted a dark silver tri-coat that GM designers dubbed "Reaction."

An all-glass roof incorporates solar panels that help offset power drain from the vehicle's accessories. Additionally, several aerodynamic and design efficiencies were incorporated to enhance the driving range, including:

A full under-vehicle cover (belly pan)

Minimal grille openings that reduce drag at the front of the vehicle

Low-profile rearview cameras replace conventional outside mirrors to reduce drag

Wheels are shaped to push air outward for smoother body side airflow

The Converj also incorporates vertical headlamp and taillamp elements, with light pipe technology.

"Vertical lamps are Cadillac signatures and the Converj builds on the brand's light pipe technology with bolder light emitting diode (LED) and high-intensity discharge elements front and rear," said Clay Dean, global design director for Cadillac. "There is also a unique daylight light 'spear' at the top of the headlamps."

Luxury meets technology inside

The Converj's interior has advanced features and luxurious appointments blending efficiency and environmental consciousness. The 2+2 configuration is trimmed in contrasting Winter White synthetic suede – including the top of the instrument panel – and Midnight Black leather, with polished aluminum and wood grain accents. Renewable materials are used throughout such as wool-blend carpeting, a headliner made from silk, suede made from post-industrial content and more.

A technologically advanced driver center increases efficiency and reduces the draw on the battery. Features include:

New, organic light-emitting diode technology used on reconfigurable instrument cluster

Touch-screen navigation, climate, center-stack controls and audio systems

Adjustable, overhead white ambient lighting

Unique "power on" sequence featuring blue-lit console graphics

Screen displays for features including regenerative braking, battery charge level and power output

No inside rearview or outside mirrors; cameras provide surrounding images on a screen placed high on the instrument panel for a full, panoramic view

Push-button ignition and power-folding front seats

General Motors Corp. (NYSE: GM), the world's largest automaker, has been the annual global industry sales leader for 77 years. Founded in 1908, GM today employs about 252,000 people around the world. With global headquarters in Detroit, GM manufactures its cars and trucks in 34 countries. In 2007, nearly 9.37 million GM cars and trucks were sold globally under the following brands: Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, GM Daewoo, Holden, HUMMER, Opel, Pontiac, Saab, Saturn, Vauxhall and Wuling. GM's OnStar subsidiary is the industry leader in vehicle safety, security and information services. More information on GM can be found at www.gm.com.

SPECIFICATIONS

General

Vehicle type:

2-door, front-wheel-drive 2+2 coupe

Category:

extended-range electric vehicle

Chassis:

independent McPherson struts, front magnetic ride, compound crank twist axle rear, four-wheel disc brakes, full regenerative brakes to maximize energy capture, electric power-assist steering

Seating capacity:

four

Performance

Top speed (mph / km/h):

100 / 161

EV range, city and highway (miles):

Up to 40, based on EPA cycle

Dimensions

Wheelbase (in / mm):

108 / 2742

Length (in / mm):

182 / 4620

Width (in / mm):

74 / 1883

Height (in / mm):

55 / 1386

Battery system

Type:

lithium-ion (w/ liquid-controlled thermal management system)

Energy (kWh):

16

Charge time:

Less than 3 hours at 240V/8 hours at 120V

Electric drive unit

Power (kW):

120

Torque (lb-ft / Nm):

273 / 370

Exterior

Tire size:

specially developed low rolling resistance tires on 21- and 22-inch forged aluminum wheels

Note: Information shown is current at time of publication.

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need to see more pics.... I'm not sold yet.

Bunch on Autoblog. Can I post them here?

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Converj, eh? It's pretty interesting....definitely futuristic. Quite dramatic from behind.

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You know what? I think this actually works. I know it's FWD, but it's proportions make it look like a Lamborghini's proportions.

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2009-cadillac-converj-concept-computer-g

If they build it and it looks like that it could ve successful. The majority of people on Autoblog seem to love it. I like the evolution of the design language.

Edited by Dodgefan
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With a realistic interior this car could sell hugely to the rich and famous. How cool would it be to be seen driving this car and saving the environment at the same time?

I know it's way out of my price range, but I have to say I love this car!

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If GM goes ahead with this design, no one will be able to tell it is a badge job of Volt. I would have expected a RWD car, but this one is nevertheless stunning.

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If GM goes ahead with this design, no one will be able to tell it is a badge job of Volt. I would have expected a RWD car, but this one is nevertheless stunning.

That's because its platform engineering not badge engineering. :P

This is way better than that Lexus Corolla Hybrid.

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need to see more pics.... I'm not sold yet.

Watch the video on Autoblog. You will be sold.

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You know what? I think this actually works. I know it's FWD, but it's proportions make it look like a Lamborghini's proportions.

It looks great! I wonder how much of this evolution of A&S will make its way into the Alpha-based Cadillacs, to a CTS refresh, and to an eventual 7-Series/S-Class competitor.

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If GM goes ahead with this design, no one will be able to tell it is a badge job of Volt. I would have expected a RWD car, but this one is nevertheless stunning.

Wouldn't it bee cool if they could mirror the drivetrain front-to-back? Move the electric motor(s) to the rear to make it RWD, and move the batteries (or whatever is out back) to the front.

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Wouldn't it bee cool if they could mirror the drivetrain front-to-back? Move the electric motor(s) to the rear to make it RWD, and move the batteries (or whatever is out back) to the front.

Well, Fly and I had talked to one of the GM E-Flex powertrain engineer last year and he had told us that EREV was flexible enough for any drive configuration. May be because of financial crunch GM cannot justify to show a concept with RWD.

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I don't like that it is front wheel drive and probably performs the same as the Volt. 120 kilowatts is 160 hp, a 160 hp front driver is not a Cadillac. A Cadillac electric car should perform like the Tesla, it should be fast and handle well.

As far as looks, the Cien type rear end is good, but the headlights and tail lights sweep too much into the body of the car, and I don't like the hatch look, it looks too Japanese. I would rather see a traditional looking coupe.

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I don't like that it is front wheel drive and probably performs the same as the Volt. 120 kilowatts is 160 hp, a 160 hp front driver is not a Cadillac. A Cadillac electric car should perform like the Tesla, it should be fast and handle well.

As far as looks, the Cien type rear end is good, but the headlights and tail lights sweep too much into the body of the car, and I don't like the hatch look, it looks too Japanese. I would rather see a traditional looking coupe.

Incorrect, it looks Italian in overall shape. You want to see what the Japanese make for their fuel efficient luxury cars?

hs250h-1280-01.jpg

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Just a thought: being FWD and if it makes it into production, why not bring back the Eldorado name? It's not a silly pseudo-techy name, it's a name people recoginze and it's been on FWD cars for a looong time, so no clashing with traditionalists' naming prejudices.

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Just a thought: being FWD and if it makes it into production, why not bring back the Eldorado name? It's not a silly pseudo-techy name, it's a name people recoginze and it's been on FWD cars for a looong time, so no clashing with traditionalists' naming prejudices.

That is an interesting idea, but I'm not sure the Eldorado name really works. If this is what the Alpha Cadillac is going to look like, they could just make a hybrid version of it; this car is pretty much the right size for a 3-Series competitor.

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I don't like that it is front wheel drive and probably performs the same as the Volt. 120 kilowatts is 160 hp, a 160 hp front driver is not a Cadillac. A Cadillac electric car should perform like the Tesla, it should be fast and handle well.

As far as looks, the Cien type rear end is good, but the headlights and tail lights sweep too much into the body of the car, and I don't like the hatch look, it looks too Japanese. I would rather see a traditional looking coupe.

Why are you always so unreasonable in your post? The Tesla roadster costs over $100k. This car would be around $50k, I think. There is a reason why the Tesla performs how it does, because it is very expensive.

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That is an interesting idea, but I'm not sure the Eldorado name really works. If this is what the Alpha Cadillac is going to look like, they could just make a hybrid version of it; this car is pretty much the right size for a 3-Series competitor.

Alpha is RWD, this is Delta2 with Voltec drivetrain. Totally different animals...

And btw... Voltec? WTF is that stupid name for? Is this Star Trek? :banghead:

EDIT - I have to agree with smk on the performance issue... 160hp seems a little low for a Cadillac eve though electric motors have high and constant torque which can give this car some interesting acceleration times... maybe it could be not as green as the Volt, and more exciting.

Edited by ZL-1
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I love every square inch of it. I could care less about performance. It's gorgeous and it gets a billion miles to the gallon, I'm there.

Edited by §carlet §wordfish
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This car is a bases loaded home run.

WIth this car Lutz gave us what he wanted a ELectric that would sell on looks alone and not give up much in return.

THis show what GM can do with an electric and what we have to look forward to in the future. The cars form Japan are just getting it in the styling deparment as they never hasd many well styled designes. IF they did they farmed them out to Italy.

This is a landmark car.

We mamy get a Alpha later but this is a Voltech E flex plaform car and with GM record of late I suspect it is 90% production as it is. At least GM has done some good with the little money they have left.

Now if they can upgrade a Volt coupe styling to something this stunning.

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The Lexus HS250h has too many H's in the name and it looks too like a Corolla with a Fusion grille, but it is actually 6 inches longer than the Corolla so maybe it is more Prius than Corolla. Either way it isn't very expensive or nice looking.

As far as the Cadillac, it should perform like a CTS otherwise it shouldn't be a Cadillac. Make Chevy and Buick versions if they want front drive and soft riding at a reasonable price point. Cadillac lacks brand focus, and they haven't been able to create that elite upscale image. Cadillac should be making high tech, high performing, high style cars that can get $50-100k without need for rebate or incentive.

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The Lexus HS250h has too many H's in the name and it looks too like a Corolla with a Fusion grille, but it is actually 6 inches longer than the Corolla so maybe it is more Prius than Corolla. Either way it isn't very expensive or nice looking.

As far as the Cadillac, it should perform like a CTS otherwise it shouldn't be a Cadillac. Make Chevy and Buick versions if they want front drive and soft riding at a reasonable price point. Cadillac lacks brand focus, and they haven't been able to create that elite upscale image. Cadillac should be making high tech, high performing, high style cars that can get $50-100k without need for rebate or incentive.

It doesn't have to be a pocket rocket if it at least handles well. Plus there could always bee more powerful versions.

And even if all it did was get awesome fuel economy, I mean, look at it. Of course you don't like it because it doesn't have a BMW badge, but most of the rest of us do. Why do the frugal cars have to look like boring?

Edited by Dodgefan
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