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Justin Bimmer

GM to put electric Cadillac Converj into production

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GM to put electric Cadillac Converj into production

cadillac-converj.jpg

General Motors Co. has decided to produce the Cadillac Converj, an extended-range electric car using the same technology as the Chevrolet Volt, The Detroit News has learned.

Cadillac included the Converj, a concept car that wowed industry critics and the public at the 2009 North American International Auto Show, in a presentation made to the automaker's board of directors Nov. 2, according to sources familiar with the production plan.

A production date has not been set, and it likely will be a few years before consumers can buy a Converj.

A Cadillac spokesman declined comment.

Before GM emerged from bankruptcy July 10 with about $50 billion in federal aid, company executives said there were no plans to build the angular Converj.

At the auto show, Vice Chairman Bob Lutz said if the Converj was approved, the production model would resemble the concept, likening it to the Chevrolet Camaro's evolution from concept to production.

Lutz said it would have been easier financially to produce a Cadillac electric vehicle first because a premium brand would command a higher sticker price, which in turn would help defray the cost of lithium-ion batteries.

The Converj will expand the number of electric vehicles offered by GM and spread the technology's cost. GM is spending more than $1 billion on the Volt program alone and opening a battery pack assembly factory in Brownstown Township. GM's German carmaker Adam Opel GmbH will produce an Ampera model in 2011 that uses the same underpinnings.

The electrification of vehicles is seen as a growth area in the auto industry, and rival automakers have launched electric vehicle plans to cut the dependence on foreign oil.

The Volt, scheduled for production in November/December 2010, will let commuters travel up to 40 miles on electric power. The engine kicks in after its battery is drained by about 70 percent to sustain the battery's remaining charge to keep the car running for several hundred miles.

The decision to build the Converj excited dealers.

Cadillac sells a hybrid version of its Cadillac Escalade, but Scott Allen, a dealer in California, hears from customers who don't normally think of the large SUV as a traditional hybrid.

"A snazzy-looking little car like that would be cool," Allen said.

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So whats going to make the Cadillac better, and worth more than the Volt? Is it just going to have more options and different styling and thats it? I think they should put some rear wheel motors in the Cadillac to make it AWD, then it would be worth the price premium over the Chevy.

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Who knows what they are going to put in it. I'm sure there will be reasons for the price premium.

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great styling. i am sure the interior will be nicer. i like this decision. keeping it 2 door makes it unique as well. the hollywood bangers can trade their prius in now.

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So whats going to make the Cadillac better, and worth more than the Volt? Is it just going to have more options and different styling and thats it? I think they should put some rear wheel motors in the Cadillac to make it AWD, then it would be worth the price premium over the Chevy.

I was wondering when this news was going to hit. I figured they would anounce this once they were comfortable with where the Volt development was in relation to being ready for production and meeting its goals. Besides Lexus has one now too.

In the past Lutz stated they coulc juice up the motors to make this faster. They could go RWD and it will carry nothing but premium interior styling and options. I would not hold my breath for AWD as it would only drain the batteries twice as fast. The stronger facter electric motors will use less energy and still give you similar range.

I also heard if they used bigger electric motors the gas engine would also have a little more power. Hmmm 2.0 Turbo vs the 1.4 Turbo?

I would also expect handling and ride that is not expected with a Electric car. We already know the Guys from the GMPD are working on the Volt for a more sports sedan like handling vs Prius handling. I imagine the Caddy will take it to the next level.

How bout a Converj V? LOL! With the torque we could get the 0-60 times could be blinding.

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I was wondering when this news was going to hit. I figured they would anounce this once they were comfortable with where the Volt development was in relation to being ready for production and meeting its goals. Besides Lexus has one now too.

In the past Lutz stated they coulc juice up the motors to make this faster. They could go RWD and it will carry nothing but premium interior styling and options. I would not hold my breath for AWD as it would only drain the batteries twice as fast. The stronger facter electric motors will use less energy and still give you similar range.

I also heard if they used bigger electric motors the gas engine would also have a little more power. Hmmm 2.0 Turbo vs the 1.4 Turbo?

I would also expect handling and ride that is not expected with a Electric car. We already know the Guys from the GMPD are working on the Volt for a more sports sedan like handling vs Prius handling. I imagine the Caddy will take it to the next level.

How bout a Converj V? LOL! With the torque we could get the 0-60 times could be blinding.

Well since Chevy would be focusing on efficiency, the Cadillac could be geared a lot more towards performance. And just think of AWD with the torque of the electric motors. And since everything is electronic, the AWD system could easily be switched to only 2wd in efficiency mode.

Edited by CaddyXLR-V
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Cool..so this will be Cadillac's answer to the HS.

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Cool..so this will be Cadillac's answer to the HS.

With a battery that's 10 times larger, I'm guessing it'll be a bit more expensive than the HS. Probably in between the HS and the Fisker Karma.

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With a battery that's 10 times larger, I'm guessing it'll be a bit more expensive than the HS. Probably in between the HS and the Fisker Karma.

Probably..considering the Volt will likely be 50% more than the Prius.

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Success will depend on the motor. If the Converj has the same motors at the Volt, it is Cimmarron 2 at $50k or more, which is a losing formula.

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So will this be on the next-gen Volt architecture or the current one?

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So will this be on the next-gen Volt architecture or the current one?

Considering the 1st gen Volt isn't even in production yet, I'd assume it's a variation of it..

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With the volt and all its great economy, the Converj need to ether perform like a Tesla roadster all the time or have a switch that reads economy and sport. It can perform as close to the volt as the sports suspension and performance tires let it in economy mode ,and then when you switch over to sports mode you get Tesla roadster like performance( 0-60 under 4 second and 1/4 mile under 13 seconds)

I would pay a premium for that.

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New SRX and upcoming XTS and yet another FWD based Cadillac?--Whats going on here GM?:(

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If it's me, I'll do it this way...

  • Battery pack remains the same 16kWH module to keep costs and weights reasonable.
  • Front Motor = Volt motor (no change)
  • Add a second 150hp motor onto the rear axle.
  • The 71hp 1.0 liter engine is upgraded to a 1.4 140hp liter turbo engine being used by the Cruze.
  • Generator capacity is likewise doubled.

This will give the car about 300hp and pretty lively performance. Like in the Volt, the engine will not attempt to recharge the battery to capacity in the interest of battery life. Instead, it'll provide the primary electric source once the battery drains to a certain level. The battery then provides temporal acceleration power boosts only when needed like a conventional parallel Hybrid. Unlike the Volt, the drive train can be programmed to turn the engine on whenever charge levels fall below 40% instead of 30% and recharge the battery when it reaches 25% to 40% instead of 30%. This helps give the vehicle a deep charge cushion when the driver stomps on the gas after the battery drains past the engine on level.

Given the increased minimum charge level, higher weights and more powerful motors, while retaining the same battery pack, the Converj will probably have an electric only range of about 30 miles instead of 40 miles. It'll however be a much faster car with a more entertaining driving experience. 300hp with 546 lb-ft at zero rpm delivered to all four wheels is no joke. It'll be fun. And because it is fun and a Caddy, it can also be expensive. Price it anywhere below the Model S and it'll have it's little niche amongst the Global Warming believing Coolaid Drinkers with some bucks to spare.

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So will this be on the next-gen Volt architecture or the current one?

Seeing this car will not be out soon I would not be suprised if it has the 2nd gen Volt in it. They are already working on the 2nd and 3rd gens at present and the 1st will not be around very long. If anything there will be marked improvments in technology over the next couple year before we see this car that would be incorperated.

It would be smart to bring the new stuff out in the more expensive car and then add it to the Chevy later vs bringing it out in the Chevy and then giving it to Cadillac.

Also note this more than not may move to a 4 door vs 2. Lutz said they could change this very easily to a sedan if it went into production.

Edited by hyperv6
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If it's me, I'll do it this way...

  • Battery pack remains the same 16kWH module to keep costs and weights reasonable.
  • Front Motor = Volt motor (no change)
  • Add a second 150hp motor onto the rear axle.
  • The 71hp 1.0 liter engine is upgraded to a 1.4 140hp liter turbo engine being used by the Cruze.
  • Generator capacity is likewise doubled.

This will give the car about 300hp and pretty lively performance. Like in the Volt, the engine will not attempt to recharge the battery to capacity in the interest of battery life. Instead, it'll provide the primary electric source once the battery drains to a certain level. The battery then provides temporal acceleration power boosts only when needed like a conventional parallel Hybrid. Unlike the Volt, the drive train can be programmed to turn the engine on whenever charge levels fall below 40% instead of 30% and recharge the battery when it reaches 25% to 40% instead of 30%. This helps give the vehicle a deep charge cushion when the driver stomps on the gas after the battery drains past the engine on level.

Given the increased minimum charge level, higher weights and more powerful motors, while retaining the same battery pack, the Converj will probably have an electric only range of about 30 miles instead of 40 miles. It'll however be a much faster car with a more entertaining driving experience. 300hp with 546 lb-ft at zero rpm delivered to all four wheels is no joke. It'll be fun. And because it is fun and a Caddy, it can also be expensive. Price it anywhere below the Model S and it'll have it's little niche amongst the Global Warming believing Coolaid Drinkers with some bucks to spare.

I think you are generally correct, but let's be clear that the Volt's range is "up to 40 miles" and the EPA range quoted by GM is actually 32 miles city, and highway should be less than that. I'm assuming that GM's "just don't use the AC" isn't going to fly with someone who spent $80,000 on a Cadillac. I can imagine that the electric range of such a vehicle would actually be in the 20's.

And then what happens after you have gone 20ish miles? Even with that engine upgrade you have a very heavy car with something less than 140HP available. Even with the electric torque this isn't exactly awesome performance... especially compared to other much less expensive vehicles.

And since your motor/ICE upgrade results in twice the generator short fall as the Volt, the reserve battery capacity is that much more of an issue. If anything they would need to increase the reserve for a car like this, not decrease it.

Given a choice between a Volt and a Converj, I suspect the tree huggers are going to go with the less-excessive Volt. The non-tree-huggers can get real sports car performance from a CTS-V for mid $60K.

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Definitely good news to hear, direct electric drive will be the transmission system of the future no matter the powerplant.

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Now with Lutz now talking that a Volt SS could be done means they know how to get the extra power with out a major penalty. He even mentioned the V word from what I heard.

I assume this car will be marketed not so much as a save the earth/save tree car as it will be more a efficient performance car. They may not sell it on a zillion miles per gallon but it would be sold on 0-60 that are very impressive with available MPG that has never been see before in that type of car. This would play big in Europe. All the MFG there are looking for a eco friendly perfromace car.

I think this is a strong clue they have the suspension and brakes very well sorted out. Handling is a must in this kind of package and they may have it well figured out.

This kind of car could create a whole new market that will be more affordable than the Karma or Tesla. If it breaks then you just have to go to the local Cadillac dealer.

Edited by hyperv6
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I'd say that you are on the mark, Hyper.

Edited by Camino LS6
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I'd say that you are on the mark, Hyper.

+1 Bigtime!

Chris

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Part of me thinks the Converj needs to be electric only with no gas engine. Just increase battery capacity, add a solar panel roof, etc so it is more like the Tesla cars. But the problem of being built on the Delta platform still remains.

If the CTS offers better acceleration, handling, braking, ride, etc and costs $20,000 or so less, why buy the Converj? No one is going to pay $50-60,000 for a front drive, small car. Front wheel drive is inferior to rear wheel drive. Makes you wonder why Cadillac is going to have the SRX, XTS, Converj, and Lambda Escalade, that is a lot of front wheel drive, sounds like Lincoln or Acura.

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