General Motors' CEO Rick Wagoner just took the wraps off the Cadillac Provoq—the first car
ever introduced at the Consumer Electronics Show. Their latest fuel-cell
vehicle gets twice the range of the new Equinox SUVs that are about to hit the
road, and its engine is only half as large.
It still seems weird to put the words Cadillac, crossover
vehicle (small SUV) and environmental in the same sentence . . . maybe thats why
they named it Provoq. (And hopefully they are better at engineering than at
In addition to looking badass, the Provoq has just about every green feature you (or GM) could think of. There's a plug on each side for
charging the lithium-ion batteries at home, plus a solar panel on the roof for
charging on the road. Louvers in the front of the car can open up to provide
more cooling or close to reduce wind resistance at high speed. The 300-mile
range is nice for convenience, but not critical. After all, you can refill the
car with hydrogen in about 8 minutes (at least, at the two or three dozen
hydrogen stations in the entire country).
But this ultra-green car doesnt have Prius-style timidity.
It can hit 100 miles per hour and get to 60mph in 8.5 seconds—faster than
Cadillacs current crossover. And I believe those numbers. I got to drive the super-peppy
Equinox around Vegas today and I was amazed at the whiplash acceleration.
(Despite the defamation of electric motors by internal-combustion enthusiasts,
motors are the ultimate sports car power plants—delivering high torque as soon
as you hit the gas—err, accelerator.)
Of course, like GMs other hydrogen cars, you wont be
buying a Provoq immediately. But you might do it pretty soon. GM hopes to be
selling the Equinox by 2010 (in the first city or city that builds enough
hydrogen refueling stations to make it practical.) No word yet on when the
Provoq will hit driveways, but I sure hope its soon.—Sean Captain