With GM's Volt extended-range electric car set to arrive in dealerships by early next decade, some are asking whether US buyers will be switched off by a $40,000 Chevy. But would those buyers -- essentially early adopters of GM's new plug-in, gas-electric propulsion technology dubbed Voltec -- be more likely to plunk down such a wad of cash on a Caddy? That appears to be the theory behind a proposal inside GM to put its Cadillac Converj concept car into production within a few years, the Detroit News reports today.
GM unveiled the Converj as an upmarket cousin of the much heralded Chevrolet Volt at the Detroit auto show earlier this year. The Converj shares the Volt's extended-range electric powerplant, but sports a more aggressive look reflecting Cadillac's angular "Art and Science" design language, along with more luxurious interior appointments.
GM's financial troubles had put the kabosh on a production Converj early on, but company insiders have reportedly been trying to get the project greenlit for most of the year. Last week the Converj was included in a production plan Cadillac officials presented to GM's board of directors, according Detroit News sources. If they bite, it's a vindication of one theory that well-heeled buyers will lead a charge toward the gas-electric Voltec system only if it's wrapped in a higher-end brand.
With no production date set, a decision to build the Converj would still mean a few years of waiting, though spreading the Voltec powerplant's development cost to another model would mean party time for some of the company's accountants. The Chevrolet Volt is due to be released next year as a 2011 model.
I don't have any real opinion on the car -- it's probably a reasonable idea.
My only comment is on that pretentious term "design language". That term and its' cousin "design vocabulary" are always like nails on a chalkboard to me.
Maybe they will be properly brutalilzed in Dilbert strip :)
@ ford2go: Touche! I'd like to see them get skewered on Dilbert as well, but more importantly, GM, Ford, and so many car makers still don't get it-- the EV-1 was and is very popular, and with no changes at all (just batteries of current chemistry would be nice) would satisfy millions of us. Hybrids are far more complex than the cars we have today, and that complexity only increases the likelihood that it will end up in a wrecking yard sooner than later. I won't let GM force-feed me vehicles that will consume our natural resources at an alarming rate.
I'd much rather have a Nissan Leaf, Phoenix Motorcar, Fisker, Tesla S-- anything but another vehicle with an engine. To say that the engine will not be used often is no solution-- hybrids are still far more complex than the cars we have today, they'll require even more specialized and expensive maintenance and repair work, and these very expensive cars will end up in a landfill or a wrecking yard far too soon.
Look at what has become of the Toyota RAV-4 EVs that are more than a decade old-- they have had virtually no maintenance or battery replacements in all these years despite heavy usage, and they continue to run well. Such a car as that could easily continue to run for dozens of years more so long as suspension parts, wheel bearings and other simple parts are available.
No, GM-- I don't want your Cadillac hybrid. I want an EV as good as the EV-1 you already know how to make, something that will last longer than the hybrid you want to foist off on me.
What urks me is that companies like toyota stopped production of electric cars once they realized they could get away with cars like this that still run on gas, but can get extra miles cause they have another power scource.
I don't know about billdales jibber jabber but we need cars that use zero gas and these new electric cars are a great step and I am not talking about hybrids, you still have to gas them up, they are not the answer but full electric cars are only limited by battery life and will last alot longer than combustion engines thats for sure, and the cadillac is so gorgeous, I hope it goes into production, we need a little class in the electric car world.