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Click image above for live shots of the Cadillac Converj Concept

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.

Photos copyright ©2009 Drew Phillips, Frank Filipponio / Weblogs, Inc.




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.

Vehicle type:
2-door, front-wheel-drive 2+2 coupe
extended-range electric vehicle
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:

Top speed (mph / km/h):
100 / 161
EV range, city and highway (miles):
Up to 40, based on EPA cycle

Wheelbase (in / mm):
108 / 2742
Length (in / mm):
182 / 4620
Width (in / mm):
74 / 1883
Height (in / mm):
55 / 1386

Battery system
lithium-ion (w/ liquid-controlled thermal management system)
Energy (kWh):
Charge time:
Less than 3 hours at 240V/8 hours at 120V

Electric drive unit
Power (kW):
Torque (lb-ft / Nm):
273 / 370

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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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      At least they prbly designed this one with better areo than a brick, lol.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Whoever started the "art-and -science" theme at Cadillac with the cien and evoq deserves one of those "multi million dollar bonuses"

      I like Cadillac cause when you buy into Cadillac, you get a very,very good luxury car without having to spend $60,000 on Audi/Lexus or $80,000 on BMw or Benz and you don't feel like you've got less of a vehicle.

      Cadillac is the only company designing cars like this and they look and drive GREAT.

      I'm pre-destined to purchase the Cadillac CTS-coupe. I'm laying down money to reserve one. If they have a V-series CTS coupe, I definitely want it. Its as close to a Lamborghini Reventon as 99% of America will ever get - and comes with plenty of speed and plenty of looks.

      My aunt LOVES her SRX and I hope she'll trade her V8 SRX for the next SRX redesign cause that thing looks bitchin.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Very nice. I called it the ElVoltrado before. Another option: E-dorado.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Typical Cadillac-design. And that's good. Fantastic design.
      • 6 Years Ago
      That's a car that makes me proud that America produced it.
      • 6 Years Ago
      The proportions are not right (roof is too tall)
      Looks kinda bulbous and awkward.

      Maybe it's just me.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Lets hope that means it is closer to a production design than most concept cars.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Very, very nice.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Hats off to Cadillac....that car looks like a million bucks
      I will order one for my wife and on for me...where do I sign?
      Louis MacKenzie
      • 2 Years Ago
      It is now 2013 and the Converj is coming to production as Cadillac ELR.
      • 6 Years Ago
      It reminds me a lot of the CTS coupe, which is a really good thing.
      I feared that the Cadillac Volt-mate would be a victim of badge engineering, but thankfully, this is HAWT (I don't really like the look of the Volt that much)! The question is, though, is it based on the Volt platform or is it the Alpha platform car that was talked about for months?
        • 6 Years Ago
        I have my doubts that the final production model will look like this. :(
        • 6 Years Ago
        now that's hot and electric?
        Imagine if Toyota had actually made the Prius look nice, bet you it would have sond double what it did

        GM doing it right with this one - hope it comes out looking like that, and for what i suspect will be $50+k, it better
        • 6 Years Ago
        This car will look VERY similar to this when it is produced.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I hope so, blckstrm, because this is sexy as hell.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Shoot. I just read the press article saying it was FWD. Ahh well, something has to be sacrificed, I guess.
        • 6 Years Ago
        There's been a lot of discussion about the vehicle's badge versus what the company needs to charge to break even on it, and obviously branding the thing as a Caddy makes a lot more sense than Chevy if you actually want to break even on the huge cost of the vehicle. I'd lay pretty good odds that GM will bring this eFlex or Voltron or whatever Caddy to market, and changed as little as they can manage (mostly for stamping and crash regs, probably - similar to the Camaro concept versus production)

        This is somewhat analogous to the Holden Coupe 60 concept (not much more than bodywork development since the Camaro was only a year away when the Coupe 60 was shown), except that there is actually a market for EREVs.

        I'll admit the Coupe 60 wasn't exactly reinventing the Commodore look, but GM has been fairly consistent between concepts and production vehicles recently (besides the obvious Volt aero screw-up).

        The Converj will most likely wind up with real rear-view mirrors (I'd like to be wrong, but I don't think the camera thing is quite ready for prime-time), and if the LED headlights have to go that will really change the look (and probably design) of the car significantly.

        The bodywork wouldn't look bad on the Alpha, either.
        • 6 Years Ago
        HP, I wouldn't doubt too much.

        Squint and look at this and the Volt side by side. The overall shapes are actually very similar.

        All the aero is done right on this - not that there won't be tweaking done. But the shape is right. In fact, this might be one of the best .

        They learned from the Volt screw-up and did this one with the aero guys from the beginning.

        And yeah, it looks great.
        • 6 Years Ago
        This concept does look closer to the production Volt design than the concept Volt did, but I'm still wary about getting my hopes up of ever seeing anything like this actually hit the streets. Hopefully if they tone it down for production it'll be minimally changed.
        • 6 Years Ago
        2 words...... " WORLD CLASS"

        its amazing.
        • 6 Years Ago
        i agree, this is not totally apart from cadillac current design language. Someone at GM should stand up in a meeting and say..

        "Let's do it"

        Come on America, I now have a few American cars on my "want" list, lets keep it up. Lets get em built with build quality and Audi class interiors (don't argue, Audi makes a phenomenal interior)

        1. Fisker Karma
        2. Cadillac Converj
        3. Dodge EV or whatever it's called (won't happen, but its a good way to lean)
      • 6 Years Ago
      As long as production looks like the concept and doesn't go all aero it should be beautiful.
      • 6 Years Ago

      Cadillac is steadily returning to its glory years.
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