• Chevrolet Volt/Cadillac Converj mule front 3/4

  • Chevrolet Volt/Cadillac Converj mule rear 3/4

  • Chevrolet Volt/Cadillac Converj mule 20-inch wheels

  • Chevrolet Volt/Cadillac Converj mule Potenza tires

  • Chevrolet Volt/Cadillac Converj mule side

  • Chevrolet Volt/Cadillac Converj mule front 3/4

  • Chevrolet Volt/Cadillac Converj mule front 3/4

Our spy photographers managed to spot something curious (and decidedly hilarious) recently. General Motors has been busy testing what would appear to be Chevrolet Volt models with massive 20-inch wheels and tires in place of the low-rolling resistance pieces on the stock plug-in.

Why? Guesses are slim at the moment, but one hypothesis is that this is actually our first glimpse at a Cadillac Converj test mule. That vehicle will make use of an altered version of the Voltec drivetrain found in the Chevrolet, albeit bolted to flashier wheels. The luxury hybrid has been an on-again-off-again affair for General Motors since the concept first rolled across the stage at the 2009 Detroit Auto Show.

Last we heard, the Converj is on track for launch in either 2013 or 2014. If true, now would be the time to begin working out any engineering bugs on the rumored Voltec 1.5 system. With luxury buyers more willing to hand over stacks of cash for new technology, the Converj could make quite a bit more sense to buyers than the Volt. Or bolting chrome dubs to a hybrid, for that matter.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 16 Comments
      DaveMart
      • 3 Years Ago
      This drive train makes a lot of sense for high end models. Its tough to get a lot of cost out of it, but that cost is more easily covered in expensive models, and the prosperous don't like spending money at petrol stations any more than anyone else.
        SVX pearlie
        • 3 Years Ago
        @DaveMart
        The easiest way to cut cost would be to shrink the pack. If one could charge 8 hrs at work, a smaller pack with 20/25-mile AER would be sufficient, and likely boost gas mileage as well.
        Chris M
        • 3 Years Ago
        @DaveMart
        For a Cadillac, they'd want to improve the performance, and there are 2 ways to do it: 1. Reduce the weight by use of high strength steel or aluminum and/or carbon fiber parts 2. Increase the power by using a more powerful battery pack and motor. They might do both.
        DaveMart
        • 3 Years Ago
        @DaveMart
        @Chris M: No 1, reducing body weight is tough to do for low volume models. No 2, beefing the motor and/or pack up is easier and cheaper.
      Ford Future
      • 3 Years Ago
      This graph shows why you should buy an EV or Plugin Hybrid: http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2012/03/20120322_NG2.png Because it's hard to substitute crude oil for transportation, it will be driven higher and higher in price. Whereas, that's not the case for the sources of fuel that generate electricity.
        carney373
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Ford Future
        It's not that hard. If as called for in the proposed Open Fuel Standards Act we made methanol compatibility a required standard feature in all new gasoline cars, we could use methanol. That feature would cost automakers at most $130 per new car at the factory to include. Methanol is cheaper than gasoline even after adjusting for mileage, and is not subsidized. It's made from natural gas, coal, or ANY biomass.
        Spec
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Ford Future
        That link doesn't work.
      Sasparilla Fizz
      • 3 Years Ago
      Hopefully this is the case here. The converj, besides being a great looking vehicle, will let GM spread those development costs onto a higher end model where customers are used to paying the associated prices (unfortunate GM delayed it).
        Spec
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Sasparilla Fizz
        Yeah, GM needs to move forward on it. People will be more willing to swallow the higher price tag with some leather seats and Cadillac badge.
      EZEE
      • 3 Years Ago
      GM is listening to Nick and I. Good good....
      2 Wheeled Menace
      • 3 Years Ago
      1) Put Cadillac rims on your volt. 2) Submit pictures to auto news media 3) ??? 4) Profit!
        2 Wheeled Menace
        • 3 Years Ago
        @2 Wheeled Menace
        Lol, got downrated 3 times for pointing out the obvious. Anyone see a styling cue other than cadillac wheels that would indicate it's something other than a black Volt on dubs?
          MTN RANGER
          • 3 Years Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          If you look closely at the photos, there are some unusual things. On the left front bumper, there is a round piece sticking through the lower air intake. There is also a 120V plug dangling out of the grill. On the rear bumper, there is a cutout and pluglike device that is not on the production model.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 3 Years Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          Manufacturer plates are a good indication that it is a testing vehicle, not someone's personal driver.
          Paul Stoller
          • 3 Years Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          Unless said person had access to the milford proving grounds I would say there is more going on.
        EZEE
        • 3 Years Ago
        @2 Wheeled Menace
        Ahhh, the gnomes....
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