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  (Source: The Car Connection)

  (Source: The Car Connection)

  (Source: The Car Connection)
Cadillac's Converj adds some spice to the Volt platform

The Chevrolet Volt has been the talk of the town at General Motors for the past two years. The vehicle was first unveiled as a concept two years ago at the Detroit Auto Show. After over a year and a half of development, GM finally unveiled the production Volt to an anxious public.

The Volt, which is likely to be priced north of $40,000 before applicable government tax credits, can travel forty miles on battery power alone. After the initial 40-mile battery range is depleted, the car turns on its gasoline engine/generator to boost the total driving range to 360 miles.

GM is now looking to spread the wealth by giving one of its more upscale brands a vehicle based on the already impressive Volt platform. The lucky recipient this time around is Cadillac and the car is called the Converj. The Converj uses the same powertrain as the Volt, so the performance and economy ratings of the vehicles should be identical -- the Converj, however, does have a much more attractive exterior design.

Whereas the production Volt is considered by most to be rather plebian in design, the Converj is definitely more dynamic with its low-slung shape. The two-door, four-seat coupe seems to borrow from both the Cadillac Cien Concept from seven years ago and the Cadillac CTS Coupe Concept which was unveiled last year.

This is how Cadillac describes the design of the Converj:

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.

In keeping with the concept nature of the vehicle, the Converj features large 21" wheels in the front and slightly larger 22" wheels in the back. An all-glass roof is littered with solar panels which help to power the vehicle's many accessories, while OLEDs are used to light the Converj's instrument panel. The Converj also makes use of LED headlights.

"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," adds Cadillac global design director Clay Dean. "There is also a unique daylight light ‘spear’ at the top of the headlamps."

"It’s a logical extension of our plan to reinvent the automobile," said GM's Bob Lutz. "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."

It remains to be seen whether a vehicle like the Converj will end up being in the Cadillac family, but one thing is certain -- if the vehicle does make it to production, it will be priced much higher than the $40,000+ cost of entry for the Volt.

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You Know it's GM
By Ryanman on 1/11/2009 1:36:28 PM , Rating: 1
When they'll sell a re-branded vehicle with slightly different exterior. And you wonder why they can't keep costs low.

And you know it's America when people actually purchase said vehicles, paying 10-20k extra for different headlight angles/grille badges.

RE: You Know it's GM
By rudolphna on 1/11/2009 2:09:24 PM , Rating: 5
they pay extra because its a CADILLAC. Its a status symbol. And im sure the interior is much superior to the Volt, and to some people it may look better. Correct me if im mistaken, but arent Acura models just Hondas with different fascia, and interiors? Same with toyota and lexus, only lexus generally uses a RWD or AWD configuration.

RE: You Know it's GM
By Hoser McMoose on 1/11/2009 10:28:59 PM , Rating: 3
Correct me if im mistaken, but arent Acura models just Hondas with different fascia, and interiors?

I drive an Acura RSX. Great car but it's HEAVILY based off the Honda Civic. Same chassis, similar drivetrain (more specifically the new Civic uses a modified version of the old RSX drivetrain). The Acura CSX is virtually identical to the new Honda Civic, the TSX is extremely similar to the Japanese/European Honda Accord, the TL is heavily based off the American Accord, etc.

Sharing parts only makes sense, all successful car makers do it. The problem with GM is not that they've got a Chevy and a Cadillac that share some common parts, it's that they'll have a Chevy, a Pontiac, a Saturn, a Buick and a Cadillac all being nearly identical.

GM really needs to cut their product line down to just Chevy and Cadillac worldwide and then one regional brand per market. In Europe that would be Opel. In Australia they can keep Holden. Buick for China. For North America we can keep GMC for it's trucks and SUVs.

RE: You Know it's GM
By rudolphna on 1/12/2009 1:34:18 AM , Rating: 2
Agreed. I think for North America they should have Chevy, Buick, GMC, and Cadillac. I would really like to see them keep Saturn, as I do love how they look. For Europe, definetely opel, and australia can keep holden. China, I dont know. Buick, and maybe Pontiac.

RE: You Know it's GM
By Raidin on 1/13/2009 2:59:27 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not sure China will be ok with losing the Hummer brand.

RE: You Know it's GM
By Spuke on 1/12/2009 1:50:26 PM , Rating: 2
I drive an Acura RSX. Great car but it's HEAVILY based off the Honda Civic.
Actually the RSX is its own platform but does share engines/transmissions with the Civic.

RE: You Know it's GM
By Brandon Hill on 1/11/2009 2:29:25 PM , Rating: 2
Are you blind? How is that exterior and interior "slightly different" than from the Volt?

This isn't the same thing as a Chevy Cobalt/Pontiac G5 rebadge or a Sierra/Silverado rebadge. This is platform sharing a la Toyota Camry/Toyota Avalon/Lexus ES 350/etc.

RE: You Know it's GM
By Ryanman on 1/14/2009 11:05:15 AM , Rating: 2
The fact that it looks radical is going to change, since it's a concept.

Like the other "rebadge" jobs you've mentioned, Cadillac is showing off a decent looking concept and is then going to tone it down till it's extremely similar to the old, decent looking volt.

Platform sharing I understand. But re-badging just drives up costs. Like someone else said, it's a "status symbol" Hope you enjoy the status that comes with a caddy.

"We basically took a look at this situation and said, this is bullshit." -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng's take on patent troll Soverain
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