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.