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The Luxury Volt: Cadillac To Send Converj Concept To Production

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On: Tue, Aug 16, 2011 at 12:09PM | By: Chris Weiss

The Luxury Volt: Cadillac To Send Converj Concept To Production

The striking Cadillac Converj concept debuted at the 2009 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, with word a year or so thereafter that it was on its way to production. Then, production plans were officially canceled, and the Converj became what so many other concept cars have become: a rare, pretty hunk of fiberglass and metal never to be driven by paying customers. According to a new report, the Converj is back on the table and will be sharing the range-extending plug-in powertrain with the Chevy Volt.

GreenCarReports says that a GM insider confirmed that the Converj has been given the official green light by GM execs. It is likely to hit the market in 2013 as a 2014 model.

So why the change of heart since 2010? GM originally nixed Converj production due to the fact that it believed that the low volume of Converjes planned just wasn't profitable. GM realized that a bigger, heavier Caddy loaded with amenities wasn't the best fit for a plug-in powertrain, estimating that the car would deliver only about 20 miles of all-electric driving. Compare that to the Chevy Volt's 40 miles or so and you see a plug-in Cadillac just doesn't have the same eco-appeal.

After having launched the Volt last December, and having sales move as fast as it can produce cars, GM decided the time was ripe to revisit the Converj. A luxury version of the Chevy Volt would allow GM to up the price significantly and make more money from its plug-in powertrain technology. The Converj is expected to sport an updated version of the Volt's powertrain, which consists of a 149-hp electric motor and a 1.4-liter engine-generator.

A production Converj will also help Cadillac keep pace with European competitors like Audi, Mercedes and BMW, all of which have well-publicized plug-ins planned.


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