2008 Cadillac Provoq Concept

David Gluckman
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Cadillac has unveiled its Provoq crossover, but instead of waiting for the Detroit show (where it will also be shown), the curtain was first dropped at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas-presumably because of the vehicle's high-tech content. The Provoq was built around GM's E-Flex propulsion system, which made its debut on the Chevy Volt. This iteration uses a fifth-generation hydrogen fuel cell coupled with a lithium-ion battery for storage and can be plugged in for overnight charging.

The Provoq has an estimated 300-mile range, 280 of which can be driven on hydrogen with the remaining 20 from the battery charge alone. All-wheel drive is accomplished through the use of a 70kW motor shared between the front wheels and separate 40 kW hub motors for the rears. The battery can be charged via ports hidden behind fender vents on either side. The concept should reach 60 mph from a stop in 8.5 seconds.

The Provoq's exterior design takes all of the current Cadillac cues but adds some minor touches for aerodynamic efficiency. The imposing grille actively opens and closes to provide sufficient cooling to the fuel-cell stack. Flush-mounted buttons replace conventional handles on the doors. The underbody is completely covered to improve airflow, and even the roof rack was designed to minimize drag. A roof-mounted solar panel provides power for accessories like lighting and the audio system. Twenty-one-inch wheels with low-rolling-resistance tires complete the look while helping to reduce energy use.

Inside, the concept appears nearly ready for production and is reminiscent of Cadillac's current offerings. There is seating for five and Cadillac claims that E-Flex components do not impinge on passenger or cargo space. If the interior is any indication, a very similar crossover with some form of GM's E-Flex system may be slated for production in the near future.

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