The 2008 Chevrolet Orlando concept debuted at the Paris auto show last year, and rumors surrounding the vehicle's future have run rampant ever since. First, we heard it wasn't coming to the U.S, but then received word the entire project was on hold. Now, Bob Lutz seems to have revealed that the Orlando project could eventually yield a version of the crossover with the Voltec powertrain.
Responding to an email from GM-Volt.com, Lutz said that GM is "studying the adaptation of the Volt technology to the upcoming Orlando."
The Orlando concept was a stylish seven-passenger MPV that was rumored to be a possible replacement for the Chevrolet HHR. It rode on the same Delta II platform that underpins GM's upcoming compact cars (the 2011 Chevrolet Volt and Cruze), making it a perfect candidate for the Voltec powertrain. GM will need to spread the cost of development and find economies of scale to minimize the losses it will incur with its investment in Voltec, and an electric Orlando could help.
GM is also researching the possibility of bringing the Voltec platform to its premium Cadillac brand. In fact, the 2009 Converj concept, which debuted at the 2009 Detroit auto show, hinted at such a vehicle. Whereas GM will lose money on every Volt it sells to dealers, the Converj could prove profitable for the company.