The rumored Cadillac E-Flex concept was confirmed this morning at General Motor’s 2009 Detroit Auto Show press conference. The concept’s official name will be the Cadillac Converj and, as anticipated, it is based on the Chevy Volt platform.
The Converj concept is the latest rolling showcase for GM’s extended-range electric propulsion system, which the company is now calling Voltec. The Converj features the same 16-kWh, T-shaped battery, electric drive unit, and four-cylinder engine-generator as the Volt. Thus, like the volt, the Converj will go 40 miles on emissions-free electric power. It then switches to the four cylinder engine to provide power to the motor and charge the lithium-ion battery.
Although the Converj is based on the Volt, the design, from GM’s U.K. advanced design studio under the direction of Simon Cox, is pure Cadillac. Unlike the Volt sedan, it sports a coupe body style with seats for four passengers in a 2+2 layout. A small trunk is accessed through an even smaller opening. The overall shape resembles the CTS coupe concept that debuted at last year’s show with a bit of the Cien show car mixed in. The design emphasizes aerodynamics, with minimal grille openings, a fully covered underbody, and slim cameras in place of rearview mirrors. The smallest Cadillac ever made, the Converj is some 10 inches shorter than the CTS coupe. The Converj is about the same length as the Volt but it’s wider, due to the Cadillac’s larger wheels and tires (21-inches up front and 22 inches at the rear).
Inside, the Converj is trimmed with white suede and black leather and there is a blue ambient glow throughout the cabin. The instrument cluster is illuminated with LEDs and touch-screens are used for navigation, climate, center-stack controls and audio systems. A screen placed high on the instrument panel displays surrounding images provided by cameras.
Although no production plans have been announced at this time, the Converj is intended to show the flexibility of the Voltec propulsion technology. It’s also a window into GM’s thinking as to where to take the Cadillac brand.