Chevy Volt Spin-Off Cadillac Converj Hybrid Gets Green Light

By dancurranjr On April 20th, 2009

cadillac-converjGeneral Motors offers an immense lineup of mainstream and performance-oriented models all across the globe. Cars like the Corvette, Camaro and CTS-V might make North American hearts go aflutter, but elsewhere VXR and SS V-Series stir the souls of young and old.

But a new day has dawned, when even young enthusiasts are more interested in a vehicles’ impact on the planet than they are about zero to sixty times, slalom speeds or skid pad results, which has resulted in a bevy of low and even zero-emissions vehicles that target an entirely different kind of performance enthusiast. GM is at the forefront of this new wave of performance, with vehicles like its new Chevy Volt, Opel Ampera and, now that it’s official, Converj.

According to Motor Trend magazine, the upscale Cadillac Converj, a spinoff of the Volt, will be built in 2011, a year after the four-door Chevy bows. Will the production Cadillac look the same, or change as much as the Volt did from concept to reality? The Volt, initially shown in concept form with two doors and a very different overall shape, got a thorough redesign that included a more practical four-door configuration. Most applauded GM’s decision, and most like the looks of the new car. Such a move, especially considering Cadillac will bring the CTS Coupe to market the year prior, would be smart.

Whatever Cadillac finally shows for production, the Converj will ride on the same Voltec architecture as the Volt and Ampera, which is also a smart move by GM as it will need to recoup as much research and development costs from its unique plug-in series hybrid chassis as possible, and there’s no better way to do that than via a higher end, pricier model. It is also possible that, while the shared powertrain will be identical, it may be calibrated to offer a little more performance in the premium Cadillac offering.

While Cadillac may be celebrating this news, there is still the hurdle of funding the operation. Volt will be built, says GM’s executive team, which is currently lobbying the US Treasury and Energy Departments to allow access to ATVM loans and will no doubt drop another project in order to fund the series hybrid if necessary, but if money is tight it’s possible the Converj could be delayed. It would be unlikely to get cancelled altogether, however, as the money for Volt will have been spent and GM will need to take advantage of the economies of scale possible by a Cadillac version.

SOURCE: Vancouver Sun

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