Amidst yesterday’s upper-level management shakeup, it appears that General Motors has canceled its plans to build the Cadillac Converj concept. For anyone who may be a bit hazy on the Converj, it was a concept Cadillac coupe based on GM’s E-flex platform, sharing the plug-in hybrid electric (PHEV) powertrain with the Chevy Volt. In April 2009, Motor Trend reported that The General had approved the production version of the Converj as a 2011 or 2012 model year vehicle. GM later refuted this report, stating that the Converj was “a concept vehicle undergoing a review.” Then in November, a flurry of reports informed us that the Converj was given the green light for production afterall. The last we heard of the gorgeous two-door Caddy PHEV was at the 2010 Society of Automotive Analysts, where Lutz was quoted as saying, “The Cadillac Converj is cleared for production,” but that “It won’t be next year or the year after that.”
It appears that since then, GM has come full circle in its review for the Converj and has determined the vehicle to be unfeasible. According to GM and Cadillac, the car would be prohibitively expensive and would lose the impressive range of the Volt due to equipment and amenities expected by Cadillac customers. The added weight of these features would have a negative impact on range while adding substantial cost to the mix. This increase in expenses as well as the decrease in range wiped out the business case for the Converj.
“It has always been a concept”, GM spokesman Nick Twork explained to Automotive News. “It was never announced officially that we were going to do the Converj. We never issued a press release.”
While this is disappointing to (green) Cadillac fans everywhere, there is still hope: the concept version of the upcoming XTS sedan unveiled at Detroit featured a plug-in hybrid powertrain that could be shared among other Cadillac vehicles (although it wasn’t the Voltec). The GM Authority Team expects this technology to show up in the upcoming rear-wheel-drive ATS compact sedan. Moreover, the plug-in hybrid version of the XTS is expected to arrive on the heels of the gas-powered model sometime after 2013. Click past the break to reminisce the what-could-have-been Converj Concept.[Source: LeftLaneNews]