As I’ve said before, the Volt is without a doubt the most important car in GM’s future lineup–with the ability to do wonders for the General’s tarnished image. GM executives have even said they don’t expect to turn much, if any, of a profit in the first generation of the Volt. Hence the Cadillac Converj, a coupe concept based on the Volt that could be sold upmarket, helping recoup some of that lost profit potential.
But the Converj has reportedly been killed, despite near universal praise for its bold looks and Voltec technology. Apparently all the extra equipment Cadillac buyers have come to expect would have halved the Converj’s all-electric range.
I loved the Converj. It was sharp, edgy, everything Cadillac needs to make a bold statement in the crowded luxury car segment. GM officials had indicated that the Converj program got the green light, and it could be a new halo car to showcase GM’s commitment to technology and fuel efficiency. But, well, all that high-tech stuff requires electricity. As does the Converj/Volt, which has an all-electric range of 40 miles. But when you start adding things like high intensity lights, integrated computer systems, ambient lighting, touchscreen navigation, so on and so forth… well, it takes a lot of power to run these devices.
So much power in fact that Bloomberg reports the all-electric range dropped down to just 20 miles. GM claims the 40 mile range is enough for most Americans to make it to and from work without using any gas. So if you were able to plug it in at your job site during the work day, that would be a full 80 miles you could go without using gas. With the Converj, it would be only 40 miles… but that still ain’t bad. But it is apparently bad enough for the bean counters at GM, despite being able to charge a premium price for the Converj.
So if the Converj is truly dead, may the concept rest in peace. But give the technology a few more years to mature, and we may yet see the Converj rise from the ashes. GM is reportedly focusing its efforts instead on plug-in hybrids like the XTS concept. Which isn’t a horrible thing… but I really dig the Converj! Maybe I’ll still get a Volt SS eventually though…