The Detroit News is reporting several sources have confirmed GM will build a production version of the Cadillac Converj Concept.
The decision to green-light the Converj marks the second major product reversal for GM in recent months. In August, the company killed plans for a new Buick compact crossover after it was panned by consumers, dealers and other groups.
As you may recall, when the Converj was unveiled at the North American International Auto Show, Bob Lutz hinted that a production version would remain faithful to the concept. This is good news, considering the Converj won praise for its sleek styling and advanced powertrain.
The concept won accolades at the 2009 North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January. The car is a couple of years away from reaching showrooms and a production date has not been set. The decision to build the Converj means GM can add to its electric vehicle lineup amid growing consumer demand, spread the technology's cost over more models and command a premium price.
Expected to be based on the Chevrolet Volt, the Converj will likely feature a 16-kWh lithium-ion battery which powers an electric motor that produces 120 kW (161 hp) and 273 lb-ft (370 Nm) of torque. Like the Volt, the Converj would be recharged by a 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine after the car travels past its 40 mile electric-only range (it can also be recharged via a 240V or 120V outlet). While nothing is official, there has been speculation that Cadillac will make some minor modifications to give the Converj a more performance-oriented setup than the Volt.
The Volt will allow commuters to travel up to 40 miles on electric power alone. The engine will kick in after the battery is drained by about 70 percent to sustain the remaining charge and keep the car running for several hundred miles.
The Converj concept featured solar panels on a glass roof, rear view cameras instead of exterior mirrors, 21-inch tires in the front and 22-inch in the rear.