LISTEN 08:28

Here’s a sexier approach to the Chevrolet Volt. Cadillac’s Converj concept takes the electric car with a gas back powertrain (now called Voltec) from the Chevy and wraps it in a sleek body that reminds of a larger version of the CTS coupe. The Converj is a strict four-seater. While this is used to give this car a sportier image, this is also necessary because a big center section is taken up by the "T" shaped battery used to power the car. The battery pack contains more than 220 lithium-ion cells that can power the car for up to 40 miles. After the battery runs out, the electric will be replenished by a gas-powered generator. Just like the Volt, the car is designed to be fully charged after plugged in for eight hours on a normal household 120-volt outlet (three hours for 240v).

There is plenty of function to the Converj form. The dark roof contains solar panels to help recharge the car and the sleek body helps cheat the millage-killing wind. Now all that has to happen is for General Motors to find the capital to put the Cadillac of electric cars in production.

UPDATE 08/12/11: After a few jumps on both sides of the fence, Cadillac has officially given the green light for the production of the Converj. The latest news about Cadillac’s resident electric car concept is that GM executives have finally gone ahead and given their blessing to have the Converj hit the production block for a 2013 launch leading up to a release as a 2014 model. Took them a while to finally decide, but hey, better late than never, right?

Press release after the jump.

Press release

General Motors unveiled a further glimpse at the potential of electric propulsion today, this time in the form of luxury transportation, with the Cadillac Converj Concept. The Cadillac Converj was developed as a well-appointed grand touring coupe with a bold design and a host of interactive technology.

The four-passenger Converj concept is intended to show how GM’s revolutionary electric propulsion technology – called Voltec – can power a luxury coupe with a typically Cadillac “no compromises” design. The technology enables up to 40 miles of gas- and emissions-free electric driving with extended-range capability of hundreds of miles.

2009 Cadillac Converj
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Bob Lutz, GM’s vice chairman of Global Product Development, said the Converj concept has production substance. “It’s a logical extension of our plan to reinvent the automobile,” he said. “It clearly shows what a Cadillac electric vehicle could look like, and clearly indicates that global luxury customers can have a car that has both strong design and electric propulsion with a total range of hundreds of anxiety-free miles.”

Cadillac’s extended-range electric vehicle (E-REV) concept has a new body style that is an evolution of the brand’s traditional Art and Science design theme. An aggressive, forward-leaning arc profile is the foundation for the sporting stance. And more than a Cadillac in form, Converj is also intended to be a Cadillac in substance, with the premium materials, technology and driving dynamics that are hallmarks of the brand.

Voltec – innovative propulsion technology

2009 Cadillac Converj
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The Cadillac Converj’s Voltec electric propulsion system is made up of a 16-kWh, T-shaped battery, an electric drive unit, and a four-cylinder engine-generator. It uses electricity as its primary source to drive the car.

A thermally managed battery pack contains more than 220 lithium-ion cells that provide the primary power to drive the Converj electrically up to 40 miles without using fuel or producing tailpipe emissions. The battery is integrated into the Converj’s chassis and stores electricity from the grid when the vehicle is plugged in. It takes less than three hours to recharge the battery at 240V, or about eight hours from a 120V outlet.

When the battery’s energy is low, the Converj seamlessly switches to extended-range mode. During this secondary level of operation, electricity needed to power the vehicle is created on-board by a flex-fuel-powered engine that operates much like a home generator to create electricity. The engine-generator ensures a constant supply of power for hundreds of miles until the car is refueled or plugged in to recharge the battery. This extended-range mode eliminates the range anxiety that comes with driving pure electric vehicles that offer no backup power when the battery charge is low.

Whether in electric or extended-range mode, the Converj is propelled all the time by an electric drive unit. It converts electrical energy from the battery or the engine-generator into mechanical energy to drive the front wheels. It also delivers 273 lb.-ft. (370 Nm) of instant torque, for a quick launch, and 120 kW of power. The top speed is 100 mph.

There is no compromise in vehicle performance in either mode of operation. To enhance the ride feel, the Converj also features GM’s Magnetic Ride Control; and for even greater efficiency, energy during braking is captured and stored in the battery.

Pure Cadillac design

2009 Cadillac Converj
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There’s no mistaking the Converj for anything but a Cadillac, according to Lutz. “An aggressive, forward-leaning profile hints at a new, progressive theme and proportion in Cadillac’s design evolution,” he says. “The new proportion showcases a uniquely shaped, modern vision of a personal luxury 2+2.”

The overall shape is reinforced by a prominent, sweeping body line with large, 21-inch (front) and 22-inch (rear) wheels pushed to the edges of the body. The Converj exterior is painted a dark silver tri-coat that GM designers dubbed “Reaction.”

An all-glass roof incorporates solar panels that help offset power drain from the vehicle’s accessories. Additionally, several aerodynamic and design efficiencies were incorporated to enhance the driving range, including:

  • A full under-vehicle cover (belly pan)
  • Minimal grille openings that reduce drag at the front of the vehicle
  • Low-profile rearview cameras replace conventional outside mirrors to reduce drag
  • Wheels are shaped to push air outward for smoother body side airflow

The Converj also incorporates vertical headlamp and taillamp elements, with light pipe technology.

“Vertical lamps are Cadillac signatures and the Converj builds on the brand’s light pipe technology with bolder light emitting diode (LED) and high-intensity discharge elements front and rear,” said Clay Dean, global design director for Cadillac. “There is also a unique daylight light ‘spear’ at the top of the headlamps.”

Luxury meets technology inside

2009 Cadillac Converj
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The Converj’s interior has advanced features and luxurious appointments blending efficiency and environmental consciousness. The 2+2 configuration is trimmed in contrasting Winter White synthetic suede – including the top of the instrument panel – and Midnight Black leather, with polished aluminum and wood grain accents. Renewable materials are used throughout such as wool-blend carpeting, a headliner made from silk, suede made from post-industrial content and more.

A technologically advanced driver center increases efficiency and reduces the draw on the battery. Features include:

  • New, organic light-emitting diode technology used on reconfigurable instrument cluster
  • Touch-screen navigation, climate, center-stack controls and audio systems
  • Adjustable, overhead white ambient lighting
  • Unique “power on” sequence featuring blue-lit console graphics
  • Screen displays for features including regenerative braking, battery charge level and power output
  • No inside rearview or outside mirrors; cameras provide surrounding images on a screen placed high on the instrument panel for a full, panoramic view
  • Push-button ignition and power-folding front seats


2009 Cadillac Converj
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Alina Moore
Alina Moore
Alina Joined the team in the early 2000s as one of the outlets very first experts, and she’s been with ever since. Over the years, she’s served various roles, but today she’s is relied on heavily to verify automotive facts, assist with formatting, and discover new and engaging topics.  Read full bio
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Show Comments


  (427) posted on 01.2.2012

Futuristic but looks awful. Well, for some reason, I’m not really so fond with this kind of vehicle, but it’s a good thing that it has an awesome and interesting interior.

  (427) posted on 12.28.2011

I really love futuristic vehicles for they always has an impressive and high-tech technology just like this one! However, I don’t like the fact that it is on an electric motor.

  (526) posted on 12.14.2011

I just only love the interior of this Converj! It looks so spacious and futuristic! Well, what really caught my attention is its awesome center console, it’s truly amazing on that!

  (630) posted on 10.3.2011

I like the ambiance and gesture of the car. Well developed and enhanced. From technology and innovation used, for every parts and materials given emphasis, then I would surely love this.

  (9) posted on 08.20.2011

nice inprovements in all this brands lets hoppe for reliability

  (453) posted on 08.17.2011

Hmm, another electric car, is it really reliable nowadays? As for the design of this cadillac, well, it really had the looks of an outstanding cars and I must say that I love the spacious interior of this car.

  (372) posted on 08.16.2011

hmm. For several years, Cadillac have remembered this concept vehicle. Well, it seems that this car manufacturer still needs more time to assure that there will be a possible dealer for this car before making a production version.

  (231) posted on 08.16.2011

Wow! Its a great thing that they have offered a coupe version for this limousine brand! I like the aggressiveness and sportiness of the car. I wonder if they have plan in making this one into production?

  (320) posted on 08.15.2011

I like the sporty look of the car and the classy image it reflects. I wonder who are its competitions and how it will work on the road. The release they provide is all about the positive side of the car. I’m looking for its weakness, and I’m pretty sure it has.

  (320) posted on 08.15.2011

I like the sporty look of the car and the classy image it reflects. I wonder who are its competitions and how it will work on the road. The release they provide is all about the positive side of the car. I’m looking for its weakness, and I’m pretty sure it has.

  (1022) posted on 01.7.2010

Turns out it was the Cadillac Converj on its way to pose with a Ford Fusion ... out to households all over from the 2009 Detroit Auto Show.

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