While an official status statement isn't likely to be issued until at least the upcoming Los Angeles Auto Show, an inside source at Cadillac has confirmed to KBB.com that the stunning Converj E-REV (Extended-Range Electric Vehicle) will move from the ranks of pure concept to production reality. Based on the mechanical/electrical "Voltec" elements that underpin the upcoming Chevrolet Volt and introducing an even bolder design language to the marque, Cadillac's aggressively styled zero-emissions 2+2 coupe wowed attendees when it debuted at the at the 2009 Detroit Auto Show last January. Although no timeline has been finalized for the start of Converj production, with the first customer Volts not due to hit Chevy showrooms until late next year, a 2011-2012 time frame would seem to be about the earliest realistic launch window. By green-lighting the Converj, GM will be able to more effectively amortize the nearly $1 billion it has spent to develop the sophisticated Voltec package. Although the Cadillac show car shared the same powertrain elements as the Volt -- an electric motor that made 161-hp and 273 lb-ft of torque fed by a lithium-ion battery pack that can be replenished by a 1.4-liter range-extending gasoline engine or by the conventional plug-in route -- the Converj could arrive with a slightly more potent combination. Recent statements by GM Vice-Chairman and long-time Volt advocate, Bob Lutz, indicate that there's considerably more performance potential to be mined from the Voltec system without seriously compromising its "fuel economy" ratings -- and that the automaker is definitely considering the possibility of creating enthusiast-grade alternatives to the baseline setup.
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