The first consumer electronics car?
General Motors' CEO Rick Wagoner just took the wraps off the Cadillac Provoq—the first car ever introduced at the Consumer Electronics Show. Their latest fuel-cell vehicle gets twice the range of the new Equinox SUVs that are about to hit the road, and its “engine” is only half as large.
It still seems weird to put the words Cadillac, crossover vehicle (small SUV) and environmental in the same sentence . . . maybe that’s why they named it Provoq. (And hopefully they are better at engineering than at spelling.)
In addition to looking badass, the Provoq has just about every green feature you (or GM) could think of. There's a plug on each side for
charging the lithium-ion batteries at home, plus a solar panel on the roof for
charging on the road. Louvers in the front of the car can open up to provide
more cooling or close to reduce wind resistance at high speed. The 300-mile
range is nice for convenience, but not critical. After all, you can refill the
car with hydrogen in about 8 minutes (at least, at the two or three dozen
hydrogen stations in the entire country).
But this ultra-green car doesn’t have Prius-style timidity. It can hit 100 miles per hour and get to 60mph in 8.5 seconds—faster than Cadillac’s current crossover. And I believe those numbers. I got to drive the super-peppy Equinox around Vegas today and I was amazed at the whiplash acceleration. (Despite the defamation of electric motors by internal-combustion enthusiasts, motors are the ultimate sports car power plants—delivering high torque as soon as you hit the gas—err, accelerator.)
Of course, like GM’s other hydrogen cars, you won’t be buying a Provoq immediately. But you might do it pretty soon. GM hopes to be selling the Equinox by 2010 (in the first city or city that builds enough hydrogen refueling stations to make it practical.) No word yet on when the Provoq will hit driveways, but I sure hope it’s soon.—Sean Captain
More pics after the jump.