“No laser light shows” seems to be the theme at the post-crash NAIAS. GM relied on people power — its own employees:
Go ahead and laugh, but these folks are nothing if not sincere. I told you this was a company town. They cheer without irony.
The cool news of the GM press conference was the introduction of the Cadillac Converj concept, and no it’s not a typo. The Converj is the luxury version of the Chevy Volt, the gas-electric hybrid which, if it lives up to its hype, will make the Prius look like a Hummer. It has a 40-mile all-electric range, with a miniscule gas engine that will kick in after that. It’s designed to be your “city car,” the short-hop vehicle. It’s also set to cost $40,000, a lot of money to pay for a lifestyle statement, so you could argue the need for a luxury version is sort of questionable, but never underestimate what people will pay to tell the world, “I’m green.” I’m assuming the idea is to see if the public warms to the Volt, at which point the price could fall like all new technology. The Converj is a concept, which means GM hasn’t committed to production. I tried to look at it and strip away all the car-show cool that won’t make it to the street — the low-profile tires and those snaky mirrors — and I still liked it. Lousy photo; as you can see, there was a bit of a scrum:
Jalopnik got a wider shot as it came down the runway. That’s Bob Lutz in the passenger seat.
GM also unveiled the Orlando, a seven-seat don’t-say-SUV — check the Freep for that pic, and a “microcar” called the Spark, a rebadged Beat:
You don’t know whether to drive it or pat its wee head.
Off to stake out a seat at Chrysler, and see how their sackcloth-and-ashes act will play.