The Cadillac Converj concept was a surprise addition to the new car unveilings from GM. Conceived at GM's Advanced Design studio in the UK under the direction of Simon Cox, the angular exterior aesthetic adorns a vehicle that is smaller than the CTS Coupe concept seen in Detroit last year, with a sloping DLO, plunging beltline and pronounced shoulder giving the 2+2 very dynamic attributes.
Lead exterior designer Robin Krieg told CDN how the concept refines the design language of the Cien and Sixteen concepts by introducing a softer aesthetic, which is no less refined and luxurious. "This proportion for a Cadillac is something new. Cadillac has always been cab rearward," Kreig said, "The challenge with this car was to do something that did not look like an economy car because that is not something that is associated with luxury." Exterior design manager Brian Smith told us how the grille was reworked to minimize drag without diluting the definitive Cadillac identity.
The philosophy behind the interior, designed by Ben Walsh and David Leary and led by interior design manager Jeff Perkins, was to create a lavishly-appointed and technologically-advanced cabin. The transparent center stack contains a touch activated HMI and flows down the IP, while a battery meter seen through the center console emphasizes the futuristic electric powertrain. The essence of the brand's exterior design themes are maintained while applying an 'eco-aesthetic' aspect to the materials.
"Some customers want invisible eco, some want to celebrate it kind of like a rolling billboard," Perkins told us, "For a car in this class you need to have authentic materials: metal, leather, things like that." Ultimately the balance between the two was met by fitting environmentally sustainable and renewable materials as well as the quintessential luxury materials sought by buyers in the premium segment. The IP upper is made of synthetic suede and the brightwork is actually aluminum, not plated metal. The trim is made of recycled wood pressed together, and the carpeting is made of wool.